Google Workspace Solution | Workflow+

Automating Your Google Workspace with Workflow+

What would you do if you had an extra person to help manage Google Workspace at your organization? Or, if you could automate your most frequent or time-consuming tasks, what could you accomplish with your extra time? You could start planning your summer projects, clean up your groups, or you could get your domain’s storage under control. With Workflow+ you can automate or schedule tasks in Google Workspace so you can save time, get organized, and stay informed.

What is KIT Central Workflow+?

KIT Central™ Workflow+™ automation software from Kincaid IT both simplifies and supercharges your Google Workspace environment through the power of automation. Do you wish you could automate user onboarding, OU changes, password resets by OU, drive permissions, or storage notifications? All this is easy with Workflow+.

How do I start workflows?

Workflows all begin with a trigger. Workflow+ supports the following triggers:

  • Schedule
    • Schedule a recurring trigger so your workflow runs daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.  With a scheduled trigger, for example, you could schedule weekly or monthly storage reports or Chromebook inventory reports.
  • Specific Dates
    • Set a specific day and time for your automated workflow to start. With a specific date as your trigger you could set your end-of-the-year workflow to start automatically on a certain day and have it promote your students to new OUs, reset passwords, clean up groups, and more.
  • Subscription
    • With subscription triggers you can start your workflow anytime a specific event occurs in your Google Workspace. For example, you could run a workflow every time a new user is created or a Google Form is submitted. 

What can I do with Workflow+?

With Workflow+ you can:

  • Automate Onboarding
    • Simplify onboarding by automatically sending a welcome email, adding users to Google Groups, sharing files, or adding Google licenses  every time a new user is created. This can be configured across your organization or for specific organizational units.
  • Schedule Storage Reports  (Storage+ required)
    • When integrated with Storage+, you can schedule storage reports so you can receive a daily or weekly report detailing users who are over a specific limit in storage. Then automatically email the users in the report or flag them for excessive storage.
  • Manage Your Domain’s Storage (Storage+ required)
    • Imagine the power in the data if you could set up a task to run that polls users over a certain storage size and takes that data into a file while also automatically emailing it to the appropriate person. Let’s take this a step further. That email could show all teachers in a particular building that are over the district storage threshold and notify the principal in that building or notify individual teachers to ask them to begin cleaning up their Drive proactively before the district implements a hard quota.
  • Take Control of Your Chromebooks
    • Ensuring that the Chromebook stays in the proper OU can be a difficult task to do manually, but imagine if you could set an automated task that triggers from the new login and moves that Chromebook to the appropriate OU to match the user.  Or, schedule Chromebook reports with Workflow+ and stay informed of device locations, update version, users, and even the auto update expiration date (AUE).
  • Simplify Summer Tasks
    • Schedule a summer tasks workflow and you can automatically reset student passwords and update OU membership all at once at a time that works best for your organization. Or, would it be nice at the end of the school year to have a task scheduled that automatically moves the seniors out of their current OU and into a suspended OU for you?
  • Email Signatures – (coming soon)
    • Does your District struggle getting new staff members to implement the required District email signature? Wouldn’t it be nice to have this automated so when they open up their email the signature of the district is already included?

The possibilities are limitless with Workflow+. 

Interested in learning more about Workflow+? Check out an upcoming webinar or contact us today and get started with a demo.

Kincaid IT launches free KIT Merge Google Workspace Add-on to help users generate custom documents and enhance organization of files

Kincaid IT launches free KIT Merge Google Workspace Add-on to help users generate custom documents and enhance organization of files

KIT Merge makes it easy for teachers to customize feedback and help personalize instruction 

Kincaid Information Technology (Kincaid IT) is launching a free Google Workspace Add-on developed to help users easily generate custom files while enhancing organization. The new Add-on – known as KIT Merge – premieres within the Google Workplace Marketplace in January 2022 and is being featured at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) conference this same month. 

This convenient utility provides any Google user with the tools needed to create unlimited personalized certificates, charts, reports and other documents based on data from a Google Form or Google Sheet. Since most educators already use Google Forms, Sheets, Doc and Slides, using KIT Merge is an added benefit to provide this instant feedback to individual students or parents. These personalized PDFs, Google Slides or Google Docs can be automatically or manually sent to specified email addresses based on information included in the Form or Sheet. 

