Google wants users to leverage the cloud to create better user experiences, especially for enterprises using its flagship collaboration portfolio, G Suite.
Google built on its announcements during its opening keynote at Google Next on Tuesday on how it’s boosting security and injecting AI into G Suite, sharing new functionality designed to wow partners and larger customers that may be considering Google for its collaboration needs.
To that end, Google revealed several new G-Suite offerings on Wednesday, including the long-awaited Google Voice for the enterprise.
“There’s still one area of the unified communications story we get questions about, and that’s around telephony,” said Garrick Toubassi, vice president of engineering for G Suite, during his keynote.
Google Voice has been a beloved consumer product for some time, but Google is ready to reveal a new beta version of its Google Voice for the enterprise through its G Suite Early Adopter program.
Google Voice, which will be powered by Google AI, will allow administrators to set policies and assign numbers to users. The product also includes timestamps and voicemail transcription.
“Enterprise Google Voice has been a product gap for Google. If they’re going head-to-head with Microsoft, Microsoft has that solution, so we’ve had to fill that gap with third-party products,” said Aric Bandy, president of Agosto, a Minneapolis-based Google-exclusive partner.
Bringing an enterprise version of Google Voice to market, Bandy said, will be a really important move for Google.
SADA Systems, a Los Angeles-based Google partner, goes through ROI audits with its customers to see what services they could turn off once they move to G Suite. Google has been in the game with email, calendar, and videoconferencing for some time, but the company has lacked an up-to-date voice strategy, according to Tony Safoian, CEO of SADA Systems.
“Voice has been on the journey to the cloud for some time now — it’s the last mile. Google Voice added to the fabric of G Suite really rounds out its telecommunications strategy, and that’s a significant step forward for Google,” Safoian said.
The average user relies on 36 cloud services to get their job done, so simply moving to all G Suite services isn’t an option for every business or enterprise user. With that in mind, Google plans to offer an enterprise version of Google Drive as a standalone product so that users can take advantage of collaborative document editing features while still using their legacy, third-party collaboration services.
“We think Google Drive as a standalone product really opens up the possibility for more businesses to start to experience the transformational benefits of G Suite,” Google’s Toubassi said.
Cloud Search is Google’s tool launched last year that businesses can use to search across their company’s content, including Gmail, Drive, Docs, and Calendar. Google recognizes that information is often spread across many systems and users need the right data at the right time, so the company expanded a new functionality that lets users index third-party information, whether it’s in the cloud or on-premises.
The new G Suite services and features are paying off. Toubassi revealed several enterprise customers that are now using G Suite, including appliance manufacturer Whirlpool and fitness company Soul Cycle.
“In the six years I’ve been working on G-Suite, and in all that time, I haven’t seen this kind of momentum,” he said. “Since last year, we added one million new business [customers] to G Suite, and that momentum is across the globe and across businesses of all sizes.”