Formerly known as G Suite and Google Apps,is a core suite of 15 productivity, collaboration, and communications apps. It includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and many others, all of which are accessed through a Google-login.
Companies typically opt for Google Workspace because the apps are easy to learn and use, well-integrated with all other apps, and can be administered centrally. What’s more, users are able to collaborate and communicate on projects in real-time without needing to download any software since all apps are cloud-based.
Google Admin Console
Everything that is essentially connected to Google Workspace - apps, users, resources, and devices - can be managed from the Google Admin Console.
IT administrators can, for example, use the Google Admin Console to:
create, edit, or delete users, groups, organizational units (OUs)
monitor and get alerts of Google Workspace activities
configure and push out apps and extensions
set up security rules and policies … and much more
Although the Google Admin Console can be incredibly powerful, there are some tasks that can be somewhat tedious, repetitive, or simply not possible to carry out.
Google Apps Manager (GAM)
“Imagine how long it’d take if you had to manually change the password of 500+ Google Workspace users, or if you had to check how many Google Workspace licenses are currently being used/unused?”
— With GAM, you can do this in a matter of seconds.
GAM is a command-line tool that must be installed on a PC, Linux, or Mac. Once the Google Admin(s) has authorized and granted API permission, it will be able to carry out a series of commands in the Google Admin Console and essentially in Google Workspace.
The Google hierarchy
This graph helps understand the “Google hierarchy”. GAM - being at the top level - can automate processes in both the Google Admin Console and Google Workspace, whereas the Google Admin Console can only carry out actions in Google Workspace.
When should you use automation in Google Workspace?
Automation requires technical know-how to set up, execute, and maintain. If done incorrectly it could be detrimental, but if done correctly it can be rewarding, offering better efficiency, accuracy, and productivity.
Like any given technology, there’s a time and place for it to be used. It usually depends on an internal “cost-benefit” analysis. That is, where you measure how much time and resources it will “cost” you to set up, execute, and maintain versus its rewards in terms of efficiency, accuracy, and productivity.
“The bigger the project, the bigger the impact.”
— Henrik Olsen, Cloud Architect, AppsPeople
The 3 principles of automation
1. Bulk operations - “One command for all”
Is it time to reset the passwords of all Google Workspace users? Will users need to be added or migrated to a new domain? Do some or all users need an enterprise license? Do you need to do a bulk cleanup of former staff?
Basically, anything that requires an identical command (or “operation”) for a larger set of users, groups, devices, etc. will always be a good fit for automation. Our advice for you is to identify the tasks that can be grouped into bulk updates, deletions, or changes.
2. Scheduling - “Set it, and forget it”
Do you need to remember to add all suspended users into a specific OrgUnit every quarter, reset user passwords every 6 month, or backup client data every week?
Tasks that are repeatedly performed on a specific time, day, week, month, or year and are critical to your organization can be scheduled on a “set and forget” basis. That way you won’t miss out on any tasks that are important to your organization, its users, security, and more.
3. Triggers - “If This, Then That” conditions
What would you say if you had an assistant that is prepared to work for you 24/7?
Meet “trigger”. All you need to do is to provide it with a clear set of instructions of what work you want it to do when a certain condition is met. Let’s say every time a new project is created in Shared Drive you’d want it to create certain folders, material, and templates automatically. So, you set up a “trigger” that runs whenever a new project is created.
Another example could be that you’d want to auto-share whenever a new document is created in Shared Drives with certain people e.g. CEO, CTO, CFO, etc.
In essence, you’d need to define what triggers and automation you’d want to execute in Google Workspace.
Want to learn more about GAM and how to use it in your daily work? Download our free ebook here: