G Suite is one of the most popular and powerful business tools on the market today. But success with this platform is reliant on your ability to navigate the G Suite Admin Console.
For beginners and experienced administrators alike, this in-depth guide will explain everything you need to know about the G Suite Admin Console.
What is G Suite Admin Console Anyway?
Google Workspace, formerly known as a G Suite, is a set of cloud-based apps and services designed for business use. G Suite gives you access to the enterprise-grade version of apps like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Sheets, Slides, Chat, and more. The business versions of these tools come with additional features to improve the way organizations collaborate.
For example, the business version of Gmail gives you a custom email address ending with your organization’s name instead of the standard Gmail address (email@example.com vs. firstname.lastname@example.org). Drive comes with extra storage. Calendar allows you to create different calendars for a variety of purposes. The list goes on and on.
The G Suite Admin Console lets you set up email accounts for everyone on your team, granting them access to your apps for collaboration.
You’ll have complete control over adding new users, managing groups, migrating data, and managing security from your G Suite Admin Console.
This allows you to manage every aspect of your Google Workspace deployment from a centralized admin dashboard.
How G Suite Admin Console Works
G Suite is more than just upgraded business apps compared to the free version of Google’s tools. The admin console gives administrators the ability to manage users and oversee how they use Google Workspace services from the cloud.
This process can be as easy as adding new users, activating their accounts, and letting them use your G Suite services. But the G Suite Admin Console gives you much more control over your users, organizational data, and security.
To get the most out of Google Workspace and ensure your data is safe, I strongly recommend you take advantage of everything that the G Suite Admin Console has to offer. This will help you establish and implement data loss prevention strategies for G Suite.
Let’s take a closer look at the different components of the console below:
Types of G Suite Admin Roles
G Suite comes with pre-built roles for different admin types. Each one has unique permissions, functions, and capabilities.
- Super Admin — Super admins have complete access to all of the features within the Google Workspace admin console and Admin API. They can control every detail of the company’s account and even have access to each individual user’s calendar. Every organization should have at least two super admins in case one person is locked out of their account or forgets their password.
- Groups Admin — These roles are ideal for managing different project teams and controlling collaboration within a group. You can manage the members within a group and control access to group settings. This role is designed for managing changes at the team level.
- User Management Admin — User management administrators can create users, delete users, change user security settings, and edit user passwords. This role is common for people in a company who need to onboard and offboard employees, like HR staff.
Be careful of who you assign to different admin roles, as you’re granting them access to sensitive parts of your Google Workspace account.
You can manage the entire user lifecycle from onboarding to offboarding in the user directory on the admin console. This is the place where you can view and manage every person associated with your Workspace account.
You can also assign each person with unique characteristics like their title and department within your organization. As an admin, you’ll be able to track and monitor important information for your users and control settings like:
- Group memberships
- Admin roles
- Security settings
- Storage usage and monitoring
- Contact information
- Tools enabled
- Google+ profiles associated with the account
- Email routing
After you’ve added users to your account, you can create groups for different teams. Groups allow administrators to manage access to different parts of the Workspace deployment at the team level.
For example, rather than controlling access to certain documents, sites, or calendars at the individual user level, you can simply enable or deny access to an entire group.
By default, every user and device in your G Suite Admin Console is placed into one organizational unit.
But administrators have the ability to create sub-units below the top-level organization. Then you can move a user or device into new organizational units. Each user and device within an organizational unit has the same settings as the rest of the unit.
For example, let’s say you want to disable specific applications for certain users. You can put those people into an organizational unit and apply those custom settings here.
This feature is most commonly utilized by larger companies that want different settings applied to specific users and devices.
The billing section of your admin console is very straightforward. It’s where you can manage subscriptions, view charges, and upgrade your account.
Depending on the needs of your company, you may need to add storage or additional features as your organization scales. Here’s a basic overview of the different Google Workspace packages:
Every package comes with the business versions of Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Chat, Currents, Jamboard, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, and Forms.
Security and Device Management
Admins have complete control over the security settings for the organization’s account. G Suite comes standard with everything you need to secure your data and users. You’ll find settings like:
- Password monitoring
- Single sign-on (SSO)
- Basic settings
- Advanced settings
- API reference
From the admin console, you can control all of the devices owned by your organization. If you don’t recognize a device that’s accessing your account, you can just remove the user who logged in from an unknown device. This is a great way to beef up the security of your G Suite account and apply data loss prevention best practices.
