Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
Anindito Mukherjee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Google Alphabet, the parent company, announced Tuesday that the G Suite productivity team, including Gmail, will be renamed Google Workspace and receive more value. The new name better reflects how different applications are, such as the Google Meet video calling service available from other applications, such as Google Docs.
The changes could help Google increase revenue and become a more formidable challenger to Microsoft, whose Office 365 applications are more popular for business use. Any development could increase Google’s cloud business, which reduces Alphabet’s dependence on Google’s advertising business, a function that relaxed in the second quarter under the pressure of pandemic and recession.
Google’s consumer services such as Gmail and Google Drive are widely used and the company has been seeking to replicate this success for years in companies, schools and nonprofits. However, Microsoft remains dominant in the email and document creation software market, with an 87.6% share in 2019, according to industry research firm Gartner. Google had 11.5%, up from 10.5% in 2018.
The basic and business versions of G Suite, which cost $ 6 and $ 12 per user per month, will remain available as Business Starter and Business Standard programs for customers with 300 or fewer seats. A new Business Plus option with greater security features will cost $ 18 per user per month. There is also a new level of Essentials for groups and divisions, which will be available for $ 8 per user per month. Large companies can communicate with Google sellers as they used to.
The new offerings “should translate into much greater value for customers, for sure,” said Javier Soltero, vice president and general manager of Google Workspace.
In addition to name and price changes, Google is redefining multi-service logos to use all four colors in the Google logo and introducing a handful of new features. For example, when a user mentions a colleague by name in a document, other users will be able to hover over the name to find contact information. In addition, the Google Chat group communication application will allow users to create documents through their text chats.
Google has tried brand changes to enhance its business products in the past.
In 2014, Google was renamed Google Enterprise, which included many of its business products, such as Google for work.
In 2016, Google cloud manager Diane Greene unveiled the G Suite to include Google Docs, Google Sheets and other productivity applications. Previously, these web services were known as Google Apps, a name first used in 2006. At about the same time, the company was renaming other Google for Work services as Google Cloud.
Former Oracle CEO Thomas Kurian replaced Green as Google’s cloud leader in January 2019 and Google increased prices for G Suite about that time. In October 2019, Soltero became a member of Google from Microsoft, where he was corporate vice president at Office and Cortana’s virtual assistant.
In February, Alphabet began to reveal quarterly cloud revenue. It held $ 3 billion in the second quarter, up 43% from the previous quarter.
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