Google announces major updates to G Suite

The updates include Google Drive for the enterprise, evolved Hangouts, and @meet, a machine learning-powered bot that schedules meetings.

Mar 14th 2017
Google announced major updates to its G Suite offering - A Google Drive tailor-made for the enterprise, evolved Hangouts purpose-built for teams: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, Add-ons platform to integrate Gmail with the applications customers use every day and @meet, a machine learning-powered bot that uses natural language to schedule meetings.  
“In order for Google to deliver on this cloud promise, we must not only meet enterprise companies where they are today in terms of security, compliance, and connectivity standards — but also raise the bar for what’s possible with our advanced machine intelligence capabilities,” said Prabhakar Raghavan, Vice President, APPS, Google Cloud. “That’s why we introduced G Suite. In the past year, we’ve launched more than 300 features and updates to help customers reach their cloud potential. And today, at Google Cloud Next, we announced the next generation of our collaboration and communication tools, designed to help our customers take it to the next level.”
The key enhancements announced in Drive are:
Team Drives work the way people in enterprises do: in groups, not just as individuals. Team Drives enable teams to simply and securely manage permissions, ownership, and file access for an organization. Team Drives are generally available for G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers.
Drive File Stream allows employees to access tremendous amounts of cloud storage content directly from their desktops, without requiring a sync or monopolizing hard drive space. G Suite customers can apply for the Early Adopter Program (EAP).
Google Vault for Drive gains additional controls so admins can manage retention and legal hold policies. Google Vault for Drive is generally available for G Suite Business, Education and Enterprise customers.
AppBridge, a partner that we’ve worked with closely for years, will be joining the G Suite team. Google is welcoming AppBridge to help our largest customers manage some of their most complex data migrations to Drive.
Reimagining Hangouts and better brainstorming with Jamboard
Google is evolving Hangouts to focus on two new experiences: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.
Hangouts Meet is a new video meeting experience designed to make meetings frictionless. Up to 30 people can join a meeting within seconds — no downloads or browser plugins required, and it integrates with G Suite so one can present files natively. Anyone can join from any Android or iOS device, and a dial-in phone number for each meeting helps connect employees who are on the road without wifi/data. Meet is generally available and will gradually roll out to all G Suite customers over the next few weeks.
Hangouts Chat offers teams a new way to connect with each other in virtual rooms, so they can keep work moving forward, even when they can’t meet face to face. With deep integrations with G Suite, teams can embed content right in the conversation, so they can interact and discuss items from Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar and other files. Google also designed Chat to integrate with a wide set of enterprise tools, and is working with companies like Asana, Box and Zendeskto seamlessly integrate existing workflows into Chat. G Suite customers can apply to try Chat through the EAP.
Lastly, Google Introduced Jamboard in the early adopter program last fall to help teams move real-time collaboration upstream in the creative process. Jamboard will enter general availability this May.
Integrating G Suite with services that businesses use every day
Google built G Suite to be a workforce platform, not just a set of apps. Just as Google apps work well together, they also need to work well with other services that employees rely on in their workflows. This is why Google provide ways to integrate across our suite in Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Cloud Search. Google continues this effort by introducing Gmail Add-ons, a new way to integrate powerful enterprise workflows with Gmail; uniquely, our Add-ons are triggered by the context of the email.
Add-ons make it easy for developers to bring third-party applications into Gmail. Developers simply write an integration once, and it will work in the Gmail apps on Android, iOS and the web right away. Gmail users will be able to install Add-ons via the G Suite Marketplace later this year. Intuit, Salesforce and ProsperWorks are already working on Gmail Add-ons.
Moving beyond productivity with Google’s machine intelligence
Beyond meeting enterprise needs, Google has been looking to the future by regularly adding machine intelligence innovations throughout G Suite products. For example, Explore in Sheets lets you skip complex formulas and ask questions in a natural language, Calendar Find a Time intelligently avoids scheduling conflicts and suggests alternatives, and Quick Access in Drive uses context to automatically surface the most relevant files you need.  
Google is using this machine intelligence to fix daily frustrations like scheduling meetings, too. As a part of Hangouts Chat, Google introduced @meet, an intelligent bot that automates the scheduling of meetings. With all of the variables and options, this can be a tedious task for people to perform, but it’s simple for the bot. @meet will be available for customers that sign up for the EAP of Hangouts Chat.
Prabhakar Raghavan, further added, “The promise of the cloud has always been to offer flexibility, access and security at a scale that’s unimaginable in legacy enterprise productivity solutions. Your data and applications offer the most value when they live in a connected cloud, and when combined with Google’s machine intelligence, they offer insights that can move your business beyond productivity.”