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Your twirling, dancing, arts-appreciating Google Assistant

Category: Google | Apr 28, 2017

Ok Google, when is International Dance Day?

It’s tomorrow! So grab your dancing shoes—the Google Assistant is your new partner. Here’s how it can help you get in the spirit of International Dance Day:

dance

  • Practice makes perfect! Ask your Assistant on Android phones to “show me a video of a fouetté.”
  • Those who can’t dance can become dance history buffs. Ask your Assistant on Google Home “who was the founder of ballet?”
  • If you’re looking to learn new dance moves—ask your Assistant on Android phones “how do you do the Nae Nae?”
  • Get in the spirit with the right music—ask your Assistant on Google Home to “play some samba.”
  • Dust off your history books and ask your Assistant in Google Allo “when was the Lindy Hop popular?”
  • Or answer that burning question you’ve always been wondering about—ask your Assistant “can you dance?” (who wouldn’t want to be a part of the world’s longest conga line?)

Whether you want to hone your dancing skills with some practice or leave it to the experts by watching a video, your Google Assistant can help. We’ll see you on the dance floor.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/sHTzLpQfoFY/

The High Five: new discoveries in space and fashion

Category: Google | Apr 28, 2017

What did Saturn say to NASA this week? “High Five.” Here’s a look at a few of the top trending Google searches orbiting the week of April 24.

What have you done this week?

For the first time ever, a spacecraft cruised through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings. Now NASA’s Cassini is beaming information back to the mothership, and telling NASA about all the cool stuff it saw. Science, FTW! After the feat, people searched on Google for more information: “How does Cassini communicate with Earth?” and “How long did it take for Cassini to reach Saturn?” Some were looking for a refresher astronomy course, asking “How far is Saturn from Earth?” and “How many rings does Saturn have?”

space2

Here comes the tour

Maybe we’re amazed that Paul McCartney is still touring—that guy is Here, There and Everywhere! It’ll be a Hard Day’s Night on the road, but fans twisted and shouted when he announced his 2017 tour dates this week. Though you can’t buy his love, you can buy a ticket to his show. And fans are itching to get those tickets, with questions like “How much are Paul McCartney tickets?” and “When do tickets for Paul McCartney go on sale?” Let it Be soon.

Centi-versary

This Saturday marks President Trump’s 100th day in office, and the first few months of his administration have prompted people to learn more about political concepts and processes. The five most-searched terms related to politics during Trump’s first 100 days are “recuse,” “filibuster,” “vetting,” “executive order” and “immigrant.” Another fun fact to bring to your political debates this weekend: the most-searched names alongside the phrase “Trump handshake”: Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, Neil Gorsuch, Shinzo Abe and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Clear as mud

Remember when you were a kid and tracking mud in the house got you into trouble? Times have changed—go ahead and get mud all over yourself. Or pay $425 for jeans covered in fake mud. Perplexed (yet intrigued) shoppers have been searching, “What are mud jeans?” and “Where can I buy mud jeans?”

Shifting gears

NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr., is at the finish line—he announced he will retire after the 2017 season. Fans are curious about when and why he is retiring and “Who will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr.?” Though he’s known nationwide, southern regions in the U.S. searched most for Earnhardt this week. Top states included North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/Xku3IJpIoZc/

Our ongoing commitment to support computer science educators

Category: Google | Apr 27, 2017

Meet Daryl Detrick, a computer science (CS) teacher at Warren Hills High School in Washington, NJ. He’ll tell you that he doesn’t just teach “coding”—he helps students understand how to approach complex problems that will improve the world around them. He started teaching computer science in 2008, at a time where there were very few resources available to help support him.

Daryl Detrick teacher at Warren Hills HS.png

“The biggest thing I bring into the classroom is inspiration.” – Daryl Detrick

Many CS teachers lack the resources to become skilled and confident in their roles. So today we’re announcing new support for teachers like Mr. Detrick, starting with an additional $2 million in grants to support nonprofit organizations that provide support for teachers throughout their educational careers. Our goal to help increase access to CS skills by empowering more skilled and confident CS teachers globally.

