Last week Backupify hosted a webinar “Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Google Apps Setup and Security Success” where we sat down with two “wizards” of Google Apps, Fintan Murphy of Damson Cloud and Karl Rivers of ClassThink, and asked them to discuss some key considerations for companies to seriously mull over as they migrate to Google Apps. The Google Apps migration advice was helpful for those about to migrate and in need of a few good tips before making the transition and those relatively new to Google and in search of some expert advice on data setup and security. No matter how new your company may be to Google Apps, below are six important considerations for companies going Google.

1. You need a change management strategy

Adopting new technology doesn’t come easy. Our human nature resists change and when it comes to the way we work and our productivity, even the smallest update to an application we use can bring on panic mode. In order for a company to be successful with Google Apps, there needs to be a change management strategy in place. During our webinar, Fintan Murphy addressed Google’s change management methodology - something to seriously consider if you want to smoothly roll out Google Apps.

2. Consider partnering up

If you’re moving lots of users over to Google Apps within your company then you may want to think about investing in a Google Apps deployment partner. There are companies (like Damson Cloud for example) that know all the intricacies of Google’s technology and can ensure an easy implementation.

3. Use the right Google tools to sync accounts in a snap

In addition to customer support, documentation, and other resources for migrating over, Google has tools that can make account synchronization easy. Both free, Google provides Google Apps Directory Sync (GADS) to sync accounts and Google Apps Password Sync (GAPS) to sync passwords.

4. Customize your Google Apps account

To make the transition more seamless, there are numerous ways to customize your company’s Google Apps account. Taking advantage of the Google Apps Marketplace with hundreds of applications that plug in directly to Google Apps is one way to make the Google Apps experience unique and personalized to fit the needs of your business.

5. Enable two-step verification

If security is a top priority at your company (and it should be) then think about implementing two-step verification for your new Google Apps account. In our BYOD world, the more secure your cloud applications, the better.

6. Back up the data stored in Google Apps

“My data is stored in Google Apps so it’s backed up, right?” Um, not really. Sure Google will protect your data from common disaster scenarios (ex. a fire) but what if Bob in accounting mistakenly deleted a few Google Docs thinking he was simply clearing out a folder and then you REALLY need those Docs two months later only to discover they’re permanently deleted? If your company is planning to store important data in Google Apps, plan to implement a cloud-to-cloud backup solution.

Did you recently make the transition to Google Apps? What did you learn along the way?