Solve’s integration with Google
Here is what we have on the agenda for you, the G Suite domain administrator:
- A quick introduction to “G Suite”
- More about “The Google” and the difference between a regular Google account and a G Suite account
- Explain how Solve integrates with your regular Google account
- Show how Solve integrates with your team’s G Suite accounts
What is G Suite?
G Suite is an online office platform. In Google’s own words, it’s a place where you can “get online email, calendar, documents and more working for your organization”. Now, it’s the “more” that really gets us excited. What does Google mean by “more”? They are referring to business apps who all come together, resolve their differences and work in harmony, without you doing any work.
It seems impossible to run a business without the use of online business apps these days. They are the brain and nervous systems of your business. They are inexpensive, easy to setup and they automate a lot of processes that were otherwise done manually – reducing errors and saving valuable time. Imagine simply turning on the apps you need and having them work together instantly and seamlessly. This is what G Suite is all about. Vendors sweat the details of integration and deliver their unique services, packed with useful features, letting you focus on your clients. So are you seeing why we are so excited? Learn more about G Suite.
All this wonderfulness is happening - and it’s happening now. So let’s see how easy it is to integrate your Google services with Solve’s CRM and Project Management features.
But first let’s make one quick distinction …
What’s the difference between a regular Google account and a G Suite account?
Remember how we described G Suite as “email, calendar, documents and more”? The “more” (which turned out to be business apps) is the difference between the two. G Suite accounts generally have everything that regular Google accounts have, but they also have business apps. Regular Google accounts offer a variety of Google services (most often referred to as a Gmail account). G Suite include a specific suite of hosted services that businesses administer, using Google’s servers and their own domain. G Suite comes in a variety of plans, so the price is simple and flexible. Think of a Google account as equipment for a home office. Now think of a G Suite account as equipment for a central office for an established or growing team.
The best part is that Solve and Google are rapidly expanding their solutions and integration points to help you and your office. Here’s how it looks today …
Using Solve with Google
How can I make Solve work with my regular Google account?
So you’ve got yourself a Google account and a Solve account. Let’s take a look at how they can work together! There are five main points of integration:
- Gmail Message synchronization
- Google Contact synchronization
- Google Calendar synchronization
- Google Docs
First lets look at Gmail Synchronization. Solve’s Webmail add-on has you reading, sending and managing your Gmail messages right from within Solve. Think of the Webmail feature working just like a desktop email program, only here it’s integrated with the various Solve features. For example, Webmail’s field merge allows you to upgrade your Solve email templates to automatically pull in and personalize your emails with Solve data for each recipient on your list.
What Webmail is not, is an email server, like Microsoft Exchange, which actually stores the emails. In this example, Google is your central email server and Webmail works with it. It does not try to be a better email client than Google’s own - the value is in how it seamlessly merges your email database with your client database, which is extremely helpful when plowing through tasks relating to managing client correspondence.
Note that “optional” does not cost extra, it’s just that way so you have control over what features are available to your team.
To enable the (free) Webmail feature for your team click Solve menu (top right) > Add-ons > Webmail > Add. Then for each Solve account click Solve menu > Webmail > Settings and in the Receiving and Sending tabs click Google as the service type and enter your login information. For Solve to access your Google email account you also need to enable the IMAP feature Google account > Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP > IMAP Access > Enable IMAP.
Gmail synchronization provides you with useful features to automate management of client interactions:
- When addressing email messages the email addresses are suggested directly from the Solve database
- Central list of email templates that can be used by everyone on your team
- “Group recipients” feature to send personalized email messages to a group of contacts
- Integration with Solve’s workgroup email folder makes it effortless to connect email messages to contact, company and project blog pages (see the featured tutorial on attaching emails as activities
- One-click to add a contact into Solve from an email message
- One-click to add a meeting invitation to your Solve calendar and link to the corresponding contact record
If you have many messages in your Gmail account there is a way to speed up the Webmail add-on. Open Gmail > Settings > Labs > enable “Advanced IMAP controls” > Forwarding and POP/IMAP > set “Limit IMAP folders to contain no more than this many messages” = 1000.
Next let’s investigate Google Contact synchronization. Google Contact synchronization means that the contacts saved in your Solve account, will be accessible in your Gmail account and vise-versa. As changes are made in one system they are automatically updated in the other. This ability to access the same set of contacts across Solve and Google gives you a consistent source of information, wherever you happen to be.
Additionally, Google’s own sync feature streamlines synchronization to Outlook, iPhone, Mac and Blackberry, etc. making it a sync “hub”. Since Solve is connected to that hub you can sync some or all of your Solve contacts to Google - Google then syncs to your Mac and iPhone automatically - contact utopia!
To enable the (free) Google Contact Sync feature for your team click Solve menu > Add-ons > Google Contact Sync > Add.
Then for each Solve account click Solve menu > Manage Contacts > Data > Synchronize contacts with Google and follow the instructions to grant Solve access to your Google contacts and set the sync preferences.
Contact synchronization can be a two-way-street (changes in Solve get updated in Gmail and changes in Gmail get updated in Solve), or it can be a one-way street or a the-other-way street. You have control, for example your Aunt Gweneth may not have a place in your Solve account and Mr. Pensky’s (from the Pensky account at work) shouldn’t get mixed in with family and friends. It just doesn’t feel right! Solve allows you to avoid these unwanted situations, so your work life stays at work, and personal life stays at home.
Solve’s Google Calendar synchronization is the third feature that we’d like to highlight. Unlike traditional calendar feeds this feature will intelligently sync changes between your Solve and Google Calendar. Yep, two-way calendar sync!