Supporting existing CS teachers and inspiring new ones

Mr. Detrick’s first CS professional development experience was through CS4HS, a Google program that funds educators with localized computer science professional development. Through these grants in 2017-2018, 79 organizations in Australia, U.S., Canada, China, Europe, the Middle East and Africa will receive funding to create pathways and content to foster local communities of educators.

CS4HS focuses on teachers to increase the availability of quality computer science education, while many of Google’s other CS education programs, like Made with Code, focus on students. Over the past 10 years, CS4HS has contributed $10 million to professional development (PD) providers around the world to help train and empower teachers—like Western Wyoming Community College, which helped rural teachers integrate gaming into their CS classes, or Australian Catholic University, which trained 1,600 pre-service teachers in accordance with Australia’s national technology curriculum, among others.

Given the shortage of qualified teachers, it’s important not only to help the educators currently in the field, but also to inspire more teachers to join them. That’s why we’re also supporting pre-service teacher preparation programs developing new coursework that trains aspiring educators at the College of St. Scholastica, the University of California at Irvine, the University of Texas at Austin, and Huston-Tillotson University. We’re excited to work with these universities to help them share their resources with other higher education programs, equipping the next generation of educators with the knowledge and skills to teach CS and computational thinking (CT).

Although we’ve seen a small increase of computer science teachers in recent years—6 percent since 2008—the subject is still largely regarded as an extracurricular activity, and one of the key barriers is a lack of qualified teachers. But research suggests that building training and local pathways are two key ways to retain and grow excellent educators. Today’s grants will help universities and nonprofits reach educators with PD opportunities that enhance their CS and technical skills development, improve their confidence in the classroom, and provide leadership training so that they can be advocates for CS education in their communities.

Growing the community of computer science educators

With the help of his principal and faculty partners at Carnegie Mellon, Rutgers and Kean University, Mr. Detrick has grown his school’s CS program from 53 students to more than 200. He’s also a lead educator advocate for the CSTA New Jersey chapter, and works with the CSNJ advocacy group to influence State legislation that would require all high schools to offer computer science.

We’re excited to support new and future CS educators around the world. Even though computer science is a relatively new discipline for most schools, the enthusiasm is growing—and educators like Mr. Detrick are helping to pave the way for students to learn skills they’ll need for the future. To explore more information about communities of CS teachers near you, explore our computer science education resources and partners.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/pwqWh0OUs20/

Discover more of the things you’re into with Topics on Google+

Category: Google | Apr 27, 2017

Millions of people use Google+ to connect around the things they’re interested in. To help you sort through the many Collections and Communities where people share, we’ve created a new feature called Topics. With Topics, you’ll see a high-quality stream of Collections, Communities and people related to things we think you’ll be interested in.

Google+ Topics

See recommended Topics in your Home stream and discover Collections, Communities and people related to the Topics you’re interested in

Today, there are already hundreds of Topics available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, covering everything from black-and-white photography to hiking and camping. So whether you’ve recently discovered the wonders of woodworking, love gardening, or can’t get enough street photography, there’s a stream of unique and interesting stuff waiting for you on Google+. 

To see the recommended Topics, head to your home stream and look for the “Topics to explore” cards. Topics will be rolling out over the next day or so, so don’t worry if you don’t see any suggestions right away.

Hope you enjoy it!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/GhJu3IAz3zc/

Google Demo Day: shining a light on European founders

Category: Google | Apr 27, 2017

Yesterday, founders from across Europe took to the stage at our King’s Cross office to showcase problem-solving startups at our first-ever London Demo Day. From feedback tools for managers to fertility trackers for women, the diversity of companies and talent demonstrated something we already knew: The European startup scene is thriving and gaining global recognition, with nearly 300 venture-backed businesses going public or getting acquired just last year. But it’s often still hard for entrepreneurs to gain visibility and raise funds to support their growing ventures—which is why we brought Google Demo Day to London this year.

