Jul 16, 2020 - Technology

G Suite boss says Google's latest changes aim to improve online collaboration

A G suite screen

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Google on Wednesday debuted a bunch of changes to G Suite, making it easier for users to move between applications and, as G Suite boss Javier Soltero told Axios, allowing even greater online collaboration.

Why it matters: The pandemic has made workplace productivity tools even more critical, as so many work from home, and amped up Google's competition with Microsoft, as well as with tools like Zoom and Slack.

The big picture: Bundling products, Soltero said, is "a very appealing opportunity for any company that sells multiple things," but these changes, he insists, are more than that.

  • Soltero points to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups as an unlikely North Star for the G Suite changes.
  • It's not just combining peanut butter and chocolate that makes Reese's unique, he argues, but the shape and way the flavors are combined. So, too, with G Suite.

Zoom, for example, offers chat, but conversations disappear once the video call ends.

  • With the new integration of Meet and Google Chat, Soltero said that conversation can live on, along with shared files and captured tasks.
  • Google isn't looking to take on project management apps like Asana, he said, but offer an easy integrated option for less hardcore project managers.

Between the lines: These changes were planned before the pandemic, dating back more than a year and were on the drawing board before Soltero arrived. However, Soltero confirmed that some of the moves were sped up, including the integration of Meet video chatting into Gmail earlier this year.

  • The deeper integrations unveiled Wednesday are limited to paid G Suite accounts and won't be visible to consumers. And, though Google made the enterprise features of Meet free until September, Soltero said Google plans to limit those features to paid users after that point.
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