Google introduced new updates on Workspace which is its collection of cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration tools, software, and products formerly known as G Suite. The notable features include advanced search, Meet calling, live translation in Meet, and all-inclusive video conferencing devices exclusively for Meet by Logitech and Avocor. Hybrid work has become the new normal as many companies undertook it following the pandemic. Surveys suggest that 44% of employees and employers prefer hybrid work and 5% like fully remote work.
Along with the other improvements, Workspace spaces was launched. It delivers real-time project collaboration dashboards. Spaces, which were first revealed in July and can be found through search, incorporate products including Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and Tasks, allowing users to engage in topic-based discussions. Teams can share ideas, collaborate on papers, and manage responsibilities from a single location, according to Sanaz Ahari, senior director of product management. Because all of their work is saved for future use, team members may simply hop in and participate whenever it is convenient for them, while also seeing a complete history of the conversations, context, and content. Workspace will get a consolidated dashboard with access to inboxes, chats, and meetings, as well as in-line topic threading, which allows users to respond to any message within a space. Tools for content control and space management have also been added, as well as the option to set the location (virtual or physical) for each workday regularly or by segmentable working hours in Calendar.
Meet calling is now available on both mobile and desktop platforms, according to Google. Meet calling allows Workspace users to call members of teams directly from a one-to-one chat, ringing their devices running the Gmail app and forwarding calls to Gmail running in a web browser. It will be available first in one-to-one chats within the Gmail app and then in other Workspace endpoints in the future. Companion mode will be available in Meet in November, allowing users to host or join a meeting from within a conference room using a laptop and the in-room audio and video. Users can exchange material or view presentations on their devices without audio reverb in Companion mode, as well as access the meeting chat and whiteboard, vote on surveys, and ask questions in the Q&A. Companion mode, which will be available in Meet before the end of the year, is a live-translated captioning feature. According to Google, the function will translate meetings from English to French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, with additional languages coming soon.
Following the launch of its Series One Room Kits earlier this year, Google announced new additions to its Meet hardware lineup. The Series One Desk 27, an all-in-one 27-inch gadget, and the Series One Board 65, a 65-inch 4K display with an adjustable stand, are the two options. Both were developed in collaboration with Avocor and include Google’s Jamboard app, as well as the ability to be used as an external display through USB-C. The Logitech Rally Bar Mini and Rally Bar, which are built for small and mid-sized rooms, and the Rayz Rally Pro, an Appcessori mobile device speaker dock that instantly launches Meet for video meetings, are two new third-party choices.
These devices will be the first to offer bidirectional Cisco interoperability, allowing users to host a Meet meeting on Webex hardware and a Webex meeting on Meet hardware. The Series One Board 65, Series One Desk 27, and the remainder of the Meet hardware portfolio, as well as the Webex Room Series, Room Kit Series, Desk Series, and Board Series, provide calling interoperability between Meet and Webex. General release is expected later this year, according to Google.
Workspace’s growth coincides with organisations’ recognition of the advantages of remote and hybrid work. According to the latest survey by Global Workspace Analytics, businesses save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. Nearly nine out of ten employees say video conferences cut down on the time it takes to complete projects, potentially saving money. With long-term hybrid workflows gaining traction, firms are seeking better ways to adapt to quickly changing work environments and employee needs, according to Dan Root, senior analyst at Wainhouse Research. Workspace is expanding its product offerings and capabilities to ensure that individuals and companies have the technology and resources they need to embrace a work-from-anywhere culture. The new Meet Series One hardware devices, for example, may flex and grow to the user’s preferred workflow, making it easier to bridge the gaps of hybrid work.
During Google’s July earnings call, the company stated that Workspace revenue increased in the previous quarter, owing to an increase in both seats and average expenditure per seat. Sales of the company’s Google Cloud division, which includes collaboration tools, increased by 54% year over year to $4.6 billion.