For yesterday’s event, 10 investment-ready startups were chosen from dozens of startups nominated by our Google for Entrepreneurs network of startup community partners and via our Campus spaces, and 100+ others who applied through an open call. The 10 startups each had four minutes to pitch their product, business and team to a room full of the region’s top investors, with hundreds more watching over live stream. Meet our line-up:

  • AsaDuru, from Stockholm, creates self-sufficient green homes in Africa that incorporate solar energy, rainwater harvesting, and wastewater treatment.
  • Connecterra (Amsterdam) combines machine learning with sensor data to increase productivity in the dairy farm industry.
  • Divido (London) lets customers spread the cost of any purchase over a period of time while the merchant gets paid in full right away.
  • Kenzen (Zurich) provides a new way to monitor the health of athletes and medical patients to through real-time analysis of sweat.
  • Kompyte (Barcelona) provides marketers with real-time alerts when competitors make changes to their websites, products, and digital marketing campaigns.
  • Motivii (London) allows managers to better understand their teams’ performance through a feedback and tracking platform.
  • Nordigen (Riga) uses big data to help banks make smarter decisions about credit scores.
  • WOOM (Madrid) helps women maximize the chances of pregnancy with a data-driven digital platform.
  • XapiX (Berlin) makes it easy for developers to discover, combine and consume data from multiple API providers.
  • Zzish (London) provides tools for developers to create, distribute and monetize education apps for teachers and classrooms.

After much deliberation, our audience of investors and European tech leaders crowned Connecterra, the machine learning technology for dairy farmers, as the People’s Choice. Kenzen won the Judges’ Favorite based on the strength of their business model, their team, and their products.

Kenzen endeavors to transform healthcare. We’re thrilled to receive the Google Demo Day Judges’ Favorite award for our Echo Patch platform.

Heidi Lehmann

Chief Commercial Officer, Kenzen

London’s Demo Day builds on our existing support for startups worldwide, beginning with the launch of Google for Entrepreneurs five years ago. In Europe, we support tech founders through our network of partners, our Campus spaces for startups in London, Madrid and Warsaw (our next location set to open in Berlin), accelerator programs like Google Developers Launchpad, and Digital Skills training programs. “London has become one of the world centers for startups; it was the first location for Google Campus. I’m excited by the innovation in the teams Google has uncovered,” said judge Saul Klein from LocalGlobe, who was joined on the judging panel by Fred Destin of EX-ACCEL and Aurore Belfrage from EQT Ventures.

DemoDay_MH1_5976.jpg

Left to Right: Sonia Sousa, CEO and co-founder, and Heidi Lehmann, CCO of Kenzen, took home the Judge’s Favorite award.

Startups who have pitched at previous Google Demo Days in Silicon Valley have raised more than $121 million to fund the growth of their companies, often based on connections made at the event. We hope to catalyze similar opportunities for this event’s featured founders—and many more European entrepreneurs to come.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/SzW45JpM0D8/

Google Demo Day: shining a light on European founders

Category: Google | Apr 27, 2017

Yesterday, founders from across Europe took to the stage at our King’s Cross office to showcase problem-solving startups at our first-ever London Demo Day. From feedback tools for managers to fertility trackers for women, the diversity of companies and talent demonstrated something we already knew: The European startup scene is thriving and gaining global recognition, with nearly 300 venture-backed businesses going public or getting acquired just last year. But it’s often still hard for entrepreneurs to gain visibility and raise funds to support their growing ventures—which is why we brought Google Demo Day to London this year.