“We believe KIT Merge provides instructors with a simple solution to better customize feedback from their students,” said Dr. Amy Bailey, Kincaid IT Chief Innovation Officer. “This new Google Workspace Add-on seeks to meet specific needs we’ve heard from numerous classroom teachers by helping them personalize learning and ultimately improve student engagement and achievement, all while helping them stay organized.” 

KIT Merge gives teachers the means to address tasks and engage students such as providing customized certificates for students meeting their goals or personalized story starters for writing a narrative. For example, a teacher can create a certificate on a Google Slides, and use KIT Merge to award it to students based on data submitted from a Google Form or personalize an assignment to enhance instruction by using one of the many templates in KIT Merge. 

The free Add-on includes embedded step-by-step instructions, making it easy for users to create and send their personalized certificates, charts, diagrams and other documents in just a few minutes. In addition, KIT Merge creates a folder within your Google Drive to store and manage all KIT Merge projects. 

This new Google Workspace Add-on officially launches at the FETC conference, scheduled for Jan. 25-28 in Orlando, Florida.  

KIT Merge, developed by the Kincaid IT team, is the latest Google Drive Add-on created by the company.  Kincaid IT also developed KIT Central, a comprehensive cloud-based management suite designed to address Google’s 2022 storage changes.

For more information about KIT Merge, visit this link. Google users will be able to participate in a product demo after Jan. 25. After the launch date, the new Add-on will also be found in Google Workplace Marketplace by searching for KIT Merge.

Kincaid Information Technology specializes in assisting schools, governments and businesses with their technological challenges through consulting, technical services and professional development. 

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Kincaid Launches New Cloud-Based Management Suite to address Google’s Upcoming Storage Changes

Kincaid IT

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Kincaid IT launches new cloud-based management suite to address Google’s upcoming storage changes

KIT Central Admin developed to help technology administrators better manage storage and save money

As organizations grapple with the impact of Google’s upcoming changes to storage limits, Kincaid IT is launching a cloud-based SaaS designed to help educational institutions, businesses and other organizations meet this challenge while saving both money and staff time. 

Kincaid IT Central Admin and Admin+ is an all-in-one cloud management suite that supports Google Workspace. Tools available within KIT Central will help technology administrators manage their organizations’ storage with user-friendly dashboards, reporting and options to eliminate excess storage usage.

“We are currently the only company offering a web-based product that gives organizations the resources they need to efficiently monitor and manage their Google storage,” said Dr. Amy Bailey, Kincaid IT chief innovation officer. “As institutions  prepare for Google’s 2022 storage changes, Kincaid IT Central is ready to help organizations make informed decisions and thus effectively manage and take action on data within the domain before they face the new limits. ”

While developing the management tools, Kincaid IT (KIT) piloted KIT Central in collaboration with several school districts with a variety of enrollments and storage needs. 

Google recently announced plans to change its storage limits with enforcement beginning in July 2022, so managing storage at the admin level is becoming increasingly important. 

Although Google offers a handful of tools to help administrators determine storage, KIT Central provides additional features and insights, all via a web-based dashboard. Examples include:

  • Allowing admins to see top storage users and the files they are storing
  • Searching an organization’s drive files with filters
  • Notifying individuals whose storage usage is not in line with policies and limits 
  • Scheduling files for deletion
  • Delete files instantly
  • Managing user memberships from a single pane
  • Resetting user passwords with granular delegations.

Based on Google’s 2022 storage changes, it is estimated that KIT Central could save a mid-sized school district tens of thousands of dollars while universities — with their employee, student and alumni accounts — could see savings totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. These cost savings are based on an organization’s ability to reduce the need to purchase additional Google storage and licenses by better managing storage. Kincaid IT Central was also created with technology department staff members in mind, offering tools specifically designed to save time for an organization’s admins.

For more information about Kincaid IT Central, to schedule a demo and learn more about Google storage changes, visit this webpage. Pricing is based on the number of users within an organization. Kincaid IT is also offering a 20-percent discount for organizations signing up by June 30, 2021, as well as a 14-day free trial.

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Google Workspace Changes: Unlimited Storage will Soon be a Thing of the Past

Mike Wallace

Cloud Lead

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So what are the new limits? For accounts with under 20,000 users, it’s pretty simple. Those accounts get 100TB of pooled storage for all users to share

Google is making changes to the way storage works in Google Workspace with today’s blog focusing on how these changes impact education customers. Right off the bat we can state that the changes won’t be enforced until July 2022, so schools have some time to get into compliance. It is also important to note that only about 1 out of every 100 education accounts are currently over the limit, according to Google.

