In as much as Google Workspace is an amazing product, it is far from being your silver bullet for every business need. The time comes when you would want to utilize workflows that are currently unavailable in the suite of Workspace applications you use on a daily basis. This is where Google Apps Scripts come in. This is a product within Google Workspace that enables the automation of tasks across Google products and third-party services. This is achieved through the integration of various workspace applications thus creating custom workflows that rely on an event-driven design. At PawaIT Solutions, we not only create apps scripts for internal use but also share the solutions with our clients so that they can reap more utility from their Workspace subscription. Doesn’t this sound great?
Some examples of solutions/workflows we’ve built so far address the following business challenges:
Domain-wide email signature
Unfortunately, not all Google workspace users are adept at using the more salient features of Gmail. One such feature is setting email signatures. You will often find users sending emails without email signatures, or with signatures that do not conform to the organization’s branding objectives and guidelines. This issue can easily be solved by using a readily available third-party solution that sets the email signature for your entire domain in one go. However, this is quite a pricey solution. And that is where we come in ;-). We solved this problem by writing an apps script that integrates with the admin SDK API (this is used to manage users on workspace) and the Gmail API (this manages Gmail), to help Workspace admins set an email signature for all the users within their Google Workspace domains in one click. All without the user’s manual input to give them time to focus on what matters to your business.
Who made the request for time off? When did they make the request? Who is currently on leave and for how long?” These are just a handful of the questions that HR professionals and administrators frequently face. When the number of staff grows, this becomes much more difficult. As a result, we created a simple solution that combines Google Forms, Google Sheets, Calendar, and email to solve the problem. An employee just fills out a Google Form, after which the leave approver receives an email with a link to approve or reject the request. The employee receives an email indicating whether the request was authorized or denied. When the leave is granted, an event in the employee’s calendar is automatically created to signify that the user will be on vacation (Out Of Office). A script automatically scans all of the organization’s calendars for out-of-office events and populates this information in a “Team calendar” that is visible to all employees. This allows everyone to be aware of who is on leave and, as a result, take that into account when making plans.
Approvals were added to Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drives as part of the Google Workspace updates in 2021. This, however, did not address the situation wherein you want permission after the form data has been submitted. We opted to solve this gap by establishing our own Google Form approval system and integrating Forms, Sheets, and Gmail using App Scripts. We utilized a portion of this approval process when developing the above-mentioned leave approval solution. This is a testament to Apps Scripts’ reusability and portability. For example, this would be useful in situations where you need clearance after form data has been delivered in order to requisition things from the field.
Mass emailing (Mail merge)
You or your marketing team may need to send out emails in bulk occasionally. One option is to pay for a third-party solution, but this will add to your financial burden. We solved this by using a script that integrated with Google sheets & Gmail. All you need to do after deploying the script is add the emails to a sheet, create a draft email and click a custom button created by the script on the Google Sheets menu bar. Isn’t this straightforward?
We’ve done a lot more with scripts than what’s on this list, and we’re introducing new solutions every month. Our Github is a fantastic location to keep up with some of these improvements. Please contact us if you require further custom solutions that are not currently available in our public repositories. Where Google Workspace is not applicable, we also provide deployment support for our own free ERP solution. We also give implementation support for our own free ERP solution where Google Workspace isn’t an option. This is especially beneficial for SMEs that want to consolidate their activities. Our ERP improves internal process visibility and management, resulting in increased operational efficiency. The ERP is hosted on a dependable, scalable, and cost-effective cloud infrastructure (of course, I’m referring to Google Cloud Platform). If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, give us a call.
The best part of all this is that we will be hosting a virtual academy (The Pawa IT Academy) where you get to learn about the topics on this blog and even more regarding Google Workspace and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). If you are interested, read more about the event and register here; https://pawait.africa/pawa-it-google-cloud-academies/
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