In 2020, Google decided to say goodbye to G Suite, it’s increasingly popular cloud productivity suite. However, the product was not going away but instead was being rebranded as Google Workspace. Business owners who signed up for G Suite, or those comparing Google Workspace plans, are asking what the difference between the old service is and the new. But what is Google Workspace today, and how does it work for individuals and businesses around the world?
In today’s article I’ll provide an introduction and explain who may benefit most from Google’s cloud-based productivity suite.
It’s easy to say Google Workspace is simply a new name for G Suite, but that’s not true. There are a lot of differences happening behind the scenes with Workspace building on the journey Google started with G Suite.
The company has always envisioned a wholly integrated cloud productivity platform built on seamless app interactions.
Google Workspace is the final form of the evolution we saw with G Suite. It is Google’s vision complete, an ecosystem of apps that blur together to create a singular platform. So, as Google Workspace highlights the future of workplace collaboration, is it time for your business to jump on board?
In the article below I’ll introduce you to Google Workspace, including its apps, features, and price.
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Google’s Vision Realized
In many ways, the transition from G Suite to Google Workspace is about finalizing a philosophy. Google has sought a cloud productivity platform for years.
However, that very cloud reliance was as much of a problem for G Suite as it was a benefit. Google was unable to properly integrate applications, often leaving some glaring gaps when trying to use two apps together.
With Google Workspace, the company has solved those issues. The lines between apps are now so blurred that you may often think you are using one single application.
Yes, Google’s individual apps like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs, etc. remain, but they now work seamless together. When using Google Workspace, you’re not always jumping between apps. Instead, all apps are functioning together.
Google has finally succeeded in its vision and with Workspace the company sought to accomplish some clear goals:
- New Brand – To supplement the new vision and integrations of its apps, Google Workspace is a new brand to reflect the productivity goals of the platform. The rebranding effort includes new icons for apps and a new visual style.
- New user Experience – As noted, integration is the goal of Workspace, as Google seeks to help a generation of enterprises onto the cloud.
- More pricing options – With the launch of Google Workspace, new pricing tiers were introduced to give customers more choice over their level of service.
New Pricing Plans
Google says it wants customers to have more flexibility while still meeting their productivity demands. By adding more dynamic pricing options, organizations can tailor their subscription for their needs, without compromising integration. Taking the pricing template set out by G Suite, there are now new pricing options.
There are three business plans for Google Workspace, some a reorganization of previous tiers and one completely new plan:
- Business Starter (previously Business Basic): 30GB of cloud storage, video meetings up to 100 participants for $6/user/month.
- Business Standard (previous G Suite Business): 2TB of cloud storage, 150 video meeting participants, meeting record function for $12/user/month.
- Business Plus: This is a new tier that allows 5TB of cloud storage, video meetings with 500 users, attendance tracking, meeting recording, eDiscovery, enterprise security, admin controls for $18/user/month.
It is worth noting, while Google talks about more control, there are some caveats. Users of G Suite will be aware that the previous $12 and $18 plans came with unlimited cloud storage in Google Drive. The company has now reduced this allowance to 3TB and 5TB, respectively.
At its heart, Google Workspace is still G Suite. That means you still get access to Google’s entire suite of applications. As mentioned, the big difference here is how these apps interact with each other.
In G Suite, there were some obvious signs these were individual apps trying to play nicely together. In Workspace, those signs are less apparent as apps function seamlessly.
This is a rare app that lives up to the hype and its reputation. You’ll see the familiar dynamic inbox that automatically categorizes incoming mails in Workspace.
You also get the ability to create custom email addresses, something all businesses will appreciate as a stellar feature. More importantly, Gmail now works complete with all the other core Google apps. You can get most of your productivity done directly in the email service without needing to jump between applications, and Gmail security and encryption is great.
The importance of Google Meet has reached a new level over the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic changed how people work, learn, and communicate.
Amid global lockdowns, organizations turned to remote work, educators were giving virtual classes, and families sought out tech solutions to stay in touch.
Apps like Google Meet became indispensable, and companies have continued to embrace the work at distance revolution. Now used by over 100 million people Google Meet is a video conferencing app that is becoming hugely popular.
In G Suite, Meet was limited in how it behaved with other Google apps. In fact, it never used to integrate into them at all. That has changed in Google Workspace, first with integration with Gmail and now with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Arguably the most important app in Google Workspace, Drive is the app that runs the show. Sure, this is a cloud storage solution, but it is also a file sharing service and underpins Google’s entire concept of inter-app integration and workplace collaboration.
Because Workspace runs entirely in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about saving work as Drive is constantly updating content in real time.
Drive now weaves Google apps together, making them function together in a complete ecosystem for businesses. Yes, it does achieve this in the free version, but there are limitations how you share. It’s also worth noting the free Google Drive only provides 15GB of cloud storage.
I’ve already discussed how Google’s own apps integrate seamless with each other. However, does Google Workspace deliver the same kind of seamless functionality for third-party apps.
The answer is yes, mostly. There are thousands of integrations to choose from, provided by some of the biggest enterprise developers in the world.
Whether it’s Trello or Monday, Slack or Asana or any popular competitors, Zoom, or Microsoft Office support, you can tap into third-party solutions easily. This is important for businesses that use different apps to achieve different goals. Google Workspace acts as a platform that ties all your enterprise apps together.
Websites and Domain Names
One of the lesser known tools of Google Workspace is the ability to create a business website and assign a domain to it. You can register domains with Google and then use the Google Sites app to create a business website.
This is ideal for creating internal portals for your organization, or even a customer-facing site. Google Sites is arguably not as powerful as dedicated services like Wix, but it is more than enough for basic enterprise websites.
Advantages of Using Google Workspace
Google Workspace is an ideal workplace collaboration platform for many business owners. Below are some of the core benefits of the service:
- Uptime – While more and more organizations are transitioning to the cloud, there are many that remain concerned. Some enterprises are worried about downtime or having to remain productive in an always-connected environment. Google helps to ease those concerns with a near 100% uptime for Google Workspace. You’re unlikely to ever see Google apps not working and if you have any issues the platform comes with 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat.
- Affordability – Of course, this is subjective, but it cannot be ignored that Google Workspace is good value for money. Businesses need solutions that are functional and cost-effective. Oftentimes, spreading productivity across individual apps can be expensive and frustrating. Google Workspace ties all the apps you need into a single ecosystem.
- Easy to Use – Google has a reputation for developing apps that look clean, professional, and are extremely easy to use. You can usually jump into a Google app with no prior experience and be using it like a pro in no time at all. Whether it’s Gmail or Drive, Google’s clean white aesthetics and simple layouts are perfect of business users who want to remain productive and not become bogged down by complicated apps.
What is Google Workspace? In a word: awesome.
If you scratch below the surface of Google Workspace, you’ll find the core functions and features you knew and loved with G Suite. The same familiar Google apps still make up what is on offer from Workspace.
However, that does not tell the whole story because what Workspace does is reimagine what G Suite is and updates it for a modern cloud computing world. It is an ecosystem built on the ethos of connectivity, integration, and collaboration.
It largely achieves what it sets out to do and delivers on its promises. Businesses that choose Google Workspace over its market share competitor Microsoft 365 do get a selection of leading productivity apps that work together more seamlessly than ever before.
No more jumping between apps, and no more hitting obstacles when trying to collaborate.
You can sign up for your free trial right here if you’d like to learn more about Workspace for yourself.