What is Google Workspace & How Can It Benefit My Company?
Google has been impacting users' lives for almost twenty-two years, since its introduction to the world in 1998. Since that time, Google has become the most used web-based search engine. Over the years it has evolved dramatically and become a common household name. The evolution is continuing as G-Suite, the Google productivity suite of collaborative productivity apps has now been transformed into Google Workspace.What does this change mean for businesses across the globe? It may mean they have access to productivity features in a “work from anywhere” model. Read on to hear about this newly introduced Google tool that could help boost your business’s productivity and allow for more of your remote workforce to have access and security to the tools they have already come to love. In our blog today we will be looking at Google Workspace from several angles answering questions such as:
What Is Google Workspace?
What Was G Suite?
How Does G Suite Differ from Workspace?
What New Features Are Included?
What’s the Cost of Workspace?
Is Workspace Right For My Business?
A Little Look Back At the History of Google
Before we begin looking at the details and benefits that Google Workspace could provide for your business, let’s take a moment to examine the impact of Google itself and how its constant evolution keeps us on our toes and businesses moving forward in this highly digitized world. The story of Google began not that long ago in 1995, when two students from Stanford worked in their dorm rooms to create a search engine. Initially named Backrub, the name was quickly changed to Google, a play on the mathematical expression for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. The idea caught the attention of not only the academic community, but Silicon Valley investors as well. Google Inc. was officially born in September 1998 when Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim bought the rights to the concept. Fast forward a few years to 2004 when Google first released Gmail. Many initially dismissed the offering of 1GB of storage since it seemed too good to be true (Yahoo & Hotmail only offered 2MB) and it was released on April 1st. (Could it have been an April Fool’s Day prank?) Seventeen years later, around 1-in-4 users now use Gmail for their email! (Joke is on them.) Over the next few years, we witnessed the introduction of many of the tools we all use to successfully run our small and medium-sized businesses: Google Translate, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Trends, Google Analytics, YouTube acquisition, Google Chrome, Classroom, Google Meet, Google Apps, and Google’s G Suite for Business. That brings us to the continued evolution of Google products from the wildly popular G Suite to the seamless collaboration features and a better spread of offerings in the newly rolled out - Google Workspace.
What Is Google Workspace?
According to Google, Workspace continues the evolution of G Suite. Remember that G Suite had already been through its own name changes from “Google Apps for Your Domain” to simply “Google Apps,” before it was eventually renamed to “G Suite” in 2016.Google Workspace is an expanded version of G Suite which emerged as a much needed tool for the work-from-anywhere culture, most especially noted during this global health crisis. Android Authority online describes Google Workspace as, “Including all of the company’s productivity tools in one spot: Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Chat, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, Forms, and Currents. Google Workplace allows for small, medium, and large business customers access to not only all of these tools, but extra features like customer support access, security, and cloud storage.”The separate tools of Workspace have deeper integration with each other than was present in G Suite. Rather than jump between Gmail, Docs, Meet, etc., everything is available in one central spot. Insights online also notes that, “Google Workspace lets your organization control the data, so you can secure and optimize it, break down information silos, and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to make your teams faster, more collaborative and better informed than ever before.”
What Was G Suite?
Four years ago, G Suite was established to allow organizations to use Google’s suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools as the backend of their business, rather than maintain their own network storage, email server, and other various tools. The original tools included: Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Page Creator. Over time, it expanded to include Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Google Drive, Google Chat, and Meet. Additionally G Suite allowed business users to gain their own domain email address, cloud storage, admin tools, and 24/7 customer support.
How Are G Suite & Workspace Different?
Now that you have heard about these two tools, you may be wondering if this is merely a rebranding effort rather than an expansion of the tools for businesses on-the-go. Although many users have not had the opportunity to experience Workspace since it was only introduced a few months ago (October 2020), Google Workplace seems to provide a more unified interface which provides a more seamless user experience. This alone may help increase productivity since so many of us switch between applications multiple times a day. According to Demystifying the desktop, an employee typically switches between 35 job-critical applications over 1,100 times a day. By combining multiple apps into a more seamless user interface (UI), solutions such as Google Workspace could potentially save your business a significant amount of time. Workspace also appears to be focusing on remote teamwork and collaboration. With so many companies deciding that remote work is sticking around as a policy long after the pandemic has passed, more and more business leaders will need to provide access to teamwork tools.
What Are Some of the New Features?
Wondering what the new features could do for your office, whether virtual or in-person? Here is a quick glimpse at some of the new aspects that may aid your collaboration and security.
Collaboration apps that are unique to the Business edition or upgraded from the consumer edition.
Easy access to storing and sharing files.
Integration of Workspace with your CRM.
An intuitive dashboard that allows you to manage your data, users, and apps from a single portal.
Upgrade your access security with endpoint management which allows you to control Google Workspace accounts and which devices/users can access.
Preserve data with Google Vault.
Create documents directly within Chat which allows users to collaborate on these documents inside the Chat room.
Preview linked files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This allows users to collaborate on a document without having to open it in a new tab.
If you are a bottom line kind of person, you are probably wondering whether the gains in features/apps outweigh the cost. This depends on the pricing trier that you decide upon. There are four tiers that you can pick from that can determine your level of access to Workplace.
The Business Starter tier is for smaller companies that have just launched. It allows for up to 100 people to join video meetings with 30GB of storage per user. It also offers custom business email that is more secure, along with security and management controls. This package also offers standard customer support from Google. The cost is $6 per month per user.
Business Standard is the most popular choice at $12 a month per user. Within this tier video meetings and recording shift up to 150 participants, 2TB of cloud storage per user, enhanced support, custom and secure business email, security and management controls.
Business Plus starts at $18 per user, per month and again takes a step up in storage (5 TB) and number of participants during meetings (250). It also offers Enhanced Security, management controls including Vault and advanced endpoint management. Email support at this level includes eDiscovery and retention features.
Enterprise Level allows for customizable pricing. Video meetings can support noise cancellation and in-domain live streaming. More security features are added, including DLP, data regions, and enterprise endpoint management. You also get an unlimited amount of cloud storage, and this time Enhanced support is included at no extra cost.
Is Workspace Right For My Business?
It’s always exciting when new products come out to make our work easier and in some ways more productive. Deciding on whether to invest on Workspace may be something you will want to discuss with your team and management. How much storage do you require? How many people do you often have at video conferences? What tools do you use most often? Google promises more tweaks will be made to Workspace’s bevy of apps in the coming months. Take a look at the features offered and possibly try out a 14 day free trial to work with the tools before making your final decision. Talk to our team at Spectra Networks about how your business could benefit from the tools that Google pumps out and is constantly improving upon. We can examine your needs and find the right fit of software you need to run your successful business.