For yesterday’s event, 10 investment-ready startups were chosen from dozens of startups nominated by our Google for Entrepreneurs network of startup community partners and via our Campus spaces, and 100+ others who applied through an open call. The 10 startups each had four minutes to pitch their product, business and team to a room full of the region’s top investors, with hundreds more watching over live stream. Meet our line-up:

  • AsaDuru, from Stockholm, creates self-sufficient green homes in Africa that incorporate solar energy, rainwater harvesting, and wastewater treatment.
  • Connecterra (Amsterdam) combines machine learning with sensor data to increase productivity in the dairy farm industry.
  • Divido (London) lets customers spread the cost of any purchase over a period of time while the merchant gets paid in full right away.
  • Kenzen (Zurich) provides a new way to monitor the health of athletes and medical patients to through real-time analysis of sweat.
  • Kompyte (Barcelona) provides marketers with real-time alerts when competitors make changes to their websites, products, and digital marketing campaigns.
  • Motivii (London) allows managers to better understand their teams’ performance through a feedback and tracking platform.
  • Nordigen (Riga) uses big data to help banks make smarter decisions about credit scores.
  • WOOM (Madrid) helps women maximize the chances of pregnancy with a data-driven digital platform.
  • XapiX (Berlin) makes it easy for developers to discover, combine and consume data from multiple API providers.
  • Zzish (London) provides tools for developers to create, distribute and monetize education apps for teachers and classrooms.

After much deliberation, our audience of investors and European tech leaders crowned Connecterra, the machine learning technology for dairy farmers, as the People’s Choice. Kenzen won the Judges’ Favorite based on the strength of their business model, their team, and their products.

Kenzen endeavors to transform healthcare. We’re thrilled to receive the Google Demo Day Judges’ Favorite award for our Echo Patch platform.

Heidi Lehmann

Chief Commercial Officer, Kenzen

London’s Demo Day builds on our existing support for startups worldwide, beginning with the launch of Google for Entrepreneurs five years ago. In Europe, we support tech founders through our network of partners, our Campus spaces for startups in London, Madrid and Warsaw (our next location set to open in Berlin), accelerator programs like Google Developers Launchpad, and Digital Skills training programs. “London has become one of the world centers for startups; it was the first location for Google Campus. I’m excited by the innovation in the teams Google has uncovered,” said judge Saul Klein from LocalGlobe, who was joined on the judging panel by Fred Destin of EX-ACCEL and Aurore Belfrage from EQT Ventures.

DemoDay_MH1_5976.jpg

Left to Right: Sonia Sousa, CEO and co-founder, and Heidi Lehmann, CCO of Kenzen, took home the Judge’s Favorite award.

Startups who have pitched at previous Google Demo Days in Silicon Valley have raised more than $121 million to fund the growth of their companies, often based on connections made at the event. We hope to catalyze similar opportunities for this event’s featured founders—and many more European entrepreneurs to come.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/BJvElxVX6RU/

Gboard for Android gets new languages and tools

Category: Google | Apr 26, 2017

Attention to our friends in India and fast typers everywhere: Gboard’s latest update might be the thing you never knew you were missing. We’ve added 22 Indic languages—with transliteration support—including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu and Gujarati. We’ve also dropped in a new text editing tool that makes it easier to select, copy and paste, plus new options for resizing and repositioning the keyboard so it fits to your hand and texting style. And to top it all off, this Gboard update comes with under-the-hood improvements for better accuracy and predictions while you type.  

New Languages – वाह

The full list of Gboard’s new languages includes: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo (Devanagari, Bengali), Dogri (Devanagari, Arabic), Gujarati, Hindi (Devanagari, Hinglish), Kannada, Kashmiri (Devanagari, Arabic), Konkani (Devanagari, Latin), Maithili (Devanagari), Malayalam, Manipuri (Bengali), Marathi (Devanagari), Nepali (Devanagari), Odia, Punjabi (Gurmukhi, Arabic), Sanskrit (Devanagari), Santali (Ol chiki, Latin), Sindhi (Devanagari, Arabic), Tamil, Telugu, Urdu (Arabic). In addition to the 22 new Indic languages, Gboard added support for Kinyarwanda and Waray. Through Gboard’s internationalization through machine learning, glide typing and suggestions are now available in more than 185 language varieties.

