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Samsung Chromebook Pro brings security and versatility to businesses

Samsung Chromebook Pro brings security and versatility to businesses

With an increase in customers adopting Chrome OS in their organization, the availability of Samsung’s Chromebook Pro in the U.S. market this week adds a new enterprise grade device. This premium Chromebook combines the simplicity and security of Chrome OS with flexibility and performance to be productive wherever work happens—in the office, in the field or on the go.

Samsung Chromebook Pro with pen

Versatile as a laptop or a tablet

With an Intel Core m3 processor, the performance of the Samsung Chromebook Pro enhances productivity allowing employees to run multiple applications at the same time across G Suite, Chrome, the Google Play store (in beta) or virtualization solutions from our recent announcements with VMware and Citrix.

The 360-degree folding touchscreen converts the Chromebook to a tablet experience. The built-in pen is designed for a natural drawing and writing experience enabling employees to remain productive no matter where they are. They can take notes with Google Keep or Squid, and sign digital documents with apps like DocuSign.

You can also work offline with the Samsung Chromebook Pro to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations, view PDFs and other locally stored files, and even reply to emails, which are then sent automatically when the device connects to Wi-Fi again.

Security and easy device management at the core

Like all Chromebooks, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is built with security in mind, from the time employees bootup and until they shut down.

That means the Chromebook includes a tamper-proof Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and also Verified Boot feature, which helps ensure the device is running uncompromised software. Chrome OS also runs each browser tab and application in a sandboxed state to avoid malicious modification of the system software or other applications. User data is encrypted as well, helping to protect both your employee’s information as well as your company’s data. And automatic updates every six weeks help maintain the security of Chrome OS.

IT admins can easily deploy and manage this new Chromebook from a centralized management console with more than 200 device policies. That means providing employees with the apps and services they need to get work done, and even pre-configuring network connections for them.

The Samsung Chromebook Pro is available now in the U.S. for $549, with additional launch regions expected later. Learn more about the Samsung Chromebook Pro here and see how it can safely enable your business in a variety of uses or buy now through the Shop Chrome store.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome enterprise, Connected Workspaces

How automatic Chrome OS updates bolster security with ease and simplicity

IT admins have a challenging role, charged with securing corporate assets while providing employees with tools that are fast, intuitive and accessible from anywhere. Chrome OS is designed and built with security at its core, from Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chips on all hardware, sandboxing of software, and Chrome browser security, endpoints across your organization are secure from boot to shutdown.

The multiple security layers of Chrome OS work together as part of a cohesive security approach, including automatic updates to provide protection on a recurring basis without disrupting your work. Today we’re sharing a closer look at how automatic Chrome OS software updates maintain ongoing security of the platform and devices.

Unlike most other computing platforms, Chrome OS devices always have two images of the system software on separate partitions. This approach serves two purposes. First, there’s no disruption to your work because you can keep working while the backup version is updated. Second, the next time the Chrome OS device boots, which typically takes just 6 to 10 seconds, it runs from the recently updated partition. Essentially, Chrome OS swaps between the two images. That means there’s no waiting for the updates to be applied: You can be up and running in just seconds with new software.

This not only keeps you working, but it can also reduce IT admin support costs. Instead of admins and tech support resources trying to schedule or manually push out software updates to a large number of machines, quick automatic updates happen without disruption.

Major version updates for Chrome OS are available every six weeks on average, though minor improvements are are sometimes available sooner. And important security patches can be pushed in 24 to 48 hours if required. These updates happen automatically in the background and are applied seamlessly to the backup partition. Additionally, all software updates are provided and pushed directly from Google, so there’s no third-party intermediary involved, further helping to speed the delivery of Chrome OS updates.

Chrome OS automatic updates are one of several security layers that protect your devices and data. The updates work hand in hand with the Chrome OS Verified Boot feature to ensure that the system software hasn’t been compromised; if Verified Boot detects software tampering, it forces a reboot into the backup partition of the system software.

To learn more about the benefits of automatic updates and Chrome OS security features, register and join us on June 7 for a Chrome OS Security webinar.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome enterprise, Connected Workspaces
Chrome OS joins forces with VMware to accelerate the adoption of Chromebooks in the enterprise

Chrome OS joins forces with VMware to accelerate the adoption of Chromebooks in the enterprise

From using Windows to web to mobile apps, our Chrome OS enterprise customers will now benefit from an extended partnership with VMware, which we announced today at Dell EMC World. The collaboration includes integration with VMware Workspace ONE, allowing customers to easily and securely deploy applications on Chrome OS devices.

