What is our primary use case?
One of my main use cases for Google Vault is helping customers to export data from Gmail, whether they want to move the data from one Gmail account to another, or for other reasons. Another common use case is for searching for information within Gmail and other products in Google Workspace.
We often get users who are facing some kind of challenge like not having enough storage space to backup their Workspace data, and this situation might be better solved by using Google Vault. Thus, we come in and ask the customer if they would like us to upgrade their plan and enable Google Vault to help record and back up their data, and if they agree then we help them to get it working.
We are a reseller of Google products and we have 1000+ customers who use Google Workspace. Out of these customers, over 500 are now using Google Vault as well.
How has it helped my organization?
For our customers who have large companies or organizations with many employees, one of the biggest benefits of Google Vault is having a solution that helps them monitor and keep track of all their emails and user data in the cloud.
What is most valuable?
In my opinion, the search functionality is the best feature. With Google Vault, we can quickly search for any email within Gmail accounts. And then we can get further information, such as if you want the full header or want to know any extra details about the emails.
It's also user-friendly and I always have a great experience using it because it helps you to more easily search for data across different labels in Google Workspace. In addition, it's a great help when it comes to exporting data from Google.
I have tried to use as many features as I can, and all of them are very useful and I don't think there are any disadvantages in terms of features other than what I think about the export options.
What needs improvement?
Although it does a good job of searching through data and exporting it, I feel that Google Vault should have more export options available to the user. As a reseller, our customers demand a lot from their Google products, and exporting is one area where there's a lot of improvement needed.
For example, in some cases our customers want to export their Gmail data so that they can transfer it to a new Gmail account. Unfortunately, Google doesn't offer this kind of option, so there's no way to do this migration directly. Instead, the user has to download their exported data from Gmail in PST format and then use a third-party tool like GAMME which is able to move the PST data to another Gmail account. In an ideal world, this step shouldn't be required, and the data should be able to be directly uploaded. There should be no extra migration steps or setup needed for this process, in my view.
As for the interface, I suppose there is room for improvement here as well. To be clear, the interface is very basic and easy to use, but the dashboard could show more information to make it more usable. As an example of what I would like to see for the admin user, it could show how many exports have been done in a certain time frame and which admins have performed searches or other actions in Google Vault. So all the things an admin would want to know quickly should be right there on the dashboard. I think this would make using Google Vault much more convenient.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Google Vault for at least five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
How are customer service and technical support?
We try to resolve any customer issues on our own. If we come across any special challenges, we contact the Google Vault team. In a recent project a few months back, there was an issue exporting the data because the file was in waiting status. So the exported data was different from the data which was available in the account, and we had to contact Google Vault's support team to remedy this, and they helped us out personally.
In terms of responsiveness, they are quick to reply but there's always the issue of different time zones to contend with. Sometimes they'll take a bit longer than usual to get back to us, but I understand that this is typically due to non-availability of their agents for valid reasons such as holidays, etc. Otherwise, they are very responsive.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I've been using Google's G Suite (now called Google Workspace) from the beginning, and as resellers we provide only Google support and deployment to our customers. So I have not used any other tool or solution in this type of work.
How was the initial setup?
The overall setup is not complex, which is important. When it comes to migrating companies onto Google, there are, however, many other migrations that go along with it with regard to Google Workspace, and Google Vault is only a small part of the migration.
What about the implementation team?
We have a team for deployment but this team is activated per project, as the project comes in. The initial implementation is done by either one or two people. So, I do this individually or I do this with the help of others. It depends upon the size of the project and the amount of users involved, but most of the time the implementation of Google Vault only requires one or two people.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Last year, the price was randomly increased and our customers were really facing a challenge around this. Google launched new pricing under different plans, where formerly there were only three plans, and now there are four, each with their own separate usage allowances. I think it's good, though. The basic plan is now the Business Starter plan, and many customers find this plan very convenient and minimal in price. Overall, the pricing for all the plans is good.
For us as resellers, in the annual plan subscription it's not possible to increase the license because it simply reverts back. I understand that it's not possible as this is an old commitment, and I don't know if they will change it, but I would like there to be some kind of option available at our end as a reseller to adjust the annual license. This might not be the case for newer licensing agreements, of course.
What other advice do I have?
I would advise others who are using Google Workspace to get to know what's possible and what's not with regard to data backups from the beginning. When purchasing Google Workspace, you should know what your backup options are when it comes to Google Vault, and whether they are adequate, before it's too late. Rather than rushing at the last minute, it's better to get that feature and understand that feature from the get-go.
On a cautionary note, Google Vault captures all the data related to your mails, chats, Google Drive, and so on, so if you are sharing any personal or confidential information in chats that you don't want anyone to access, then you should turn off your chat history.
I would rate Google Vault an eight out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?