So what are the new limits? For accounts with under 20,000 users, it’s pretty simple. Those accounts get 100TB (one terabyte is equal to 1000 gigabytes) of pooled storage for all users to share. Accounts with over 20,000 users must contact Google support to determine how much additional pooled storage they start with, but I would expect it to expand more or less in a linear fashion with a school twice the size having twice the base pooled storage.

Accounts get an additional 100GB (gigabyte) of pooled storage for each G Suite Enterprise for Education or Teaching and Learning Upgrade license. Education Plus users will gain 20GB of pooled storage per license. So a school with 10,000 students and Education Plus licenses would get 100TB (base) + 20TB (10K Teaching and Learning licenses X 20GB) for a total of 120TB of pooled storage.

Google provides several tools allowing you to see how much storage your account is using. As a super admin you can login to admin.google.com, then go to Reports. In Reports, go to Reports -> Apps Reports -> Accounts. Scroll down to the bottom and you should be able to see Total Storage Used. 

However, if you want to get more insight into your Google Workspace account’s storage usage and files, you may need a tool such as KIT Central. With KIT Central you can determine your top storage users and see what files they are storing. You also have the ability to search your entire organization’s drive for ISO or movie files, among many other common file types. You can then notify individuals whose storage usage isn’t in line with your policies or even schedule files for deletion right from KIT Central.

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Google Workspace for Education

Google Workspace for Education: Google Docs for the Novice

Julie Jensen

Learning and Innovation Manager

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Have you ever heard, The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now? This is also true with implementing technology tools into your classroom.

Have you ever heard, The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now? This is also true with implementing technology tools into your classroom. If you consider yourself a novice, you can quickly grow into a competent tech-user soon after you start.

You probably already have the safest and most versatile tools waiting for you: Google Workspace for Education (formally known as G Suite for Education). If you only used the tools in Google Workspace and team these tools with what you already know about quality instruction, you will quickly gain the confidence to apply these tools into your lessons. 

Hands typing on keyboard to navigate to Google Workspace for Education

Below is a list of several robust options within Google Docs. If you are not familiar with these tools, open a Google Doc and try them. Whether you find a use for the tool or not, show each to your students. They might find the one connection to make transferring thoughts to text possible. 

  • Voice typing: Tools > Voice Typing > Click to speak
    No keyboarding skills required. This one tool is a game changer for many purposes: primary students can watch their spoken words become text, learners can translate spoken word to text from one language to another, researchers can restate into their own words and students who struggle with processing can say it. 
  • Version history:  File > Version History
    No more copies of copies and wondering which is the correct one. On one Document, writers can view version history to see their writing process from the beginning. Writers can name versions and even restore them while never losing any part of their writing.
  • Linked objects:  Tools > Linked Objects
    If you find you have multiple files, like Google Slides and Sheets, that center around the same topic, you can link them all to one Doc to quickly view and update charts, tables, slides and drawings.  
  • Make available offline: File > Make Available Offline
    No Internet? No problem, as long as you have opened the document and requested to make it available offline. From that point forward, this document can be accessed with or without the Internet. When the Internet is reconnected, the document syncs the updates. 
  • Personal dictionary: Tools > Spelling and Grammar > Personal Dictionary
    Tired of your name always being underlined in red? Add the correct spelling of your name or any words not found in spell check to your Personal Dictionary. No more red lines (unless you have a typo). 
  • Compare documents: Tools > Compare Documents
    Working in one document, users can compare the current document with another document in their drive or shared with them. This will create a third document that shows suggested edits. 
  • Citations: Tools > Citations
    Writers can select citation styles of MLA, APA or Chicago to add to their writing. Pair this with Google Classroom Originality Reports for a powerful combination.  
  • Explore: Tools > Explore
    Within the document, writers can seamlessly bring a search to them. They can explore their own Google files, the web, images and more. If a resource is used, there is an option to click and cite that source as a footnote in the document. 

After you and your students have used and discovered which tools are preferred, using the technology quickly becomes second nature and the learning of the topic becomes first.

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Person typing on laptop with Google on screen

What is Google Vault and How to Set it up for Success?

Kinzie Wooderson

Technical Writer for Kincaid IT

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You will need to ensure that the interpretation of the retention policies and regulations is consistent to ensure that Vault rules are set up to meet the need.

