How Google Is Powering Enterprise Productivity, Collaboration

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 10, 2017

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Google’s Hangouts work chat and videoconferencing service is undergoing a major revamp to better serve businesses. The company announced on its official blog that it is unveiling an array of new cloud security, data analytics and collaboration services in a drive - that primarily includes updates to its G Suite of productivity applications such as Hangouts video and chat services - to convince big companies to make the Google’s cloud computing services a core part of their operations. Google also made the announcements at its annual Cloud Next conference in San Francisco.

High on Workplace collaboration 

The company known best for its dominant search service lags far behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in the business of providing computing and storage online. But now it is looking to capture a larger share of cloud computing as large enterprises are increasingly shifting computing workloads from their own data centers to the cloud. The company is therefore bullish on workplace text conversations with Hangouts Chat to meet the needs of teams and businesses, as against its original plans to have it as a consumer chat app.

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Hangouts Chat is designed to work a lot more like a modern work chat application. Users will be able to have named team chats that bring in content from outside sources like docs from G Suite, Asana, Box and Zendesk. It also comes with a new “@meet” bot, which allows users to automatically schedule meetings with people on their team. 

According to the company, Meet, is an expansion of the existing videoconferencing capabilities for Hangouts, in which enterprise Customers will be able to get dial-in numbers for their Meet calls, so that users who aren’t close to a computer (or who only want to use a phone) can call in without an app. That will put the company in closer competition with the likes of Microsoft’s Skype for Business offering, which is one of the key parts of Office 365.

Experts believe, with the new gamut of services, Google’s attack on Slack, HipChat, Microsoft Teams and other players in that growing market. In addition, it’s doubling down on work videoconferencing with a new Hangouts Meet product that provides teams with online audio and video conferencing capabilities that are more robust than what Google offered before.

Increasing business productivity

Google has announced a new strategic partnership with SAP, focused on developing and integrating Google’s best cloud and machine learning solutions with SAP enterprise applications. The partnership will enable certification of the in-memory database SAP HANA on Google Cloud Platform(GCP), new G Suite integrations, Google’s machine learning capabilities, and data governance collaboration, offers Google Cloud, SAP and customers more scope, scalability, and the exciting opportunity to create new products.

Nan Boden, Head of Global Technology Partners, Google Cloud, informed that developers can now use SAP HANA express edition to build custom enterprise applications on GCP with the flexibility of on-demand, near instantaneous deployment leveraging Google Cloud Launcher. He added, “In addition, we are also working closely with SAP to make SAP Cloud Platform available on GCP.”

Google Cloud solutions include APIs covering speech, text, image, translation and infrastructure for large-scale training and delivery of machine learning capabilities. Google and SAP intend to collaborate on building machine learning features into intelligent applications like conversational apps that guide users through complex workflows and transactions. Google Cloud and SAP partnership will enable digital business transformation using the power of machine learning, with deeper technology integrations to come.

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For example, Colgate-Palmolive, a long-standing SAP customer, is already seeing the benefits of the combined strength of G Suite and SAP. The company chose to partner with SAP and Google Cloud because both are innovative and approach work collaboratively. They’ve been working with SAP for 23 years and moved all employees to G Suite suite in 2016 (about 28,000 people globally). The implementation took only six months and, after only three months, they’re already working differently, collaborating more easily.

While Google is late to the enterprise cloud market – behind competitors Amazon and Microsoft – its new relationship with German giant SAP will give the company more credibility with larger customers, believes Gartner VP research fellow, David Smith.

In his blog, Smith said Google has “all the technology in the world” but has only fairly recently, over the past three to four years, packaged it up as a cloud offering. Products like G Suite (formerly Google Apps) have been around for about 8 years, he said. “Google has had some success but the thing that has been really holding it back has been that it has not really focused on large enterprises and that the dramatic change from just a year ago. It’s a completely different Google than it was two years ago,” he mentioned.