Tagged: Google

Google Workspace

In today’s post I take a look at and provide an overview of Google’s Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, for communication and collaboration.

Please note, the described tools, services and subscriptions might be subject to change at any time.

What’s Google Workspace?

Google Workspace is a set of tools and services for productivity. It includes the following major cloud communication and collaboration capabilities:

  • Gmail | Send and receive mails
  • Calendar | Calendaring
  • Meet | Interactive online meetings
  • Chat | Chat and group messaging
  • Drive | Store and share documents and files
  • Docs | Create documents
  • Sheet | Create spreadsheets
  • Slides | Create presentations
  • Forms | Create forms
  • Sites | Create websites
  • Keep | Notes and lists
  • Apps Scrips | Automate and develop workspace scripts
  • Currents | Enterprise social network
  • Cloud Search | Workspace integrated search across enterprise files
YouTube – Google Workspaces Overview

Subscriptions and packages

Google Workspace is available in four packages on a per user/month price. There are offerings from small to large companies as follows:

  • Subscription | main differentiations per user subscription package
  • Business Starter | 30 GB cloud storage, video conferences for up to 100 attendees, mail, basic support
  • Business Standard | 2 TB cloud storage, video conferences for up to 150 attendees and recording, mail, upgradable basic support
  • Business Plus | 5 TB cloud storage, video conferences for up to 250 attendees incl. recording and attendee reports, mail, e-discovery and retention, advanced security and management features, upgradable basic support
  • Enterprise | unlimited cloud storage, video conferences for up to 250 attendees (incl. recording, attendee reports, noise suppression, internal live streaming), mail, S/MIME for mails, e-discovery and retention, advanced security, compliance, data loss prevention and management features, premium support

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Google’s Workplace offering obviously delivers a comprehensive cloud productivity suite at the first glance. In my opinion and for what I saw the subscription packages seem to be not as modular as offered by Microsoft 365. I also noticed some features and capabilities which are provided by default in Microsoft 365 with Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive etc., e.g. attendee reports for Microsoft Teams meetings and meeting recordings.

Additional resources

G Suite security controls overview [May 2020]

Due to the increased and still increasing number of people working from home the requirement to keep users’ identities and devices secure and up-to-date is a must. Recently, I wrote some blog posts on Microsoft 365 communication and collaboration security. This time, I’d like to share what Google provides to secure its G Suite platform for communication and collaboration on an high level.

Basically, it doesn’t matter what kind of solution and service you provide, it must be secure by design to cope with more and more advanced threats for your company assets and user identities. To do so, you need to be alert, but not only just maintain your as-is security standards and architecture, no, moreover you must steadily enhance the security capabilities as there are always new threats on the rise.

Source: https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/sicherheit-sichern-gesperrt-2168233/
Source: https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/sicherheit-sichern-gesperrt-2168233/

To keep your company assets secure if you rely on G Suite you might want to know what you can do.

  • Fundamental device management
    • Reports/view all devices which access corporate data
    • Reports on devices accessing corporate data
    • Remediation actions, e.g. remotely sign out a user
    • Context-aware access control, e.g. allow access to corporate data/services only under defined circumstances like only device storage must be encrypted etc.
  • Enhanced security for Windows 10
    • login with Google credentials because Google can be used as a credential provider for Windows
    • Single Sign-On (SSO) for Windows 10 devices, apps and services
    • identity and account protection (detection of anti-hijacking, suspicious login detection)
    • compliance checks for Windows 10 devices (checking if the device is secured and updated)
    • device management to roll out device configuration updates and wipe a device
  • New G suite security capabilities
    • data protection insights [for data loss prevention (DLP)]
    • automated classification with labels for DLP
    • iOS copy/paste protection for DLP
    • context-aware access with group-based policies
    • context-aware access for SAML apps
    • monitor logs with third-party monitoring

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I must admit that I haven’t checked for some time what’s new and which capabilities are offered lately with G Suite. By what I’ve read so far, a lot has changed and was added for good. I recognize that the features and capabilities regarding communication and collaboration security have been growing very well, too. It’s interesting to see how G Suite also evolves over time regarding communication and collaboration security, to keep users and things secure.

Additional resources

Google Cloud Next ’19 recordings

In this post I’d like to point out some Google Cloud Next ’19 recordings which you can watch on YouTube. Their focus are on modern communication and collaboration based on Google services. The links are at the bottom of this post.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I watched some bits of the event to get some insights on what’s Google offering regarding modern collaboration and communication services. I saw some common, innovative as well as different (implemented/looking) features and services. From my point of view, although otherwise mentioned by the speakers of the sessions, to me the services deliver just some certain service building block for an enterprise grade IT service infrastructure. You need to take a close look at several aspects to find out if the provided services are right for your company. But that’s what you need to do for all services and things before you start rolling out anything.

