Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, is Google’s answer to a number of different productivity problems facing most companies and organizations.
In one suite of tools, it offers solutions for email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation decks, shared calendars, cloud storage, virtual conferencing, and much more. It offers these solutions at an affordable entry point of $6 per month per user. But, what do each of its tools have to offer your organization?
Gmail from Your Organization’s Domain
InMotion Hosting offers powerful email options, including a suite of webmail platforms, provided at no additional charge as part of its hosting packages. Still, many users prefer the familiarity and powerful features that Gmail offers. While many small businesses have, in the past, resorted to using personal email addresses on Gmail, this can look a bit unprofessional.
One of the biggest benefits of a Google Workspace account is the ability to send email from your own domain, but using Google’s Gmail platform. In other words, your email address can be [email protected] instead of @gmail.com. Plus, with its seamless integration into the rest of Google Workspace, saving and attaching files with Google Drive, chatting via Hangouts, and accepting calendar invitations via Google Calendar are a breeze.
Every organization should share an online calendar of some form to make coordination of efforts easier. Google’s Calendar app is one of the most popular and powerful available online, and it is part of Google Workspace. With it, you can create events that are easy to share with other members of the organization or those outside, sending invitations via email and allowing you to track who has accepted and rejected. It provides reminders, calendar sharing, and many other features found in expensive project management suites, but at a tiny fraction of the cost.
Google Calendar also integrates well with a number of outside programs, making it possible for third party apps (like CRM and project management solutions) to easily add and sync up appointments and reminders. It also works on mobile devices, making it possible to easily have your calendar with you everywhere you go.
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
Effectively Google’s answer to Microsoft Office, Docs, Sheets, and Slides can satisfy an organization’s word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software needs. Designed to run smoothly on the Internet, there is no software to download (although there are optional desktop add-ons you can download for local, offline access). Because it runs on the web, some power-users may be unimpressed with the lack of certain features available in Microsoft’s much more robust offerings.
For the average user performing most ordinary daily tasks, these solutions provide ample features sufficient to easily prepare a wide range of materials. Because they are part of the Google Workspace’s applications, they all save automatically to the Google Drive and are easy to share across the organization or beyond. And, in those instances when additional features may be required, it is easy to download a copy of the files in a variety of formats to your computer, and then edit them in a competitor’s software.
At the heart of Google Workspace’s offering, Google Drive is easily one of the most useful productivity tools on the market today. At the entry level $6 Business Starter plan, users get 30GB of cloud storage. For just $8 per active user per month on the Essentials package, you are allotted up to 2 TB of pooled cloud storage across your organization. This affordable price is an option most other cloud storage companies simply do not provide.
What is cloud storage good for? Aside from simple backups of files on a local system, the keyword in working in a cloud environment is “collaboration.” Users can share folders and files, enjoy the benefits of automatic version control, and do even more with a number of third party apps. With Google Drive, users can share and work simultaneously on massive files, like large videos or media-heavy presentation decks. And with its integrations with the other Google Workspace apps, it is possible to email files, share them during a Hangout chat, append them to calendar invites, or use them in any number of other ways.
Google Drive is easily one of the most useful and powerful tools on the Internet today, and this alone makes Google’s productivity platform worth the investment.
Google Hangouts falls into that category of tools that most people do not realize they need until they get used to having it. An online chat and video conferencing solution, it allows teams to communicate within the Google Workspace ecosystem. Users can engage in traditional text chat, or start a video call right from their computers, inviting up to 100 people to join; perfect for organizations with members who work remotely or that have offices in multiple locations. Screen sharing is easy, making it ideal for long distance presentations, and file sharing is a breeze with Google Drive integration. Video calls are surprisingly stable, as well, making Hangouts far superior to many other video conferencing options – again at a fraction of the price.
Another feature of Google Workspace allows you to set up advanced admin control and manage mobile devices safely and securely. For instance, you can easily add new users as they are hired and remove older users who are no longer with the company. You can also use your central control panel to set up things such as two-step verification when logging in to emails and accounts. If your company uses mobile devices, you can also set up passwords for these, erase the data if necessary, and physically locate the devices if they go missing.
Integrating Google Workspace with Your Organization and Website
While no solution is perfect for every person or organization in every situation, Google Workspace is a massively powerful, intuitive, and inexpensive option that millions of users have already chosen. And, with good reason! With its attractive and easy-to-understand user interfaces, integrations among its own programs and those of third party vendors, and powerful storage and productivity features, it is one of the most powerful and versatile productivity suites on the market today.
Resourceful web designers have also fallen in love with Google Workspace for its ability to boost their own sites. With a Google Workspace account, you can stream videos out of your Google Drive into your website, leveraging the power of Google’s massive network without bogging down your own server or overloading local bandwidth. Some like to tie a Google Calendar into their site to allow for easy appointment setting or to notify customers of days and hours of availability. Still others like to create presentations in Slides that live in the Google Drive but display on their website every time a visitor lands on a particular page. It’s no exaggeration to say that with the right know-how and a little creativity, even novice designers can create stunning, professional results on their websites by leveraging the power of Google Workspace.
For InMotion Hosting customers, getting started with Google Workspace is easy. Just sign up for your account with Google, then follow the directions in this help article to redirect your email to Google’s servers, and you are in business. For more information on Google Workspace, including pricing and storage options, visit the official Google Workspace website.