Google Apps for Education has the potential to save schools of all stripes money and time. But not every school district has the resources or expertise to figure out the best way to move to the cloud suite. That's why Google has just released the Guide to Going Google, an instruction manual that takes IT staff from signing up to training users. The best part? That same instruction manual recommends working with an authorized Google Apps partner if you get into trouble.

The Guide to Going Google is organized into two distinct sections: One is for K-12 schools and the other is for universities. The major difference between the two is the prospective deployment size: the guide covers how to best centrally deploy and manage Google Apps for Education for up to a full school district.

The technical how-tos cover everything from registering a Google Apps domain to setting up a pilot program to migrating data from other messaging platforms like Microsoft Exchange. And they heavily advocate finding a Google Apps partner in the Google Apps Marketplace if any part of the task is beyond the scope of the IT team.

Beyond setup, the guide also contains advice for outreach, including designing a logo and name for your school's Google Apps installation. And again, if school or university staff is uncomfortable or unready to start training users, the Guide to Going Google suggests calling in a graduate of the Google Apps Education Certified Trainers program.

Two parts useful how-to guide to one part channel partner promotion tool. The Guide to Going Google may well be a useful tool to connect Google Apps resellers who specialize in the education vertical with customers. The only question: will we start to see similar guides for other verticals?

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