gboard indic

This list has all 11 Indic languages currently supported in the Google Indic Keyboard, plus 11 more languages, such as Urdu and Maithili. In addition to supporting each language’s native scripts, Gboard includes the QWERTY layout for transliteration, which lets you spell words phonetically. For example, type “aapko holi ki hardik shubhkamnay” and get “आपको होली की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें.”

gb

Some of these languages have a small presence on the web, so we worked closely with native speakers across India to collect data to train our advanced machine learning models, so people can start texting in their native script.

Gboard also comes with some features that Google Indic Keyboard doesn’t, including Google Search and Google Translate right in your keyboard (just tap the “G” button to get started). And—as a reminder—Gboard already has a Hinglish language option for those of you who often switch back and forth between Hindi and English. If you’re a current Google Indic Keyboard user, we encourage you to download Gboard and give it a go.

Edit text more easily

Besides new languages, Gboard now comes with a new text editing mode with buttons for easy cursor control and the ability to select text, cut, copy, and paste right from your keyboard. To access this feature, select the Text Editing icon in the quick features menu by pressing on the G button (or arrow) in the suggestion strip. Pro tip: if you’re trying to up your typing speed, you can also move the cursor by sliding your finger back and forth along the spacebar, or delete by swiping to the left from the delete key.

New customization options: resize and reposition your keyboard

Now you can resize the keyboard and move it to a position that feels the most comfortable for you. In the quick features menu (press on arrow or G in the suggestion strip), click “More” (the three-dots icon), and click the one-handed mode button, then you can adjust the size and position of the keyboard.

To get these latest updates and improvements to your Gboard for Android, head to the Google Play Store and make sure you’re running the latest version of the app. That’s all for now, folks!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/r5y9CXLiQo8/

Gboard for Android gets new languages and tools

Category: Google | Apr 26, 2017

Attention to our friends in India and fast typers everywhere: Gboard’s latest update might be the thing you never knew you were missing. We’ve added 22 Indic languages—with transliteration support—including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu and Gujarati. We’ve also dropped in a new text editing tool that makes it easier to select, copy and paste, plus new options for resizing and repositioning the keyboard so it fits to your hand and texting style. And to top it all off, this Gboard update comes with under-the-hood improvements for better accuracy and predictions while you type.  

New Languages – वाह

The full list of Gboard’s new languages includes: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo (Devanagari, Bengali), Dogri (Devanagari, Arabic), Gujarati, Hindi (Devanagari, Hinglish), Kannada, Kashmiri (Devanagari, Arabic), Konkani (Devanagari, Latin), Maithili (Devanagari), Malayalam, Manipuri (Bengali), Marathi (Devanagari), Nepali (Devanagari), Odia, Punjabi (Gurmukhi, Arabic), Sanskrit (Devanagari), Santali (Ol chiki, Latin), Sindhi (Devanagari, Arabic), Tamil, Telugu, Urdu (Arabic). In addition to the 22 new Indic languages, Gboard added support for Kinyarwanda and Waray. Through Gboard’s internationalization through machine learning, glide typing and suggestions are now available in more than 185 language varieties.

gboard indic

This list has all 11 Indic languages currently supported in the Google Indic Keyboard, plus 11 more languages, such as Urdu and Maithili. In addition to supporting each language’s native scripts, Gboard includes the QWERTY layout for transliteration, which lets you spell words phonetically. For example, type “aapko holi ki hardik shubhkamnay” and get “आपको होली की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें.”

gb

Some of these languages have a small presence on the web, so we worked closely with native speakers across India to collect data to train our advanced machine learning models, so people can start texting in their native script.

Gboard also comes with some features that Google Indic Keyboard doesn’t, including Google Search and Google Translate right in your keyboard (just tap the “G” button to get started). And—as a reminder—Gboard already has a Hinglish language option for those of you who often switch back and forth between Hindi and English. If you’re a current Google Indic Keyboard user, we encourage you to download Gboard and give it a go.

