Google Workspace - An Introduction (Part 1 of 3)

Whether you are just starting up with a small team or an enterprise consisting of thousands of employees, You need a tool to communicate with each other and store, sync & share your work both inside & outside your organization.

Collaboration software helps team members virtually communicate and collaborate in real-time to facilitate creativity, content creation, planning and scheduling, task & project management, etc. Critical features of collaboration software include file storing & sharing, document management with access control,  communication tools (Email, Chat, Video conferencing), calendar management & more. 

This article discusses one of the most popular suites of cloud collaboration apps: Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). More than 6 million businesses use Google Workspace to work faster, smarter in a more collaborative way. 

So what makes Google Workspace so popular? 

I would say familiarity. For starters, Google Workspace is an extension of Google’s popular free apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Google calendar, which people use daily. There are more than 1.5 billion people who use Gmail. Google Workspace gives access to the same apps on a custom domain with extra layers of security & administrative control for the organization to manage & monitor users, apps, activities to secure exchange data & information while adhering to regulatory requirements.

Let's have a look at the apps & their features in Google Workspace

Google Drive is a safe and scalable solution for storing, sharing, and collaborating on files with other people. Teams and individuals can safely store their information and make it immediately accessible to others, from the entire world to just members of a list of up to 200 groups or accounts. It allows offline access, auto-save & sync across multiple devices, and enables real-time collaboration. 

Gmail is an easy to use business email & collaboration tool which integrates with Google chat, meet, contacts & calendar. Google Workspace gives you a business email on your custom domain with phishing & spam protection that blocks more than 99.9% of the attacks and an Ad-free email experience. It also provides easy data archiving & migration options from other popular business email solutions.

Google Docs makes it easy to create & edit word documents right in your browser. Multiple people can work together, and every change is saved in real-time. It also offers AI-powered text auto-complete, grammar & spelling checkers. Collaborators can chat & comment on the document & check the version history. 

Google Sheets is a web-based spreadsheet application allowing users to work on data collaboratively. You can import/export data in any standard format like .csv, .tsv, .xlsx etc. to work with spreadsheets.

Google Slides enables you to create presentations with your team. It packs easy to design templates, real-time editing, commenting & publishing with different privacy settings features. 

Google Forms is a custom form application you can use to create surveys & questionnaires and analyze Google Spreadsheet'.  

Google Sites is easy to use website builder that enables multiple people to create & edit websites together. It allows users to embed Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, YouTube videos, and any other HTML content and offers various privacy settings to control who the site is visible to. You can use it to build engaging, high-quality sites for your team, project, product, service, or event with Google Sites.

Google Calendar is an online calendar intended to help keep track of events and schedules. It integrates with Gmail, Google Meet & other popular video conferencing tools. It also allows easy migration from Exchange, Outlook, or iCal, or from .ics and .csv files.

Google Chat is a communication tool that enables direct communication & group messages within the team & outside the organization.

Google Meet is a video conferencing tool that enables secure frictionless meetings. It integrates with Google Calendar & Gmail. Google Workspace Business starter plan(the basic plan) allows Video conferencing with 100 participants and up to 24 hrs, US or international dial-in phone numbers for meetings. Higher-level plans allow conferencing with more participants up to 250 people and some extra features like saving the call recordings to Google Drive.

Google Currents (formerly Google Plus) lets team members interact with each other in a social collaborative platform with posts & activity streams.

Google Keep is a note-taking service with a variety of tools for notes, including text, lists, voice, and images.

Google Apps Script is a rapid application development environment that makes it quick & easy to build business solutions extending the functionality of Google Workspace without any professional development experience.

Cloud Search gives you the power of Google Search on your organization’s content from Gmail, drive, forms, sheets, calendars, slides & more.

For all the core apps, There are thousands of possible integrations available through Google Workspace Marketplace which extend the features of Google Apps or automate workflows between other popular apps and Google Workspace.

For security & management, Google Workspace provides a central admin console to easily add/delete users, manage devices, configure security & settings, view reports & audit logs. Advanced endpoint management enables the admin to create & apply security policies across multiple devices and protect sensitive information in case of loss/theft of a device.

Google Vault is an archiving and electronic discovery service exclusively available to Google Workspace customers. Many people misunderstand Google Vault as a backup & restore service. However, that is not the case. Vault allows administrators to set retention policies for data, place holds on any users’ account data, and search through those when required for legal purposes.

To summarize, Google Workspace provides you with all tools you need to collaborate with your team and more at a very competitive price and is a good starting point for small businesses & startups. And as your company grows bigger & bigger Google also provides the necessary tools to securely manage your data & information through its advanced security tools.

In the next article, we will take a look at various pricing plans of Google Workspace.