Google Workspace AnnouncementNovember 6, 2020
An update last month from Google has brought some significant changes to both the product, the brand, and the tiers that are available within Google to customers. Formerly G Suite, Google recently rebranded its primary email and collaboration solution to Google Workspace. Google Workspace incorporates collaborative tools such as Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and so on to create the ultimate virtual office. Damson Cloud’s Fintan Murphy breaks down these changes and what they mean to current and potential customers.
Google Workspace Rebrand
G Suite has undergone a rebrand and is now being offered to customers as aptly named Google Workspace. Google has added its own brand to its productivity suite showing it is serious about taking on Microsoft in the fight for Enterprise collaboration. Google has informed Partners that this was an important aspect of its rebrand.
Google Workspace is an interesting development considering the idea of the ‘workspace’ itself. Google Partners have been discussing with Google for many years about the flexibility of the physical office and, due to the current climate, other alternatives to the traditional office have been sought. A global pandemic has shown many companies that they are able to work from home despite their previous apprehensions about doing so. Companies who were already linked to G Suite found the transition to work from home much easier.
Google Workspace Feature Releases
Google Workspace has seen multiple feature releases over the last few months. For example, there has been mounting pressure to compete with Microsoft Teams and Zoom technology, which Google has responded to with dramatic updates to the Google Meet features.
The Google Workspace solution that Google has rebranded to is bringing all of its primary features together in one accessible space. Tools like Mail, Chat, Meetings, and Documents are easily accessed from a single location on desktop and on mobile devices. Regardless of what hardware you are using, you will be able to access files within Gmail and even overlay other tools that you may require when on video calls.
Chat and Meeting rooms are accessible through your Gmail account which means overlaying documents during video conferencing and other useful actions. Google is presenting a collaborative working environment for all users to avail of, making working from easier and more efficient for teams of all sizes. Google customers have leveraged the Google Workspace to enable their businesses to continue to be productive and with thousands of staff working from their kitchens tables and home offices across the globe.
A great example of this was Yahoo Finance who used Google Meet to continue to broadcast their shows from their homes. The technical team at Yahoo figured out in just 36 hours how to broadcast their shows live from Google Meet to 10’s of millions of viewers across America.
Google Workspace: Tiers
The most important update for current customers is the tier system. Google is definitely aligning more with Microsoft to create clear price structures for its features. If you are a new customer, it makes it much easier to compare. Particularly, if you are coming from Microsoft 365, it will help you review and compare what Google is offering.
Google Workspace now has a very clear separation between its Business and Enterprise features. We have seen customers sometimes remain with the basic tiers of G Suite despite the tools and its features not quite measuring up to their requirements. Google has now made clear delineation that, after 300 users, businesses need to move to the Enterprise tiers in order to avail of the features required for a business of their size.
This is a distinction that Microsoft has always made. What we are seeing now is this is now becoming the industry standard. For new customers, there is a greater choice of tiers to contend with. Doing this, Google has made comparing with Microsoft an easier process.
Google Workspace and Current Customers
For those who are in G Suite Enterprise, this is the only tier that is being rebranded to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus. If you are a current G Suite Enterprise customer, you will see the re-name on your account. If you are a G Suite Basic or Business customer, you are at risk of losing features or paying a higher price to get the same features. Significant discounts are available for upgrades through Google Partners until January 15th. Contact Damson Cloud to find out what discounts are available for your organisation.
If you do nothing when your contract renews, you will be moved to one of Google’s new tiers or, if you are a flexible customer, you will be moved to a new tier in early 2021. If you are with a Google Partner, it is recommended that you talk to them as soon as possible as your options will reduce after January 15th.
Google Partners have the most amount of information and will be able to help you make an informed decision. At Damson Cloud we have created a series of resources to inform you of the new tiers and what they could mean for your business. The resources we have created are:
- A Google Workspace Feature Comparison Chart
- G Suite and Google Workspace SKU Comparison spreadsheet
- An Upgrade Decision Path Infographic.
Google Partners, like Damson Cloud, have multiple resources to help you make these tough choices.
G Suite Business and Workspace Business Standard: One and the Same?
G Suite Business and Workspace Business Standard are not equal in features. They are an equivalent tier in price but a customer could potentially lose a host of features that were once present in G Suite Business. The new Google Workspace Tiers are completely different to the old G Suite tiers and customers should look at these new tiers and ensure that the one they select has the features their organisation requires.
For example a customer who is on G Suite Business and moves to Workspace Business Standard (the same price) would lose access to Google Vault, data regions, unlimited storage, and they would also be limited to 300 users. Hence, why it is so important to evaluate these changes and take action before the end of 2020.
There are significant upgrade discounts available for those who are willing to upgrade their accounts, which may be necessary to maintain features. If you are on G Suite Basic or G Suite Business then you need to get in contact with your Google Partner as soon as possible to make an informed decision and get access to these upgrades. They’re only available for a limited period of time.