Edit text more easily

Besides new languages, Gboard now comes with a new text editing mode with buttons for easy cursor control and the ability to select text, cut, copy, and paste right from your keyboard. To access this feature, select the Text Editing icon in the quick features menu by pressing on the G button (or arrow) in the suggestion strip. Pro tip: if you’re trying to up your typing speed, you can also move the cursor by sliding your finger back and forth along the spacebar, or delete by swiping to the left from the delete key.

New customization options: resize and reposition your keyboard

Now you can resize the keyboard and move it to a position that feels the most comfortable for you. In the quick features menu (press on arrow or G in the suggestion strip), click “More” (the three-dots icon), and click the one-handed mode button, then you can adjust the size and position of the keyboard.

To get these latest updates and improvements to your Gboard for Android, head to the Google Play Store and make sure you’re running the latest version of the app. That’s all for now, folks!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/ZuC9JprNqwo/

Google Classroom outside the classroom

Category: Google | Apr 26, 2017

Technology makes learning possible anytime, anywhere. Learners aren’t always sitting in a classroom, and educators aren’t always lecturing at a chalkboard. That’s why last month we made Google Classroom available to users without G Suite for Education accounts. Now, using a personal Google account, teachers and learners in many different settings can teach or attend classes, manage assignments, and instantly collaborate.

Starting today, users can do more than join classes—they can create them, too. Over the past few weeks, teachers and students have been piloting this new feature, and they’ve already created some great new classes for adult education, hobbies, and after school programs. Below we’ll share some of these classes with you.

Classroom-for-Consumer-Launch_4.18.gif

Teaching virtual adult education classes

On March 27th, educator Tony Vincent tweeted an invitation for a free online class teaching graphic design with Google Drawings. He quickly enrolled 75 enthusiastic educators across the U.S., Australia, Greece, and South Africa. Every week during the six-week class, Vincent would post instructional videos to Classroom. Then students would have a week to post their assignments, so they could get feedback from Vincent and other students. “I didn’t want to just publish a video tutorial and never see the end results. So when I heard that Google Classroom was open for personal accounts, I thought it would be a great place to gather a group of educators to learn, create, and share.”

ClassroomConsumer-Tony-350px.jpg

For Vincent, topics has been a key feature. “For a self-paced class like mine,” he says, “I really like the ability to use topics to label announcements, assignments, and questions. This feature will also be incredibly useful after the class concludes as I’ll be able to navigate the archive of posted work, questions, ideas, and inspiration.”

In addition, Vincent likes how he can use Classroom to email students weekly summaries and reminders, and how he can refer students to previous posts, because every announcement, assignment, and question in Google Classroom has its own link. “I’m having a blast teaching in Google Classroom,” he says. “I’m seeing enlightening interactions and generous sharing from the educators who make up the class. I truly look forward to checking in on my class several times a day.”

Running after school programs

Linda Scarth, an elementary school STEM teacher, used Classroom in a Girl Scouts robotics club for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Dubbed the “Turtle Scouts,” the group meets in person once a week. Scarth was inspired to use Classroom when her group found it hard to share ideas and YouTube videos over email. “We needed a better way to share and access resources and to comment and share ideas based on them. And with Classroom, the girls are able to share videos, build ideas, and work collaboratively.” she said. “It really helps facilitate the work we are doing at our meetings and between them too!”

Managing school groups

Brazilian student Khin Baptista and his classmates at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) created a school club called GameDev Society UFRGS that hosts weekly discussions on topics such as design, art, and programming.

Baptista found Classroom when he was looking for an online tool to manage his growing group. “We have limited space available for our group meetings, but we have many more people interested in our activities. Google Classroom allows us to enroll participants who can easily access all the same resources we use in our meetings and get in touch with us and other group members,” he says.

