Today, at Google Cloud Next, Google announced the next generation of their collaboration and communication tools, including a Google Drive tailor-made for the enterprise;
a Hangouts purpose-built for teams and @meet, a machine learning-powered bot that uses natural language to schedule meetings.
Introducing Team Drives and fresh features for enterprises in Drive
Since the launch of Google Drive, Google has focused on making it simple for people to easily store, share and access their files. Today Google announced enhancements in Drive :
- Team Drives work the way people in enterprises do: in groups, not just as individuals. Team Drives enable teams to manage permissions, ownership, and file access for an organization. Team Drives are generally available today for G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers.
- Drive File Stream allows employees to access tremendous amounts of cloud storage content directly from their desktops, without requiring a sync or monopolizing hard drive space. G Suite customers can apply for the Early Adopter Program (EAP) today.
- Google Vault for Drive gains additional controls so admins can manage retention and legal hold policies. Google Vault for Drive is generally available today for G Suite Business, Education and Enterprise customers.
- AppBridge, a partner that Google has worked with closely for years, will be joining the G Suite team.
Hangouts Meet is a new video meeting experience designed to make meetings frictionless. Up to 30 people can join a meeting within seconds - no downloads or browser plugins required, and it integrates with G Suite so you can present files natively. Anyone can join from any Android of iOS device, and a dial-in phone number for each meeting helps connect employees who are on the road without wifi/data. Meet is generally available today and will gradually roll out to all G Suite customers over the next few weeks.
Hangouts Chat offers teams a new way to connect with each other in virtual rooms. With deep integrations with G Suite, teams can embed content right in the conversation, so they can interact and discuss items from Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar and other files. Google also designed Chat to integrate with a wide set of enterprise tools, and is working with companies like Asana, Box and Zendesk to integrate existing workflows into Chat. G Suite customers can apply to try Chat through the EAP.
Lastly, Google introduced Jamboard in the early adopter program last fall to help teams move real-time collaboration upstream in the creative process. Today, Google announced that Jamboard will enter general availability this May at a price of $4999 plus a $600 annual management and support fee (discounted to $300 for your first year if you purchase by Sept. 30, 2017).
Integrating G Suite with services
Google is introducing Gmail Add-ons, a new way to integrate enterprise workflows with Gmail.
Add-ons make it easy for developers to bring third-party applications into Gmail. Developers write an integration once, and it will work in the Gmail apps on Android, iOS and the web right away. Gmail users will be able to install Add-ons via the G Suite Marketplace later this year. Intuit, Salesforce and ProsperWorks are already working on Gmail Add-ons.
Last fall, Google announced efforts with Salesforce to build tighter integrations with G Suite apps, and starting today, businesses can use Edit Opportunities in Google Sheets to save time. Sales reps can sync a Salesforce Opportunity List View to Sheets to bulk edit data, and the changes are synced automatically to Salesforce, no upload required.
Google's machine intelligence
Beyond meeting enterprise needs, Google has been looking to the future by regularly adding machine intelligence innovations throughout our G Suite products. For example, Explore in Sheets lets you skip complex formulas and ask questions in a natural language, Calendar Find a Time intelligently avoids scheduling conflicts and suggests alternatives, and Quick Access in Drive (which starting today also works with Team Drives on iOS and Android devices, and is coming soon to the web) uses context to automatically surface the most relevant files you need.
And Google is using this machine intelligence to fix daily frustrations like scheduling meetings, too. Today, as a part of Hangouts Chat, Google introduced @meet, an intelligent bot that automates the scheduling of meetings. With all of the variables and options, this can be a tedious task for people to perform, but it's simple for the bot. @meet will be available for customers that sign up for the EAP of Hangouts Chat.