Google announced a new suite of enterprise features, products and improvements aimed at businesses at its Cloud Next developer conference on Thursday.
Chief among the features and changes is a revamping of Google’s Hangouts for G Suite. Moving forward, the tech giant will split the video chatting service into two separate platforms. The first of which is Hangouts Meet, which will focus on seamless and easy video conferencing for corporate and business users. The second is Hangouts Chat, a separate app aimed at workplace chat, team workflow and productivity. Unlike the free, consumer version of Hangouts, the new two services are available to paying G Suite customers. Meet is available today, and Chat will be released sometime in the future.
Along with the video chat and conferring apps, Google also unveiled a suite of enterprise tools for Drive similarly aimed at corporations and businesses. Team Drives, for example, is a new cloud-based file storage solution that aims to make collaboration easier between team members. Google Vault for Drive focuses on data security, protection and compliance. Instead of relying on traditional syncing measures and disk space, Google G suite users can now “stream” files from the cloud via Drive File Stream.
Drawing on its position as a machine learning innovator, Google also announced Quick Access — an intelligent file management system that “surfaces” files based on predictions. AppBridge, a recent Google acquisition, helps companies migrate data and files to their G Suite account. Google also updated how Gmail add-ons are accessed — switching them from being based on browser extensions to being available through G Suite.
In addition, Google announced the availability and pricing of its business-aimed, G Suite-ready Jamboard. Basically, it’s a digital whiteboard — a 4K Smart TV that allows users to “draw” on it — that also comes equipped with a camera, NFC, and handwriting and shape recognition. Starting in May, the Jamboard will be available for $5,000, plus a $600 annual support fee.