What is G-Suite?
In direct competition with Microsoft Office 365, Google created a variety of free online tools that businesses can use for cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration.
Among the many apps in Google’s G Suite are the following:
- Google Drive
- Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
- Google Forms
- Google Calendar
- Google Sites
- Google Hangouts
- Google Keep
Additionally, enterprise features can be purchased, including custom email addresses, unlimited cloud storage, extra administrative tools, advanced settings, and round-the-clock customer service.
The suite acquired more than 4 million business users and 70 million education users within 10 and one-half years of its 2006 launch. This collection of useful business tools still rivals Office.
The G Suite Enterprise Products
Gmail For Business
Gmail is a free web-based Google email service that was launched in April 2004. It’s ability to give users a large amount of storage space, view threaded conversations, and search the web enabled it to serve well over 1 billion users by 2016.
Because it is part of the suite, Gmail offers many features that are attractive to businesses, including:
- Domain name email addresses
- Almost no scheduled maintenance downtime
- 30 GB of storage space
- 24/7 support by phone or email
- Synchronization capability with providers such as Microsoft Outlook
- Add-ons support for third party integration
Google Drive For Business
Google Drive is a synchronization and file storage service. Users can store any type of file in the cloud and then access them from any device and share them with others. Using Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS computer apps and apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets users can sync files.
The storage between Google Drive and Gmail was unified, giving 30G of storage space. Plans can be purchased by business owners for extra-large storage space, advanced administrative controls, and auditing and reporting insights.
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides For Business
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides is an integrated Google Drive word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program that originated from three separate acquisitions in 2006.
Whether users are using a web browser or a mobile device, this collaborative software allows them to view and edit everything together and in real time. Permission levels can be set to control who can download specific documents or view, comment or edit them. Unlimited revision history and other features businesses need can be seen on Google Docs and Slides.
Google Forms For Business
Google Forms is a survey application that allows people to create surveys as well as forms and then analyze the results in collaboration with team members. The information gathered in the surveys are automatically populated onto a spreadsheet. The same collaboration and sharing features found in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are in Google Forms.
Google Calendar For Business
Google Calendar is Google’s Gmail-integrated online calendar that is used to keep track of time and schedules. Geared for use by businesses, it enables users to:
- View available meeting rooms and shared resources
- Migrate from Outlook, Exchange or iCal, or from .csv and .ics files
- Integrate with Google Sites
- Present a public calendar for customers to view upcoming events
- Use the service’s smart feature to find available times and locations using coworkers’ schedules
Google Sites For Business
Google Sites is a simple website-building tool that enables multiple people to contribute to the creation of the same website. No coding knowledge or design skills are needed to build a website in Google Sites. Once created, this app allows text, attachments, presentations, calendars, videos, and various other types of information to be gathered in one place and then shared or edited by a group.
Google Hangouts For Business
Google Hangouts is a free chat app that enables multiple people to text, talk to each other on the voice feature or hold video conversations, as well as collaborate on Google’s Slides, Sheets, or Docs. The video feature supports up to 25 participants. As with Gmail and Google Drive, uptime on Google Hangouts is nearly 100%.
Additional features created for business use include:
- Screen sharing
- Automatic video focus on the speaker
- Intelligent muting to prevent background noise
- Ability to host public Hangouts, live streaming events and automatically saving them to the YouTube account
- One-click start of a Hangouts conversation through the program’s integration with Google Calendar
An enterprise-friendly version of Google Hangouts, named Google Hangouts Meet, was introduced as a video conferencing app in 2017. It uses proprietary protocols for video, audio, and data transcoding, and it communicates with other video conferencing equipment and software.
Google Keep For Business
Google Keep is an online place where employees and others can keep their thoughts, ideas, and action items. It is a note-taking service that includes text, lists, voice, and images. When Google Keep became a part of the suite in 2017, it integrated with Google Docs, which made it possible to access one’s Google Keep notes while on Google Docs.
Benefits of Using G Suite
- The suite’s control panel can be integrated directly through some hosting companies.
- Two-step authentication feature
- Round-the-clock support
- Greater storage capacity
- Unlimited email aliases
- Email address grouping
- Document sharing
- File ownership
10 Stats about G Suite
- By 2013, 27% of business mailboxes worldwide were stored in the cloud.
- Analyst and consulting firm Gartner stated that Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides had taken 10% of the market share away from Microsoft within one year, 20% after three years, and up to 50% after six years.
- Garner analysts determined in 2011 that while Gmail had stolen less than 1% of the enterprise email market, it had already taken half of the enterprise cloud email market. These customers had been taken from Microsoft, IBM, and from smaller vendors.
- When business owners were asked about their intentions to use Google apps within the next two years, 87% of the large companies were against converting at the time because Google didn’t offer back office or other crucial applications they needed.
- In 2013, 39% of small companies had Gmail and the suite’s apps, 11% encouraged its use, and another 11% discouraged its use.
- More than half of the suite’s admins cited in 2013 the ability to access their data from anywhere as the main benefit to using cloud storage.
- As of 2013, more than 60% of G Suite customers began to minimize their investments in Microsoft Office.
- Gartner analyst Tom Austin noted that Microsoft’s strategy of tying their MS Office suite to Windows wouldn’t work long-term.
- According to Austin, Google already had a better cloud infrastructure by 2013 than Microsoft did
- By 2013, 72% of the top US universities used this business suite.
How to Use this Suite to Grow Your Business
One should note that the communication apps are Gmail, Google Hangouts, and Google Calendar. There is one storage app, which is Google Drive. The collaboration apps consist of Google Forms, Google Sites, and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. And there is the note-taking service, Google Keep, which is integrated with Google Docs.
The suite’s admin help center suggests the following steps for getting started and using the suite:
- Create an admin account at admin.google.com so that you can get into the admin console and manage your Google apps.
- Prove that you own your domain.
- Move your team’s email, contacts, calendars, and so on to the suite.
- Make the necessary managerial changes to the individual accounts for your employees and contractors regarding things like member alias names, usernames, passwords, adding another administrator, turning the suite’s service on or off, etc.
- Set up your meetings and email in your Gmail, Google Contacts, and Hangouts Meet
- Set up the sharing permissions for your employees in Google Drive.
- Create documents in Google Docs, spreadsheets in Sheets, and presentations in Slides.
- Put the suite’s apps onto your team’s mobile devices
- Familiarize yourself with the suite, observing security, monitoring usage and activity, view invoices, etc.
- Build a website
- Train your users how to use the suite through training guides and other ways. Visit the suite’s learning center.
Spotlight of a G Suite Consulting Firm
There are many consulting firms that offer G Suite setup, management and implementation to transform your business. Maven Wave helps leading companies make the shift to digital with solutions such as G suite, that are agile, rooted in analytics, and built in the cloud.
They were named Google Cloud North America Services Partner of the Year for 2019.