What is Google Workspace?

G Suite service started in 2006 allowing organizations to use Google’s suite of cloud-based products rather than maintaining their own servers. It originally included Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Page Creator, but expanded to include Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drive, Google Chat, and Meet, which were available to free consumers lacking some features.

With the pandemic introducing new degrees of urgency to professional online platforms, Google hasrebranded G Suite office apps as Google Workspace. Google Workspace is a software as a service product that groups all cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools. The move brings a refreshed look and feel to the range of applications encompassing Gmail, Docs, Meet, Sheets, and Calendar. The changes are more than just visual, with new features to improve integration with each app, as well as introducing more management features and a “Business Plus” pricing tier.

Looking at the Google Apps available for free and paid tiers, one will note they seem the same. Google Workspace, however, has a few key features that allow it to integrate with your workflow seamlessly. Enterprise-level features have been added for subscribers. These features include:

Shared Calendars

You can share the calendar only with a small group of people within the organization or with the entire organization. You can also give others different administrator permissions so not everyone has access to all the information.

Custom Email Addresses

Where a regular Gmail address will use “@gmail.com,” Google Workspace can have a domain you already own and look like “@yourdomain.com.”

Data Transfer

You can also use data migration to transfer all your emails, calendars, and contacts to your Google Workspace directly and with ease.

Mobile Device Integration

Mobile devices can be activated or deactivated. You can control which apps are enabled and remote wipe devices when needed.

Currently, there are four payment tiers available for small and large businesses:

  1. Business Starter: Costs 6$/user/month, this is the entry-level package giving you 30GB of shared storage for Drive and Gmail for each user. It also includes all productivity apps but lacks Cloud search, App Maker, and Vault.
  2. Business Standard: Costs 12$/user/month and offers 2TB of shared storage for each user. It has the same features as the Business Starter package.
  3. Business Plus: Costs 18$/user/month. Offers 5TB of shared storage for each user and adds attendance tracking to video meetings, Vault, Cloud Search, and App Maker to Google Workplace Business Standard tier.
  4. Enterprise: Offers all the features in Business Plus and unlimited storage for each user. It also offers advanced security and administrator controls, eDiscovery, and data loss protection. Quality of life improvements like noise cancellation and in-domain live streaming are an added bonus.

Institutions can get Google Workspace for Education. It offers all the features available in the Business Starter tier but with additional storage and free access to Google Vault. It is free for qualifying institutions.

Non-profit organizations can also get Google Workspace for free than is almost identical to Google Workspace for Education.

Final words

If you are considering one of these services for your organization, you can find Google Workspace providers who will provide you with in-person support and training services. They can guide you in optimizing usability and returns so you remain competitive and innovative.