Google G Suite To Workspace Transition Signals Directional Shift

By Patrick Moorhead - October 29, 2020
Google Workplace

On October 6th, Google announced Google Workspace, the new and improved G Suite that currently has 2.6B users. The idea behind Google Workspace is to bring together everything you need in one singular space. Google Workspace has a new and improved user experience that is designed to make remote working simpler, connected, and time effective. A few of the top features include new security features fit for business, whether small or large. Security is more critical than ever, with many companies going remote and a high percentage of employees who will stay remote.

See my previous article from late July here where I talked about the new redesign for G Suite that “introduces a “better home for work” at the perfect time as many employees are experiencing challenges maintaining productivity throughout the day, dealing with distractions at home, and receiving notifications from coworkers on multiple collaboration tools." 

Many companies are still using numerous collaboration platforms that could cause distractions, notifications from various areas, and time lost. These distractions are not beneficial to employee productivity, and this will prove to be a big problem as remote working becomes a normal part of life. Google Workspace is excellent because it has everything from Gmail, Chat, Slides, Meet, Calendar, and Drive all in one place. You can also mute notifications with one click of the button, allowing employees to stay focused and productive in meetings or presentations. While am sure there are benefits from an integrated presentation, I need a bit of time on the till to best assess those. 

Collaboration from anywhere

A new feature allows you to create and share documents right from Gmail to collaborate with any of your team members. You can also see your calendar and jump right into meetings and pull up any file from your browser, desktop, or mobile device. This feature allows employees to access everything they need for work from one platform, which could simplify how we work and could reduce distractions. We’ll see. 

A few new features to help keep people connected are enhancements like live captions, meeting translation, low-light mode, and noise cancellation. Meet picture-in-picture allows you to watch videos in a floating window to multitask and keep an eye on other tasks while also viewing the person you are meeting with. This feature decreases screen jumping, where you have to choose between viewing another screen or a team member in video chat. This connected experience simulates more of a traditional in-person work environment.

Annual Projections

Security, more important than ever

Some of the most exciting features of Google Workspace is its new and robust security features. As I stated earlier, security is becoming increasingly important for small businesses and large enterprises as remote working is becoming normalcy. An estimated 48% of workers will continue to work remotely post covid, and having a secure workspace has become much more critical as security becomes a more significant threat.

See below for some of the new security features that will be rolled out: 

  • New safety features designed to combat abuse, including new classification, audit logging, and detection capabilities to Meet.
  • The ability to prevent abusive users from disrupting meetings by classifying users marked abusive and ejecting them for future meetings. Meet will automatically detect abusive display names or codes, and then disallow users from joining. 
  • Data protection insights proactively create reports that help admins understand the sensitive information stored in its organization and help you make more informed decisions about protecting your organization's data.

This year, Google announced that it received an accredited ISO/IEC 27701 certification for Google Cloud Platform as a data processor and made Google Workspace the first major productivity suite to obtain an accredited ISO/IEC 27701 certification as a data processor. For a little more context, ISO/IEC 27701 is a “global standard designed to help organizations align with international privacy frameworks and laws. It guides implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving a Privacy Information Management System (PIMS), and is used by both data controllers and processors—a key consideration for organizations that must align with the GDPR.” 

See my article from August, where I talked about Google’s Cloud and G Suite previous security announcements. See a full view of all of the new security offerings from Google here.

Tailored offerings for SMB’s and enterprises

Google is also going to be evolving its offerings to fit a more diverse audience. For smaller businesses, it has introduced more "tailored offerings that make it easy and cost-effective to get started with Google Workspace— including best-in-class collaboration and productivity tools, security protections, and administrative controls." "For enterprises, it has more productivity features, enterprise-grade administrative controls, and our most advanced security and compliance capabilities, available at both the team and organization level.” 

To fit evolving customer needs, Google offers three new Enterprise offerings, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, and three business offerings for SMB’s, Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus. The enterprise offerings range from 1 TB storage to unlimited, range of 150 to 250 users for meetings, additional feature bundles, and other functionality. The SMB offerings range from 30GB – 5TB of storage, 100-250 users, a range of support from 8/5 to 24/5, and added functionality. All of the SMB offerings include Gmail, Calendar, Editors, Meet, and Chat. It varies in size, storage, and functions such as Google Meet, Collaboration, and Security. I haven’t had the chance to sort through all of this to see who is paying more or less, but will. 

Wrapping up

I have heard from many tech employee leaders that using multiple collaboration platforms at once has made working at home distracting and less productive. It seems that Google Workspace provides a solution that could simplify work from home, not adding to its stress. One of my favorite things about Google Workspace is how well it has integrated all its products to work together to create a streamlined collaboration and user experience

In the past few months, many tech companies have provided incremental updates to collaboration tools to cope with the changing needs of customers. Amidst all the noise, the Google Workspace announcement feels refreshing. Like many companies have begun to do, Google has tailored its product offerings to a more diverse audience, which will benefit enterprises and small businesses. G Suite is now Google Workspace and you will see the new name and icons over the next couple weeks. The updates will be rolled out immediately which is great to see. 

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article. 

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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.