The group is now using Classroom to inform members about upcoming lectures, share resources, and manage weekly tasks and assignments. They use the comments section of posts to help members with any questions they may have. After using Classroom for just a few weeks, Baptista says, “Its usability is amazing and we like how well integrated the web and mobile versions are. It’s already very promising and seems like a perfect fit for us.”

Whether you’re an adult educator like Tony Vincent, a group leader like Khin Baptista, a teacher like Linda Scarth who’s using Classroom for extracurricular activities — or you’re using Classroom in other creative ways, we’d love to hear your stories. You can submit them through this Google Form. And, as always, if you have further questions, check out our FAQ to learn more about these changes.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/z06zeWR1WP8/

Fraikin’s road warriors work anywhere with Chrome devices

Category: Google | Apr 26, 2017

Editor’s note: Today’s blog post comes from Franck Lerivrain, Development Manager at Fraikin, one of Europe’s largest commercial vehicle rental and fleet management companies. Fraikin uses Chromebooks, Chromebits and G Suite to enable mobile employee productivity and to reduce IT maintenance efforts.

Every day, Fraikin’s 57,000 trucks travel thousands of miles across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, delivering everything from fresh produce to hospital supplies and newspapers. In France, where we operate 135 branch offices, we want our office employees to be as mobile as our drivers and trucks. They can do their best work when they can go on the road to meet with customers, maintain trucks, and travel between our truck rental locations. Now that we’re building workstations based on Chromebooks and Chromebits, we can give workers access to the applications they need, inside and outside the office.

Before we began using G Suite and Chrome devices, employees used 1,500 PCs in our offices throughout France. The computers ran local versions of the software that employees needed to do their jobs, such as vehicle booking management tools, accounting solutions, and customer databases. Our IT team spent many hours updating and troubleshooting the machines, often traveling to branch offices to keep the PCs up and running.

We can give workers access to the applications they need, inside and outside the office.

Accessing legacy enterprise applications was difficult for employees. They could only use the applications on their own workstations, not on laptops or phones. We have 400 sales reps in France, and they’re usually traveling to meet customers at their own offices. The sales reps couldn’t log into our databases to update customer records until they arrived back at branch offices, nor could they look up information to answer questions from customers.

Chrome OS.png

We needed to swap out the PC workstations for tools that were more flexible, and didn’t demand as much attention from our IT team. These goals were part of our virtual device infrastructure (VDI) initiative, which we hoped would modernize our branch-office technology and allow employees to work even when not at their desks. We’re replacing all 1,500 PCs with Chromebits that plug in to monitors, as well as Chromebooks for employees who need laptops.

As we roll out Chromebooks and Chromebits to French branch offices, we’ll make it easy for employees to find the applications they need, like Google Docs and Google Drive, through the Chrome browser. We’re using Syspertec’s Virtel Web Access, installed on our mainframe computer system, to allow employees to access our legacy applications through Virtel’s thin client emulator. Virtel Web Access replaced software previously installed on each computer to connect people to applications hosted on the mainframe system. Now, anywhere there’s a Chrome browser – on Chromebooks, connected Chromebits, or Android phones – employees can find G Suite and other enterprise applications and start working.

We expect that the cost of purchasing and maintaining Chromebooks and Chromebits will be only a fifth of the cost of the old PC workstations. Much of the savings will come from reduced maintenance. In addition, we’ll save on the cost of the old software we needed to connect to the mainframe. My IT staff won’t need to travel to branch offices as often, since we can update software from our home office. Employees can simply log in through Chrome and access the latest software, without any action on their end. G Suite is updated automatically, so that’s another maintenance task we can cross off our list.

Our sales teams may benefit the most from flexible hardware and software. They now use Android phones, so if they’re at a customer site and need to look up rental pricing or truck specs, they can find it in just a few taps instead of driving back to the office. Our employees’ new mobility is the right match for a company that’s all about staying on the road and keeping business moving.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/H_PbACHB7xM/

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