Google Apps Lets Users Choose Update Cycle

Google Apps Lets Users Choose Update Cycle

Google Apps has become known for launching a major feature or tweaking usability quietly and announcing it later -- and no doubt, for a lot of SMBs, it can be huge SaaS boon that saves time on patching. But some enterprises find themselves threatened by the fact that their cloud productivity suite can change from one day to another. That's why Google Apps now offers a new option to customers and partners, called the Scheduled Release upgrade track.

First, let me allay the fears of Google Apps partners and customers who liked the steady flow of "innovate and iterate" feature releases. If you opt for that path, you'll continue to get updates as soon as they complete QA and internal testing as part of the Rapid Release track. Those braver souls who had previously selected "Pre-release features" are automatically enrolled, according to the official blog entry.

But for the customers who want to take it more slowly, the Scheduled Release update track lets IT staff and the cloud service providers that support them test out new features, get acquainted, and prepare help desk staff ahead of the full release. And administrators get at least a week's notice of a new feature by way of Google's debuting What's New portal.

A word of warning, though: If you opt for this track in the Google Apps control panel, be aware that some features you're currently using may actually be pre-release.

TalkinCloud's question: the weekly updates are on Tuesday. When they're constantly slamming Microsoft's infamous Patch Tuesday, couldn't they have at least chosen a different day? All the same, it does sound like Google is listening to partner and customer concerns, and are continuing to mature their offering's enterprise readiness.

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