Google changes to Google Groups for Business announced

Google has released a new version of Google Groups for Business with a new interface and new features. Following is information about the rollout and steps to take for your users. Please note that this rollout will take a number of days to complete.

How will the changes affect my Google Apps users?

  1. Rapid Release customers: Beginning on June 26, Google Apps users’ default interface changes to the new Google Groups for Business. Users can switch back to the old Google Groups for Business.
  2. Scheduled Release customers: Beginning on June 26, Google Apps users can try out or switch to the new Google Groups for Business, but there is no change to the user’s default interface.

What’s new in Google Groups for Business?

New and better ways to use Google Groups for Business! The new Google Groups for Business will have a new look and more features:

  1. Better searching. Google Groups for Business now supports search operators similar to Gmail’s, such as from:me. You can search for topics by tag and save your search queries.
  2. Customizable roles. Group owners can assign members different levels of authorization to perform most group tasks. A group can contain multipleroles (for example, Owner, Manager, Member, and so on). Each user’s permissions depend on which role they have been assigned in the group.

When you create a group, you can select a group type to fit your needs:

  1.  Email List.  To communicate with a group of people using a single email address.
  2.  Web forum. An online community where members freely share information. Members can add references to posts and managers can move topics to the top of the forum.
  3.  Q&A forum. A structured forum where users can ask questions and members can provide responses.
  4.  Collaborative inbox. For members who need to work together to respond to posts or emails. A collaborative inbox gives users access to features like tagging topics, assigning topics, and marking duplicates.

What do I need to do now?

  1. See what’s new:  We encourage you to learn more about the new Google Groups for Business to become familiar with upcoming changes. See the What’s New site for more information.
  2. Tell your users: On the New Google Groups for Business page of the What’s New site, you’ll find email templates, videos, and slide decks to help communicate the upcoming changes with your users.
  3. Educate your users: Encourage users to check out the Google Apps Learning Center where they’ll find quick start guides and other resources for learning to use the new Google Groups for Business features.