Whether it takes place in Gmail, Chat or Drive, school districts frequently use Google Workspace for both communication and recordkeeping. Overall governance of how long items are maintained will be set by an organization’s policies or perhaps state regulations. Google Workspace addresses data governance and eDiscovery with Vault (vault.google.com). Having a solid strategy for managing communication and data within and beyond your default retention timeframe is key to ensuring data that is critical in personnel, student or legal matters is not mistakenly lost. 

From establishing a solid retention strategy to managing potential issues throughout their lifecycle, it is important to develop strong partnerships with both your organization’s legal counsel and the district administrators responsible for managing these matters.

Person typing on laptop with Google on screen

You will need to ensure that the interpretation of the retention policies and regulations is consistent to ensure that Vault rules are set up to meet the need. They will also be responsible for notifying you of the need to create a new matter and associated holds, be requesting data from the system and advise of the closure of matters. 

What is eDiscovery?

Electronic Discovery (eDiscovery) is the process of reviewing and investigating electronic content for legal purposes. In K-12 education we often see this overflow into student discipline issues; requests for records as allowed by legislation such as Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or Sunshine Law; and personnel matters. 

Understanding the Basics of Google Vault

Vault has a new interface roll out at vault.google.com which makes this a little bit easier to understand over the “classic” (ediscovery.google.com) if you were a previous vault user. Here is a basic breakdown of what you will be using: 

  • Retention: This is where you set up how long things are kept (even if deleted by the user) in Vault and how things will be handled after this window of time passes. This is broken down by the type of record (Mail, Drive, Chat, etc). These settings can be domain-wide or more granular (i.e. staff vs students). Be sure to work with leadership on what these rules should be to keep in line with policies and legislation.
  • Matters: This is where you will build out different situations that are requiring discovery. Examples would include a principal contacting you regarding a student discipline concern or human resources reaching out to request items be kept related to an employee matter. Within a matter you will have:
    • Holds: This is where you establish extra retention. This prevents items from following the actions of the end of their retention period (such as to delete). 
    • Searches: This is where you will pull results for defined criteria such as things that are between specific people or include a specific phrase or word. 
    • Exports: After finding specific items you need to take out of the system to handoff, you will export them. The progress of the export will show and they will be available for a temporary period for you to download in MBOX or PST format.
    • Audit: This is the section where you can see logs about what has been done in Vault for this specific matter. This is a compliance piece but can also be helpful in confirming your efforts or diligence.
  • Reports: This is similar to the audit section for a matter but is on a Vault-wide scale. It’s going to provide details on all matters, regardless of if they are no longer listed. 

Tips and Tricks for Google Vault Implementation

  • Avoiding deletion of accounts on hold: One of the few things (if not the only thing) that can overrule retention rules is account deletion. Unfortunately, Google sees a deletion as just that. Data will be lost, and matters and holds will not be taken into consideration by Google. If you are using automation, you’ll probably have the same people on holds in your Active Directory system. Setting up a process to exclude these users from normal cleanup is key. Establishing a tracking system for who, what and why people’s accounts are to be held is important. This can be maintained in a Google Sheet with references in account descriptions. This spreadsheet also provides a great place to review with those individuals who are managing the matters with legal counsel and others to determine what has been resolved and can be closed out.
  • Conversion of files: Once you export into MBOX or PST, usually you will either hand off the export to legal counsel who will have it in its “raw” form to import into their eDiscovery system or you will need to make it usable for an administrator to process through (such as a principal working a discipline issue). Using a mail client to open these is less than ideal if handing off to an administrator as it will put things into a folder structure. I have found it works well to use a converter tool to make the files into PDF. An example of this is the product Aid4Mail. Redaction tools through a favorite PDF application can then be used if necessary. 
  • Document your use: Keep good notes and descriptions on matters. I create a new matter for each situation even though the discipline ones all start to be similar and low impact. Because of the high level of access and visibility to everyone’s information you have — including Superintendent and Board Member level email — you want to leave no question on if your actions were legitimate, who requested the information, etc. I’ve found using my email as a paper trail works well. I generally ask that specific requests be emailed to me and I reply back or, when sending the email with the results, I start with “In follow up to our conversation” and provide details of what search terms were used. If you were to be called in by the legal council and asked to explain everything on the Reports Audit page, would you have the breadcrumbs to do so? The names and descriptions of matters are a great way to tie user and requestor information to the matter as well.

