Google Apps Backup Service Spanning Gets Sexy: Launches All-New Look & Admin Dashboard

Austin-based cloud apps startup Spanning, which provides a backup service for Google Apps, just launched a new version of its service (Spanning 3.0) which includes a feature I.T. admins are sure to love: a health monitor for Google Apps. The new dashboard shows the status of a company’s Google Apps system, including problems, errors, possible causes and suggested fixes. Day-by-day reports are available, too.

But Spanning’s most visible change may be the service’s updated style, courtesy of ex-Frog designer BJ Heinley.

The monitoring system is a key new addition to the updated Spanning system, as it allows admins to figure out what went down, how and why. As admins drill down into the problems highlighted, they’re able to either take action to fix the system themselves or alert Google to the problem. Also provided by the dashboard is a complete Google Apps status history, a storage usage panel which shows heaviest users and total data figures, and a license overview that shows how many accounts are protected by Spanning’s licenses.

Other features to the new product include improved email restore functionality, optimized JavaScript, improved progress indicators for backups, and a faster “impersonate” function that lets admins pick from a list of users in order to impersonate them for testing and fixes.

However, the most visible new feature, besides the Apps dashboard of course, is the new visual styling. The company recently hired a new VP of Design and User Experience, BJ Heinley, an ex-Frog Design and ex-Yahoo’er, who has been tasked with giving the entire product a UI/UX makeover. See? Enterprise apps can be sexy. (Well, they can look it, at least.)

Spanning, which competes with a similar service from Backupify, previously raised $2 million in funding from the Foundry Group back in April 2010. The app is available from the Google Apps Marketplace here.