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‘Grab and Go’ Simplifies Google Device Management for Businesses

Google wants to offer IT Pros an option for quickly getting users back online and working in the event of a hardware device failure: ‘Grab and Go” might sound like a fast food bar but it is a way to implement a device loaner library. Also this week: Azure File Sync and Remote Desktop Web Client from Microsoft both reach general availability. Google opens a beta program for Course Kit to help educators manage their classroom curriculum and associated activity.

Google has a plan to help companies keep their employees productive in the event of a hardware failure. The ‘Grab and Go’ Google device management program is a set of tools that can be a turnkey solution for implementing a loaner library of Google Chromebooks for your organization.

We have all been there when a device has died at work right in the middle of an important project or other work. It stops you in your tracks as you call IT for support and file a trouble ticket to begin the troubleshooting, repair or replacement process. Depending on your organization, this can set you back hours, days or weeks while you wait for the hardware issue to be resolved.

Now imagine that in each building or department, there is a rack of charged, provisioned and ready to go Chromebooks running Chrome Enterprise. When an employee hits a hardware issue that grinds their work to a stop, they just head to this rack of devices where they grab one and go back to their desk with it. Once they start the device up and log in with their credentials an automatic system assigns that device to the user for IT tracking purposes.

This Google device management process works because everything is in the cloud when your organization is using Chromebooks. That means once the end user has logged into the device, all their content is right there.

This includes items like:

  • Bookmarks
  • Passwords
  • Extensions
  • Browsing History
  • Personal Settings

Once the employee’s own device is up and operational, the loaner Chromebook is returned to the rack and ready for the next user. No need to reset the device each time because all user profiles are encrypted to protect that data.

The Google device management kit has everything you need to get up and running with a system that has been tried and tested by Google themselves. They have deployed ‘Grab and Go’ to offices around the world with 30,000 unique users and more than 100,000 loans in the last 12 months.

Google also mentions that this program is a great way to provide frontline workers, shift workers and remote workers with devices. See the companies white paper (PDF, 12 pages, 1.43MB) on the process which contains links to all the base tools to start your own ‘Grab and Go’ service using the Google device management program.


--  According to the 2018 Voice-Activated Technology Business Guide from Globant, only about half (55%) of senior employees in a company feel prepared to implement voice-activated technologies to improve their organization’s internal operations. The finding shows there is a significant gap between how people are using voice-activated tech in their personal computing environments compared to their working environments.

-- Azure File Sync has reached general availability this week. This service helps IT Pros to replicate files that are stored locally on-premises to an Azure file share. This tool is perfect for companies who might be in the process of migrating from on-premises to either a hybrid or full cloud-based solution. The tool allows for flexibility as that migration is happening, but it also provides disaster recovery options with geo-redundant storage (GRS) in case you have a loss of on-premises data.

-- Course Kit is a tool for G Suite educational users that is just being released as a beta test. Course Kit integrates with the suite’s Learning Management System (LMS) and allows teachers to collect assignments, provide feedback to students and distribute course materials. There are grading tools and private communications options so the teacher can give students personal feedback on their work. Access to the beta can be requested by IT administrators and once approved they will be able to install the Course Kit. Tools that make your end users more productive should result in more efficiencies for the IT department as well.

-- Microsoft has made their new Remote Desktop web client generally available to system administrators and IT Pros using Windows Server 2016 and the Windows Server 2019 Preview release.  This is the second web-based server management tool that Microsoft has released for their server operating systems after the release of the Windows Admin Center back in April. Both tools allow remote access using modern web browsers. While not a full replacement for their software based options, they can give admins quick access from any device with one of those compatible browsers installed.

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