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Done with Google – Part 2

We had (and still have some) a bunch of Google Service for our company/domain. For migrating away from Google Apps (now know as GSuite) we’ve had to take loads of steps manually, I’ve not been able to find tools to sort all the things together properly. There are 60 Google services that are part of this GSuite and it’s fair to say that Google is a “first class” citizen on the Internet. We cannot get completely away.

Phase Two

For phase two of our extraction from the Google Suite we proceeded to turn down all the service in the Google Admin panel that we could. Since there are 50+ services, and we’re turning them off slowly – to prevent any large-scale shock, we were doing about one a week. There were some service we could completely drop without issue.

  • Blogger
  • DoubleClick/DART Stuff
  • FeedBurner
  • GoogleCode (we’ve moved to Github and Gitlab ages ago) and Google is killing this product anyway
  • Google News
  • Google Shopping
  • Panoramio

We progressed for a few months, taking down one (maybe two) services per week and waiting to make sure nothing broke. All went well but, we’re only disabling services around the edges.

Once those services were disabled, we were able to start reviewing how Google actually touches our business — it’s mostly Email and Calendar, which are nice – but we still need to scale down our existing Google dependence before moving on.

I’m Done with Google – Takeout

After building the huge list of Apps and Services you have connected with your Google Accounts (https://www.google.com/settings/dashboard) you then have to download whatever is left using the https://takeout.google.com/ Takeout tool.

Once you have this download and have reviewed everything on the Dashboard it’s time to delete the designated account from your Google Apps Domain.

Repeat as necessary. For us we had three or four idle accounts in our Google Apps before cleaning this up. For the ones that are necessary you can move the Data to another account that you can control – within the domain. I’m not sure how to move data to an account outside the domain.

I’m Done with Google – Cloud Print

One of the easiest, and most frustrating, “services” Google offers is Cloud Print. It’s basically junk. The Internet is full of dreaded printer offline issues and forum posts about it random loss of functionality.

I enjoyed the promise of Cloud Print but it never delivered. I wanted to print to my office or home printers from anywhere. But Cloud Print would drop connections randomly; printers would be offline and require some magic incantation of un-install, reboot, purge Chrome cache, manage devices – across Mac and Linux systems. This was actually one of the easier services to drop.

Like many folks in the “tech” space I’ve got a VPN method into my Home and my Office. This VPN is powered by a Raspberry Pi running OpenVPN. So, simply adding CUPS to this machine and plugging printers in via USB got that part sorted.

It was actually one of the easier Google Services to drop. My frustrations caused by random things breaking has been greatly reduced. Simple and easy.

I’m Done with Google (Part 2)

A long while ago I wrote about being Done with Google. They have simply taken over too much for my taste. Frankly however, I went “all in” on Google around 2006 or so. I moved many domains into the Google Apps and enjoyed all the services they offered. But, as they grew these services suffered; my most critical issue then was that inbound messages were getting dropped (because of how Groups had changed for Businesses over time) – it negatively impacts my customer service. So I started the migration out.

First let me say that you cannot escape Google 100%; just not possible. If you want to have a business presence on the Internet you must engage with Google and other large players (Twitter, Facebook, etc). So, we still have to maintain a Google Account – but we are moving towards one, based on a Gmail address.

As I mentioned before I have/had a number of domain accounts with Google using Mail and, as it turns out, many other services. Some I could just drop and had so little content I didn’t care but for the Edoceo brand I had loads of stuff – from Blogger (migrated to WP); Apps on the Play Store, YouTube, Google+ Pages and all that jazz.

Using a single “unified” Google Account (already existing) I started with a spreadsheet tracking all domains I had moved into Google (>5, <10) and then all the Services in there; then all the Accounts.

Last entry on this topic was over a year ago. It’s taken that long to audit and build this list. It was quite shocking to see how much interaction/integration with Google one human (or one company) has.

Stay tuned for the longer stories of migration of various accounts & services.