Why has Google’s G Suite changed to Google Workspace? We interviewed Fintan Murphy from Damson Cloud to find out what this rebrand accomplishes, the value of Google Workspace, the advantage Google Workspace has over Microsoft Office 365, and what this change means for the customer.
Interview with Fintan Murphy, CEO of Damson Cloud Limited.
Hi, everybody. My name is Fintan Murphy and my company is Damson Cloud. We've been a Google partner for over a decade, we were one of the first Google partners. We help organizations move over to Google Workspace. That's the primary one that we focus on within the ecosystem of Google tools. We've been around for quite a long time, helping hundreds of companies change the way they work.
Why did Google rebrand G Suite to Google Workspace?
I think that the rebrand is interesting. It comes at an interesting time where many of us are working from home. A key thing that Google is doing is lending its brand to its primary productivity suite. Putting Google in there and adding that gravitas of the Google branch to its productivity suite I think is good, and we've seen that with Microsoft recently as well, who did something similar.
And then there's the piece around the workspace. So this idea of it not being an office, it's not an office productivity tool or suite, it's a workspace and work is now happening everywhere and anywhere, and I think that is a key differentiator that Google is trying to get across.
We've seen with our own customers that the transition to working from home has certainly been easier for them than maybe some other companies that haven't engaged or put in place those types of tools and solutions such as Google Workspace. So yes I think it's an interesting and exciting change that's happened.
What is the value of Google's tighter integration between Google apps?
I think the integration piece, other than the rebrand, that's really the most interesting part of this. Google is starting to create more links, tighter integration between the different set of tools and I think they don't necessarily see a future where the individual tools go away, but that we want to be able to access video conferencing or chat or these different areas where we collaborate and where we engage with our different teams whether it's external or internal, different people within our organization, and we need to be able to access those from our email. Most of us work within our email and creating those connections between tools simply eases the way people can collaborate. And it is often the collaboration tool, it's the chat or it's the video, that they're integrating more tightly and I think that's interesting. That's certainly the starting point for them. The end point might be towards that one app to rule them all. And as I said, while still having the individual apps there. An interesting update that I saw, that I don't think has launched yet, is the ability to open a Google Doc, or a Slide or Sheet, and have that picture where the video can be opened at the top corner, but I can actually be looking at the document that I'm collaborating with someone on.I can see the edits that they're making and I can see them as well. I'm really excited to see where Google goes in terms of 2021 with these types of tighter integrations and with the different tools.
Will Google Workspace be a competitive advantage Google has over Microsoft?
I think that's an interesting question because one thing Google has noted with partners and with customers is that they compete not just with Microsoft, not just with Microsoft teams which is Microsoft's most innovative product that they've come out with in recent years, but that Google also compete with products like Zoom or Slack, these direct competitors, whereas Microsoft tend to only compete with Google.They do compete with those individual apps to a certain extent, but people tend to get those apps to augment their Office 365 environments or Microsoft 365 environments.
I think Google is a bit different in that they compete with Microsoft and they compete with these individual tools. Rather than me moving to a separate app that's my video conferencing solution, or a separate app that's my chat app, Google is trying to say: actually, you can have all of this within a single solution and that's the game changer.
And that's been the game changer for many Google customers and it's Google trying to really get that across. And then there's the piece with the tiers, where they brought the tiers in line with Microsoft as well.
How will the customer experience the transition to Google Workspace?
Well, I think a big change that Google has made with tiers, which are the different versions of G Suite, as it was before there were three versions of G suite. Now with Google Workspace, there are actually six versions, although they're not all on the website, Google mentions enterprises as a single one, but they're actually several versions of that and they all align with a version of Microsoft. And so that makes comparing the different tools much, much easier for customers.
Now, new customers can come to the Microsoft website, they can come to the Google website, and they can compare and contrast. And I think that makes it much easier for customers to make that decision. And there's much more choice, because I think Google has recognized that they launched a version of their tool actually before the new announcements over the summer called G Suite Essentials, now Google Workspace Essentials, and what the essentials is, is essentially, no pun intended, the Google apps without the mail and calendar. And so that's also an acceptance from Google of saying there are customers out there that want to use Office 365 for their email and for their calendar. But they want the collaborative capabilities of Google. They want to use Google Meet. They want to use Google Drive and the simplicity of that. One of the biggest complaints from Office 365 customers is OneDrive and Microsoft's collaboration capabilities. So the idea of this other standalone app that they could bring in, and that acceptance from Google that you don't have to buy into the whole suite is a huge change from Google and one that is appreciated by a lot of Google customers and by Google partners as well, like ourselves.
Any final thoughts?
I think for companies looking at the Google space, or looking at the collaborative space, it's obvious that Google really pushed the envelope in terms of collaborative tools. And we've seen that with the Google Meet solution. The Google Meet solution six months ago, when the pandemic hit, did not align with tools like Zoom and it did not have breakout rooms and moderation control and things like that.
It is now nearly feature for feature with tools like Zoom. And I think it shows that when necessary Google can pull out all the stops, move their tools forward in a very short space of time, and be willing to adapt with the times in a way that other organizations and competitors in this space maybe don't. When you're buying into Google, you're buying into the idea of the innovation of the company, not just the app and where it is right now, but where is it going to be? With customers, we say it's about the journey, and you're buying into a collaboration journey, and an innovation journey that this idea of continuous innovation gets built into your organization. And that's really the idea of Google and of Google's tools.