The reports give admins the ability to track all of the usage associated with your G Suite account. You can look at user activity, service usage, apps usage, storage, security, and more.
You can quickly access this type of information by selecting Highlights in the reports menu. Alternatively, you can run specific reports for selected devices, users, or Google services. This is a great way to be proactive and run security audits to see how people are using your G Suite account.
Keep an eye out for abnormal behavior and usage. For example, huge spikes in data storage or frequent logging in and logging out from the same account can both be signs of suspicious activity.
Example #1: Group Management For Team Drives
Most G Suite administrators sync Team Drives to their groups. This makes things easy when it comes to managing document access, onboarding new employees, and offboarding team members when they leave an organization.
Files in Team Drives give everyone in a team access, as opposed to individuals.
Let’s say you create a new folder in your Team Drive for a group in your organization. To share that folder with your group, you just need to invite that group’s name to the folder settings. This is much easier than granting access to each person within that group, which you’d be forced to do with a free version of Google Drive.
If someone in that group leaves the company, you can simply revoke their access to the group. You won’t have to reset permissions, transfer file ownership, or anything else like that.
Example #2: Collaborating With People Outside Your Company
Another great part of the G Suite Admin Console is its ability to accommodate cross-organizational collaboration. You can work with contractors, consultants, and other companies without worrying about compromising your data or security.
One of the easiest ways to do this is with an organizational unit. Organizational units allow you to mix and match different domains to work with Google accounts that don’t share your company domain.
Let’s say you’re working with an SEO agency. You can onboard the SEO team and put them all into a unique organizational unit. From here, you can apply unique settings to the unit and have full control over what apps they can access and what types of user permissions they have.
How to Get Started With Your First G Suite Admin Console
Now that you understand the core concepts and capabilities of the G Suite Admin Console, it’s time for you to set up your own.
The tactical steps described below will help anyone, even complete beginners, have success with a new G Suite deployment. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Set Up Your G Suite Account
If you haven’t done so already, the first thing you need to do is sign up for Google Workspace. Here you’ll need to provide some basic information about you and your business, including:
- Business name
- Number of employees
- Your first and last name
- Your existing email address
- Contact phone number
- Business information (address and phone number)
- Sign in credentials (username and password)
You’ll also need to verify your business domain. If you don’t have one already, you can get one directly through Google Domains. This registrar has .com domains starting at $12 per year.
To finalize the account setup, you’ll just need to select a Google Workspace plan and enter your billing details.
Step 2: Add New Users to the Account
G Suite is meant for collaboration. So you won’t be able to do much or take advantage of its features until you start to onboard other people.
Here’s a simple overview of the process required to add new users to G Suite:
- Select the Users icon from your admin dashboard
- Click the “+” option that appears
- Enter the user’s first name and last name
- Create a password for the user
- Click Add New User
This process may sound a bit tedious, but G Suite makes it easy for admins. For example, you won’t have to manually create a new password for each person. You can just let G Suite automatically generate passwords for every user that you onboard.
Step 3: Create Groups For New Users
Once new users have been added to your account, you’ll want to segment them into groups. This makes it easier for you to manage the security of your G Suite account and restrict access and permissions for your team.
- Select Groups from the admin dashboard and click the “+” icon
- Name your group (Sales, marketing, HR, support, etc.)
- Generate an email address for the group (example: email@example.com)
- Choose an access level for the group
- Click Create
Once the group has been created, just navigate back to the users page and add your team members to the appropriate group.
Larger companies can take this one step further by creating organizational units as well. This is ideal if you’re working with people outside of your company and want an easier way to manage their settings.
Step 4: Migrate Your Data
If you’re starting a new company or organization from scratch, this step may not apply to you. But if you have an existing business and you’re switching to G Suite, you’ll want to make sure that your organizational data comes with you.
Having everything in G Suite will make things easier and more efficient for both you and your team members alike. You can migrate things like email, calendar, contacts, permissions, files, folders, and more into Google Workspace.
Review the in-depth tutorials directly from Google on how to migrate data based on its location.
G Suite supports migrations from Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, other Google Workspace accounts, webmail accounts, enterprise servers, collaboration products, file systems, and more.
So whether your data is in Box, Microsoft Sharepoint, Bluehost, Zoho, Yahoo, GoDaddy, AOL, or somewhere else, there’s a good chance you can bring it into your new G Suite account with ease.