To me, it was interesting to watch what and how certain modern collaboration capabilities are offered by Google. Also remarkable that Google partners with Cisco to enrich their, both, communication and collaboration portfolio and feature set. Finally, I’m looking forward to read news from Gartner regarding cloud-based unified communication (for 2019) and which player is categorized as a leader (for 2019).

Additional Resources

Google Cloud Next ’19 live stream

For market observers, in this post I want to notify about Google Cloud Next. The event begins at April 9th, 2019 in San Francisco. However, you can watch it online at April 9th, 19:00 h (CET) on YouTube. The event is about news all around Google’s cloud services. There are “special” tracks you can stream which are regarding communication and collaboration services with the G Suite. I added the links to these communication and collaboration sessions at the bottom of this post.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Why do I share this? In my opinion it’s important to observe the communication and collaboration market and always stay up-to-date. To know (different) communication and collaboration services’ capabilities helps in discussions regarding pros and cons plus adds more value to advisory services. 

Additional Resources

Advance your Google cloud collaboration with Google’s Jamboard

If you are using Googles Productivity Tools, called G Suite you can now add Google’s Jamboard to your collaboration spaces and rooms. The Jamboard is a collaboration device. What does it offer to you?

  • 55-inch 4k display incl. touch screen
  • HD camera
  • Speakers
  • Wi-Fi
  • Hangouts to broadcast and share contents
  • Whiteboarding
  • Pull in content from Docs
  • Pull in content from Sheets
  • Pull in content from Slides
  • Add photos stored in Drive
  • Make notes
  • Use a versatile set of stencils
  • Use your hand/pen to write
  • Use your hand/pen to draw
  • Approx. < 6.000 US-$ (for information only and without responsibility)
  • Approx. available in 2017 (early adopter program available)

You can find further details and the offi>>here<<.

Google’s G Suite?

[IRONY MODE ON] As I heard and read the name first I thought of jets and pilots (anti gravitation suits: wiki). 😀 Well, the productivity suite by Google is quick and easy to use so helping you boost your productivity without a black-out. 😉 [IRONY MODE OFF] I give you an overview of the G Suite. For details on new capabilities you can click here.

What’s in the G Suite?

The G Suite includes a very nice tool set of cloud productivity apps, tools and services to cover your business productivity’s requirements in a cloud-service-oriented and more and more digitized enterprise:

  • Communication
    • GMAIL
    • Calendar
    • Hangouts (instant messaging, presence, audio, video, …)
    • G+ (social networking)
  • Storage
    • Drive
  • Collaboration
    • Docs (rich text editing)
    • Sheets (rich calculation)
    • Forms (rich forms/flows)
    • Slides (rich presentations)
    • Sites (rich sites internal/external web sites/portals)
  • Admin
    • Admin (portal to administer and manage accounts and the G Suite features for your company useres)
    • Vault (archiving of chats, mails …)

What does it offer and cost?

Well, it depends on what features you subscribe to and for how many users. There are two pricing categories (G Suite Pricing and features) at the moment of writing this post (pricing might be subject to change). These two categories are called Basic and Business and include the following features and services:

  • G Suite Basic for 5 US-$ or 4 € per user per month
    • Business email addresses (name@yourcompany.com)
    • Video and voice calls
    • Integrated online calendars
    • 30GB of online storage for file syncing and sharing
    • Online text documents, spreadsheets and slides
    • Easy to create project sites
    • Security and admin controls
    • 24/7 phone and email support
  • G Suite Business for 10 US-$ or 8 € per user per month
    • Business email addresses (name@yourcompany.com) [as with G Suite Basic]
    • Video and voice calls [as with G Suite Basic]
    • Integrated online calendars [as with G Suite Basic]
    • Online text documents, spreadsheets and slides [as with G Suite Basic]
    • Easy to create project sites [as with G Suite Basic]
    • Security and admin controls [as with G Suite Basic]
    • 24/7 phone and email support [as with G Suite Basic]
    • Unlimited Storage (or 1TB per user if fewer than 5 users) [additional to G Suite Basic features]
    • Advanced admin controls for Drive [additional to G Suite Basic features]
    • Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing [additional to G Suite Basic features]
    • Google Vault for eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files [additional to G Suite Basic features]
    • Easily search and export to different formats [additional to G Suite Basic features]
    • Archive all emails sent by your company [additional to G Suite Basic features]
    • Set message retention policies [additional to G Suite Basic features]
    • Place and enforce litigation holds on inboxes [additional to G Suite Basic features]

When could this fit?