To enable the (free) Google Calendar Sync feature for your team click Solve menu (top right) > Add-ons > Google Calendar Sync > Add. Then for each Solve account click Solve menu > Report & Update Activities > Show Calendar events … > Data > Synchronize events and tasks with Google and follow the instructions to set the sync preferences.
Changes made in Solve will automatically push out to the corresponding Google Calendars in near real-time. Changes made in a Google Calendar are pushed to Solve by clicking on the “Update Solve” button in the Google Calendar.
Forth, lets discover ways of using Google Docs with Solve. Google Docs are an amazing way to organize your documents online and collaborate on them with your colleagues. Remember the days when you would email a spreadsheet out to ten people? Each person would make changes, send them to their colleagues who would also make changes then you would wait for all the different versions to make their way back to you (each as unique as the last). What a mess! Those days are over. Google Docs keeps all those spreadsheets, texts, presentations and drawings in a single central place where everyone sees and works on the most up to date version in real-time and only that version. Here is a cool YouTube video to introduce the concept.
Solve was built with team collaboration in mind, so it naturally embraces Google Docs on the Contact, Company and Project Blog pages. To try it out, open a Solve record, hover over the “Add an activity” button, select “Add a link to a Google Doc” and follow the steps. Since there is only one document, there is never any confusion about the versions. Now you are collaborating a la Google Docs style!
The value of linking your Google documents in Solve is that they will be shown in context with all the other information about the person, company or project i.e. you’re not looking at a folder of files - you’re looking at what you are working on - all known information in a single place. You are now more focused on the work and less on managing the information that relates to it.
Using Solve with G Suite
How can I make Solve work with my G Suite account?
We set the stage earlier by writing “G Suite lets you simply turn-on the apps you need and have them work together instantly and seamlessly”. So you’ve chosen Solve as the amazing CRM/Project Management app to complement your G Suite account, which means you now want to access Solve directly inside your G Suite account. If you haven’t already done so open Solve’s Google Marketplace page, click “Add it now” and follow the prompts.
There are eight integration features worth checking out. Five of them we just covered in the prior slide “making Solve work with my regular Google account” (Gmail Message synchronization, Google Contact synchronization, Google Calendar synchronization, and Google Docs) - all of these all apply to G Suite as well. The next three are special features that apply to G Suite accounts only, they are:
- Automatic Account Creation
- Access Solve from within Gmail using the Gmail Gadget (most loved feature)
- One-click access to create contact records in and archive email messages to Solve
Besides having access to these three additional features, we know G Suite clients are expecting tight integration, so for accounts activated through G Suite we completed most of the steps needed to enable most of these features. What’s remaining is having each user simply set their own personal preferences e.g. choose which contacts sets to sync, etc.
G Suite Single-Sign-On is pretty intuitively named. Solve and G Suite will generally work in different browser tabs, but once logged into Google you can jump directly into the Solve workspace without entering a username and password again.
A few minutes after installing Solve in your G Suite account, you will find a “Solve by Norada” option under Google’s grid icon (top right). Clicking on this icon will log you into Solve automatically. It does so because your Solve account “trusts” your G Suite account.
Now you’ve got Solve “installed” on your G Suite domain and your own account working, next we need to tend to the other folks on your team. As the G Suite domain admin you can go ahead and create an account for them in Google and when they click on the “Solve by Norada” link the G Suite Automatic Account Creation will ensure they have a corresponding account in Solve.
Alongside each Gmail message the Solve Gmail Gadget shows off a clean, at-a-glance view of everything your team knows about the person behind the message. Before taking further action, you can examine the customer’s previous interactions and special considerations. Advanced customer management is now no more complicated than a few extra clicks inside an email exchange with a client. Reduce multi-tasking, deal with client interactions instantly and leverage team knowledge.
To access your Solve account directly from our website or your mobile smartphone you’ll need to activate a password. Just have your Solve administrator to reset your Solve password to activate one, then change it to a secure password yourself.
- Your Administrator clicks Solve menu > Modify User Accounts > selects your account > clicks “Reset password”
- You click Solve menu (top right) > My Account > Password > enter the provided password > enter a new secure one > click Save
Solve in Action
Imagine, you’re pushing through your last few Gmail messages for the day and notice an email from “Emily Jackson”. Hmmm, it’s almost time to wrap-up, you ponder “can this one wait? Can Emily wait?” You decide that she shouldn’t have to. You click on the Solve Gmail Gadget and BAM! Everything your team knows about this unfamiliar client is shown below the message - her contact info, who else they’ve talked to, what’s planned and any other special details your team likes to track. Whoa … You respond in seconds and earn some much needed client karma.
These are simple yet extremely useful features that reduce the effort to manage the two systems. Some would call that “streamlined”, but we call it dedication to making your business better. This type of integration sets the stage for further integrations. Want to see what’s new? Check out our G Suite summary…
Enabling the G Suite integration for a subset of your team
Say you’re part of a larger organization and Solve is only needed for a specific group of folks. With an option announced by Google you can enable Solve for only part of the company that need it. Assuming Solve has been added to your G Suite domain already, here are the simple steps your G Suite domain admin would do:
- G Suite > Click the gear icon > Manage this domain > Users
- Organization > Add sub-organization button (top right) > Solve (as an example)
- Click on the primary domain to list all of your users > Select the users to move to the new sub-organization > Move to another organization > Click “Solve” (or whatever name you used) > OK
- From Admin Console click Marketplace Apps > Select Solve > Turn OFF services > Turn OFF for everyone
- Select Solve again > Turn ON services > Turn ON for only selected organizations
- Under “Organization” click Solve (or whatever name you used) > select Solve under “Services” tab > Turn ON services > Turn on