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Google's G-Suite currently has around 120 million active users, so it's safe to say that they had an avid audience waiting for announcements from this year's Cloud Next event. During the summit, which took place in San Francisco, Google even claimed that they've managed to onboard another million or so businesses into their productivity suite over the last 12 months.
It's not just businesses that love G-Suite either. According to Next announcements, it's also the preferred productivity suite of the new generation, with 80,000,000 students around the world learning how to master G Suite.
With so many big announcements from Google Cloud Next this year, we wanted to make sure that Google's incredibly popular productivity suite got enough love. That's why we're putting together this list of the most important announcements from Google Next; all focused on G-Suite.
Getting Clever about Productivity: G-Suite Adds New AI Functionality
Apparently, G-Suite has added around 300 new functionalities to G-Suite over the last year - and they have no plans to slow down any time soon. One particular focus at this year's Cloud Next event was the desire to bring AI functionality to more businesses of every shape and size. The new AI-powered featured offered by G-Suite focus on a number of different things, including reading, meetings, and writing too.
From a writing perspective, Google is introducing something called "Smart Reply" into Hangouts Chat, to help power faster replies in chat rooms. The system simply tracks down messages that need a quick reply and proposes a potential range of messages to choose from. The replies are designed to be casual, but professional too - perfect for the fast-paced workplace. Additionally, if you're in need of a solution for longer responses, Smart Compose is on it's way to G-Suite customers too. The Smart Compose feature automatically completes emails, and it was launched on the consumer side of Google in May this year.
Another great addition to the reading and writing side of G-Suite is an early adopter program for a feature called "Grammar Suggestions" in Google Doc. The new application uses a machine learning algorithm to recognize common grammatical errors and make quick corrections to business information. Typos will soon be a thing of the past!
Enhanced Privacy and Transparency with G Suite
Of course, the updates from Google's G-Suite this year aren't entirely focused on improving your grammar. Google also wanted to highlight their focus on privacy and security this year, with the introduction of a brand new "Security Center" for G-Suite. The security center basically does what it says on the tin - allowing administrators to quickly investigate, identify and resolve potential security issues. It makes it easier to conduct a range of searches throughout multiple data sources and report the data you collect into Google BigQuery - the data warehouse for the modern enterprise.
The security center is accompanied by the new addition of a feature called "Data Regions." Starting from this week onward, the data regions service will allow G-Suite Enterprise and Business users to choose the region - Europe, Global, or US, where their data is based and stored. This eases the burden associated with complying with new regulations like GDPR.
According to Google's press release about the Data Regions feature, the company is focusing heavily on transparency this year. Google wants to give users the access and insight they need to meet with the security objectives set by their enterprise - particularly as they make the complex move to the cloud.
An Enterprise Version of Google Voice Comes to G-Suite
During the second day of the Google Cloud Next conference, the search giant announced additional enhancements to G-Suite, including the introduction of a new enterprise-focused version for Google Voice. According to Google, Voice is already a powerful component in the cloud environment for millions of customers. The enterprise-ready version is now available through an early adoption program, which helps to take telephony beyond audio, and to the next level.
Google previously relied on third-party companies to deliver telephony solutions to customers. Now, Google has its own context and intelligence solutions for the modern company, along with voicemail transcriptions and call filtering. Google believes that the introduction of Voice will give cloud customers more options when it comes to choosing how they interact on a day-to-day basis.
New Updates for Gmail Users
Alongside a host of updates to G-Suite functionality, Garrick Tebasi also took to the stage at Google Cloud Next to reveal updates to the Gmail service. The updated version of Gmail is now available for essentially all G-Suite users, and it comes with a range of fantastic enhancements, including "confidential mode" which allows you to add printing and forwarding restrictions to the emails you send - as well as expiry dates if necessary.
Google has also implemented a range of updates into the Google Cloud search aspects of Gmail, which should allow users to dive deeper into their G-Suite content and check all of the information they have available to them - regardless of where it might be.
Google also notes that the new Gmail is a lot more secure for its users, thanks to things like machine learning which allow companies to analyze the threat indicators present in billions of messages, to help with identifying and averting possible security attacks. The system blocks around 10 million spam emails a minute, and users can also access a range of additional features like redesigned security warnings.
Introducing The Standalone Enterprise Version of Google Drive
Finally, the last major update to G-Suite comes in the form of a unique enterprise version of Google Drive, decoupled from the calendar and mail apps that otherwise contribute to G-Suite. This could be a compelling offering for companies who already have email addresses with other companies, but still, want to take advantage of the collaborative file sharing and document editing features that they can access with Google Drive.
According to the search giant, a standalone version of the Drive application has been at the top their list of requests from possible enterprise customers for a while now. Standalone Drive will come with the usual sharing and storage features you would expect from the G Suite version, and pricing will be offered based on usage.
Google Explores Unified Communications Opportunities
Finally, Google has also begun to explore G-Suite's abilities when it comes to unified communications too. The company announced that they've opened up a range of beta testing options for telephony communications, which includes the opportunity to transcribe voicemails from your calls. They've also updated their inter-operational communication systems too in a range of ways. For instance, Google Hangouts users can now enter video calls through a selection of video platforms, including Cisco, Skype, Lifesize, and Polycom.
Thanks to the rise of trends like globalization, and the new popularity of remote working, it's no big surprise that Google is looking for new ways to make their G-Suite service more unified communication friendly. Already, Google claims that they've added a million new customers to G-Suite, and they hope to continue that momentum by offering customers as many advanced services as possible.
Want to learn more about Google, G-Suite and Cloud Next? Browse through some of our other posts. Or, if you want to start building up your G-Suite strategy, contact Coolhead Tech today!