There is no general answer to this question. If it fits for your company or not depends on your requirements (!) for collaboration based on your business requirements. So first of all you should set a target communication and collaboration architecture for your individual business requirements within your company.

The Day After Google Reader

Der Google Reader ist der beste Feedreader. Mit dem Reader können RSS-Feeds abonniert und über unterschiedliche Geräte hinweg synchron gehalten werden. Das heißt es kann mit allen Geräten (PC, Smartphone, Tablet) auf seine Feeds zugeriffen werden. Sobald die Feeds mit dem Smartphone gelesen werden, sind die Artikel als gelesen markiert und werden auf anderen Geräten nicht mehr angezeigt. Es wird immer nur das ungelesene angezeigt. Vollkommen unabhängig mit welchem Gerät die Feeds gelesen werden. (http://www.google.com/readerhttp://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Reader)

Seit längerem ist bekannt, dass der Dienst von Google eingestellt wird. Das ist sehr schade. Die Google Reader-Gemeinde ist quasi schockiert und trauert. 😉 In vielen Foren und Fachzeitschriften setzen sich die Nutzer des sehr beliebten und praktischen Dienstes mit Alternativen auseinander. (http://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/Nach-dem-Aus-fuer-Google-Reader-Alternativen-fuer-RSS-Reader-1823492.html)

Für mich ist ein guter Feedreader essentiell! Ich arbeite mit unterschiedlichen Geräten und nutze freie Zeit gerne, um schnell zu schauen, welche Nachrichten gibt. Sollte etwas wichtiges dabei sein, möchte ich mir den Artikel für das spätere Lesen markieren können. Das funktioniert mit dem Google Reader bestens. Wer kennt das nicht? Wenn man etwas gewohnt ist, möchte man später nicht weniger haben! Jetzt möchte ich weiterhin die gleichen Features haben, wie mit dem Reader.

Kurzum nach ein paar Überlegungen und Zeitschriften-Artikel habe ich Feedly ausprobiert. Was kam dabei heraus?

Contra

  • Schlechte Usability (i. S. v. Bedienbarkeit) der WebGUI im Browser
  • Gewöhnungsbedürftige WebGUI im Browser
  • Kein Kennzeichen für ungelesene Feeds verglichen mit der Reeder App (iPhone/iPad App)

Pro

  • Google Account kann verwendet werden
  • Alle Google Reader Feeds können direkt in Feedly übernommen werden
  • Geräte-Unabhängigkeit
  • Sehr gute kostenlose Apps für (Smartphone, Tablet)
  • Sehr gute Usability der Apps
  • Sehr gute Darstellung der Feeds in den Apps (zwei Themes/Kontraste, gute Schrift, gute Schriftgröße (Schrift, Schriftgröße sind einstellbar))

Fazit

Feedly schafft eine sehr gute und annäherungsweise Abbildung der Features, die vom Google Reader bekannt sind. Das einziges Manko aus meiner Sicht ist aktuell die sehr gewöhnungsbedürftige Weboberfläche, wenn die Feeds per Browser gelesen werden. Hieran wird seitens Feedly gearbeitet (http://blog.feedly.com/). Da ich auf den Browser verzichten könnte, aber mittlerweile auch mit der Bedienung zurecht komme, bietet Feedly genau das was ich brauche: 1.) ein Feedreader der von meinen verwendeten Geräten unabhängig ist und 2.) nur ungelesene/markierte Feeds anzeigt. The Day After Google Reader gehört bei mir Feedly.

Skype geht an Microsoft

Microsoft hat Skype gekauft. Der Betrag für die Unternehmensübernahme beläuft sich auf knapp 6 Mrd. Euro. Mit diesem Zukauf möchte Microsoft seinen Smartphone-Bereich stärken und die Echtzeit-Kommunikation vorantreiben. Der Zukauft soll auch Microsofts Position am Markt gegen Apple und Google sichern.

Weitere Links:

FAZ Internettelefonie: Microsoft kauft Skype für 8,5 Milliarden Dollar

Zdnet Bestätigt: Microsoft kauft Skype für 8,5 Milliarden Dollar

Welt Größter Zukauft im Web-Geschäft

Skype

Microsoft