Want to dive into the new Vault interface? Or need a better understanding of what Google Vault provides? Knowledge KIT: Vault can provide the overview and training that you need to get up to speed.

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You will need to ensure that the interpretation of the retention policies and regulations is consistent to ensure that Vault rules are set up to meet the need.<\/strong><\/p>“}}]}]}],”name”:”Quote Section”},{“type”:”section”,”props”:{“style”:”default”,”width”:”default”,”vertical_align”:”middle”,”title_position”:”top-left”,”title_rotation”:”left”,”title_breakpoint”:”xl”,”image_position”:”center-center”,”css”:”.el-section{\n margin-left:20%; \n margin-right:20%;\n}\n.el-section img{\n box-shadow: 0 64px 64px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.10), 0 16px 16px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.10), 0 4px 4px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.10);\n margin:50px 0;\n}\n\n@media (max-width: 960px) {\n\t.el-section{\n margin-left:5%; \n margin-right:5%;\n }\n}\n\n@media (max-width: 480px) {\n\n}”,”padding”:”xsmall”},”children”:[{“type”:”row”,”children”:[{“type”:”column”,”props”:{“image_position”:”center-center”,”media_overlay_gradient”:””},”children”:[{“type”:”text”,”props”:{“margin”:”default”,”column_breakpoint”:”m”,”content”:”

Whether it takes place in Gmail, Chat or Drive, school districts frequently use Google Workspace for both communication and recordkeeping. Overall governance of how long items are maintained will be set by an organization\u2019s policies or perhaps state regulations. Google Workspace addresses data governance and eDiscovery with Vault (vault.google.com). Having a solid strategy for managing communication and data within and beyond your default retention timeframe is key to ensuring data that is critical in personnel, student or legal matters is not mistakenly lost.\u00a0<\/span><\/p>\n

From establishing a solid retention strategy to managing potential issues throughout their lifecycle, it is important to develop strong partnerships with both your organization\u2019s legal counsel and the district administrators responsible for managing these matters.<\/span><\/p>\n

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You will need to ensure that the interpretation of the retention policies and regulations is consistent to ensure that Vault rules are set up to meet the need. They will also be responsible for notifying you of the need to create a new matter and associated holds, be requesting data from the system and advise of the closure of matters.\u00a0<\/span><\/p>\n

What is eDiscovery?<\/b><\/p>\n

Electronic Discovery (eDiscovery) is the process of reviewing and investigating electronic content for legal purposes. In K-12 education we often see this overflow into student discipline issues; requests for records as allowed by legislation such as Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or Sunshine Law; and personnel matters.\u00a0<\/span><\/p>\n

Understanding the Basics of Google Vault<\/b><\/h2>\n

Vault has a <\/span>new interface roll out<\/span><\/a> at vault.google.com<\/a> which makes this a little bit easier to understand over the \u201cclassic\u201d (ediscovery.google.com) if you were a previous vault user. Here is a basic breakdown of what you will be using:\u00a0<\/span><\/p>\n

Hands typing on a laptop

Kincaid IT Named Trusted Google Service Provider for 2021

Kincaid IT

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KC-based company awarded the opportunity to deliver IT Deployment as Google for Education partner.

Kincaid IT, a division of The Kincaid Group, was recently named a trusted Google service provider for 2021. Headquartered in the Midwest’s Kansas City area, Kincaid became a Google for Education partner in 2020, providing IT support to educational organizations throughout the region.

Learning institutions — both K-12 and higher education — that are buying Google Workspace for Education or Chromebooks and Chrome Education Upgrades in 2021 may be eligible for free services from Kincaid IT along with the purchase.  

As a trusted Google for Education partner, Kincaid IT was awarded the opportunity to deliver the IT Deployment services to qualifying organizations.

“Our goal is to provide quality IT service and support to districts to help them get the most out of these tools,” said Dr. Amy Bailey (formerly Amy Gates), Kincaid IT chief innovation officer.  

Kincaid IT’s team has extensive experience in education and IT, she added, striving to support schools as they implement the tools and technologies required to teach in today’s world.  

“Our vision is to be a trusted advisor and work in partnership with schools as they deploy, implement and continue to utilize technology to support their teaching and learning goals,” Dr. Bailey said.

To learn more about Kincaid IT as well as its IT Deployment services, visit the webpage.

 

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