Workspace ONE adds to the existing security of Chrome devices, which are designed with security in mind from boot up to shut down. Multiple layers of protection are built in to every Chromebook, ranging from encrypted data and platform storage, a Verified Boot process, sandboxing of all applications and security modules such as TPM chips. With the combined forces of Workspace ONE and Chrome OS, that security extends to virtualized applications to run your business.

Dell Chromebook VMware Workspace ONE

Workers gain access to more work applications through VMware Horizon desktop virtualization along with an added bonus: one click authentication and application management. Workspace ONE on Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices simplifies the secure login process with SSO, or single sign on. Employees can then access the applications they need to get work done through a managed software catalog.

Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware says “We believe the combination of VMware Workspace ONE and Chrome OS will provide increased security and accessibility to applications for customers using the platform. This is just the first step in our collaboration on this platform with more to come.”

IDC estimates that by 2018, 25% of Fortune 500 companies will have IT-supported Chromebooks deployed in their organization thanks to the speed, simplicity and shareability of secure Chromebooks. Find out why and learn more about how Chrome device security combined with simple to manage devices and the new Workspace ONE solution can empower your workforce today.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome enterprise, Connected Workspaces
Fraikin’s road warriors work anywhere with Chrome devices

Fraikin’s road warriors work anywhere with Chrome devices

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.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome enterprise, Connected Workspaces
Système U connects supermarket workers with Chrome and G Suite

Système U connects supermarket workers with Chrome and G Suite

Editor’s note: Today’s blog post comes from Philippe Bonnet, G Suite Advisor and Senior Consultant at Système U, a cooperative organization of 1,500 independent supermarkets across France. Système U began as a bread cooperative founded in Western France in 1894, before its creation in 1983. The company adopted Google Chrome browser and G Suite in  2013 to save time for each cooperative team and to allow supermarket employees to work together more efficiently.

Most of Système U’s 60,000 employees interact with customers throughout the work day. In Paris, they roam store aisles helping customers find the groceries they need. In Clermont l’Herault in the South, they may be unloading deliveries. Or in Mulhouse in the East, they might be designing and setting up store displays. What they have in common is that they usually don’t sit in front of a computer all day, nor are they IT experts. Any communication and collaboration tools need to fit the way they serve customers—which is why we chose Chrome browser and G Suite.

Systeme U Chromebook G Suite usage

Before we switched to Chrome and G Suite, employees in our 1,500 stores—from large hypermarkets in big cities to small stores in rural areas—used many different email and productivity tools and web browsers. This was also true for employees like me at our corporate headquarters in Rungis, near Paris or at our IT headquarters in Carquefou, near Nantes. Some of us used Outlook for email, some used GroupWise. Management employees couldn’t easily access their email when they traveled out of the office, so they couldn’t keep their projects operating smoothly from the road.

Most employees used Internet Explorer for web access, but not necessarily the same versions. Both office and store employees use web-based applications for the retail industry. Every time a new version of IE was released, the IT team had to spend many hours making sure the apps were compatible with the updated browsers across all versions. IE’s roadmap also wasn’t very clear to our developers; we didn’t know when updates would occur, and optimizing apps to work with IE was time-consuming and expensive.

In 2013, we began our move to the cloud, and specifically Gmail and Chrome. We wanted to be in the cloud where we wouldn’t have to worry about adding servers to manage email, and employees could access their messages from anywhere,  whether walking through stores or commuting to work. We made Chrome our official browser company-wide, and it’s the only browser we now support, which makes our IT team’s job much easier. It’s a much more transparent and flexible browser—we can choose when and how we receive updates and security fixes, so we know what’s coming and when.

Système U IT

We also made the decision to build the apps used by our employees so that they are compatible with Chrome, even as the browser is updated. This is another way we help both employees and IT staff save time, since users don’t need to worry if their everyday apps will work with the browser.

Now that my technical colleagues and I spend less time trying to make apps function with a browser, we have more time for long-term projects, such as rolling out other G Suite products such as Google Drive, Google Slides, and G+. We just wrapped up a pilot project in nine stores with Google Drive, and employees are very enthusiastic about keeping documents in a central place where their co-workers can share them to keep projects moving along at a steady pace. Our 2017 plan is to deploy Google Drive company-wide.

Système U employees work hard enough without asking them to troubleshoot email or app problems. Any collaboration and email tools we provide to them need to be easy to use right away, without extensive training or ramp-up time. Employees don’t need to be tied to their computers, and they can spend more time doing what they do best—meeting and helping customers face to face in the supermarket aisles.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome enterprise, Connected Workspaces, G Suite, Google Cloud