Many businesses are wasting money when it comes to managing their Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite & Google Apps) services because they don’t do a periodic account check-up.
For instance, one of the most common and significant situations is when the offboarding of ex-employees is not done correctly. In our experience as a business IT support provider, we often see ex-employees still in the Google Workspace admin console.
1: Clean-up old Google Workspace accounts
There can be a number of reasons for this situation, but the most common ones are:
- The password was reset when the employee left, but there may still be important emails or data in Drive that the business needs the access to, so the account is left there.
- The account is set as ‘suspended’. It’s a common misconception that when an account is suspended, you won’t be charged for this account by Google. I’m afraid to say this is not the case and you are likely wasting money.
- You may not know what to do with the data. It may be needed in the future, and since you don’t know how to archive it, the account stays open.
To clean-up your list, the first step is to analyse your Google Workspace accounts.
If you don’t have many accounts, you can do this easily from the Google Workspace admin console. However, if the list is long, it’s best to export the user account information into a spreadsheet to sort and analyse. There are a few columns we recommend adding, for the analysis to go quickly and smoothly:
- Last sign-in
- Email usage
- Drive usage
This way, when you’re running an analysis on all your users, you can determine which ones can be deleted based on these 4 parameters. For instance, the ones that will determine if the account is still active or not, are Status & Last sign-in. Once you have a list of users to remove from your Google Workspace storage, you can go ahead and delete them. Still, you may want to archive their data first using Google Takeout.
2: Convert generic email accounts to FREE Google Groups or Aliases
Another mistake we see quite often is that there are paid Google Workspace business email accounts set up for generic email addresses (e.g [email protected] or [email protected]), that only need to have emails sent to specific people. Firstly, this means an additional licence cost for the account. Secondly, this is an inefficient way of viewing and replying to emails, as it requires a new tab in your browser (or inbox in your mail client) to be opened and viewed regularly. The better option could be to delete this generic Google Workspace account and create a free Google Group or Email Alias instead. If the email address only needs to be accessed by one person, then it’s best to set up an email alias under the receiver’s email account.
3: Setup addon domains for multiple business names
A remarkable feature of Google workspace services is that it allows you to have additional domain names in your own Google Workspace business account. This means you can assign new email addresses to it or link aliases from an existing domain name email address. This method can have significant cost savings compared to registering and setting up a completely new Google Workspace account for that business name. It is especially effective when there are staff members who manage all 3 businesses or entities. An example could be a business IT support company that also sells VOIP services and domain names.
This would enable the staff to send and receive emails using all 3 domain email addresses while only paying for the one account per employee. This comes at a third of the cost, compared to having individual Google Workspace accounts with 3 separate emails per employee. Not to mention that managing this would be a nightmare for the staff! One catch to this setup is that, if the business decides to sell off one of the entities, then you may need to set up a separate Google Workspace account and migrate data out.
4 Simplify and secure your IT hardware by using Chrome OS
What is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) when it comes to your IT hardware, in particular the computers your staff use? When you add up the cost of:
- Computer used by staff e.g a Windows 10 laptop or Macbook
- Office operations software e.g Microsoft Office
- Security software e.g antivirus, firewall, spam etc
- Backup software and device
- Maintenance of the computer, e.g updates/patching, cleanup
- Downtime due to reboots, slowness etc
- IT support to fix issues
This is figure is usually at least 3 * the amount you spend on the hardware itself.
Google have a solution for this: Google Chromebook or Chromebox which in our experience saves businesses at least 50% on their total cost of ownership for their IT. The reason why is that these devices are extremely simple to operate as they are built for businesses that operate in the cloud. They have all the security built in and require very little maintenance, so almost all of the expenses listed above are removed.
5: Special offers on Google Workspace upgrade licences
Many businesses tend to go for the cheapest Google Workspace services (at least initially), which is the Google Workspace business starter or previous plan was G Suite basic. However, what they might not realise is that the next level of licences can provide great value to the business as well as save your company’s money if done right. An example of this is the issue of running out of storage space. Although 30GB may seem like a lot for email, it is often not enough when it comes to Google Drive data. After businesses reach their limit, the cost to increase storage is quite significant.
Interestingly, Google Workspace Business and Google Workspace Enterprise plans give all users many terabytes or unlimited Drive storage which is a significant increase. On top of that, these two plans also allow you access to many more applications and features, which also can save the business money. For instance:
- Team Drives improves efficiency in storage, management, and security, by helping to prevent confidential data from being leaked.
- Cloud Search gives your staff better-searching power for files, emails, calendar items, and others, across all the applications in just one search box.
- Google Vault is a safeguard for all your files and emails in case you ever need to retrieve them. Save hundreds of hours in finding what you need across all the Google Workspace accounts!
- Drive File Stream will give you easy access to all your company data in an easy access method staff are used to, but it won’t fill up your hard drives, extending the life of your computers.
- Record your video meetings in Google Meets
- Restrict access to your data with Context-aware access
Bonus Tip: Use the Drive Backup & Sync application to backup all your computer hard drives to Google workspace storage. This way, you replace the current local and offsite backup solutions, which is likely to bring even more savings.