While many SMBs rave about Apps for Work and its ability to provide cheap enterprise-level productivity software, it’s generally agreed upon that there is one huge gap in what they offer. Google is hoping to amend this oversight with its recent announcement of Springboard, a tool designed to bring all of the individual apps together as one big happy family.
Although it has been a long time since we’ve seen a big update from the service, the silence was finally broken when Google unveiled Springboard earlier this month. To understand what this new tool does, we need to get a better idea of the problem it aims to solve. Apps for Work includes ten separate cloud software packages that allow users to create, share and collaborate documents without any local installations. All of these services keep documents in Google’s cloud storage for quick and easy access from any web-based device.
Unfortunately, most of these applications run independently of each other and individual documents need to be shared between each platform for there to be proper cross functionality. In fact, Google estimates that Apps for Work users currently waste nearly one full day each week tracking down and researching information in their Google cloud storage. And that’s exactly what Google wants to change.
Springboard will allow users to connect all of their Apps for Work documents into one file system. Did you schedule a meeting but can’t remember if you used Gmail, Google Calendar, or your meetings spreadsheet? No need to pinball between the different applications until you eventually find it, one simple search will scan all of your Google cloud storage.
As if this simple but vital upgrade wasn’t enough, they’ve also claimed that Springboard will provide recommendations and suggestions for “actionable information”. This suggests that we will see something equivalent to Google Now for our business accounts, where Google will begin to recognize search habits, appointments and requests within the text of your Apps for Works documents and turn them into unprompted recommendations.
Alongside the Springboard announcement was a pretty large update to another Apps for Work service: Sites. This tool allows Google business users to create intranet sites for collaboration and organization, and the update increases the functionality to include more dynamic design tools like automatic mobile optimization, drag and drop frames and live editing on the page. Unsurprisingly, it also showcases a new function to search across all company Apps for Work documents. Almost like a customizable version of Google Drive for your office.
Despite the announcement of these services, Google has refrained from providing demonstrations or screenshots as of yet. Although the Springboard and Sites updates are currently only available to early adopters, companies can sign up to join that group and try it out for themselves.
Interested in signing up to try it out? Or do you currently use the free, less equipped version of Google Apps and think it’s time to make the switch to Apps for Work? We’re experts in all things Google and want to show you what it can do for you — send us your questions today.