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Google Apps Unlimited: Reaffirming Google's Commitment to Building a True Enterprise Product


July 2, 2014

2 minute read

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During yesterday’s keynote at Google I/O, Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome, and Apps at Google, announced Google Apps Unlimited and other exciting updates to the Google Apps suite.

Google is known for its agile development and constant innovation, so how is yesterday’s announcement any different? For one, the fact that Apps news was given prime airtime at Google’s most anticipated conference of the year speaks volumes about the weightiness of this release. And two, it affirms that Google is committed to building products that address the needs of cloud-enabled enterprises. So what was included?

Drive Updates

A new Google Drive option offers unlimited storage, causing much buzz among the Google Apps community. Instead of uploading videos, photos, and design files to a separate app to conserve the former 30GB Drive allowance for native Docs and email, with bottomless Drive storage, many users can consolidate data and phase out other applications altogether.

Saving money on additional cloud storage licenses plus the value of Google Vault–a must-have for organizations with data retention and legal hold policies that is now included in Google Apps Unlimited–justifies the $10/user/month price tag of the new plan, and those are just two of the exciting new features. Enhanced mobile editing, built-in data encryption, and more granular admin controls for Google Apps were also added.

Office Integration and Editing

Google addressed another huge pain point of Google Apps users with enhanced editing of Office files. Files that Office users send will now open within Drive, eliminating conversions and allowing users to make document edits directly in Chrome and send files back and forth in their original format. Even more, users can specify target apps for opening Drive files–like opening a vector image with Illustrator–which makes Drive a more feasible file share for every type of user.

This comes with one major positive side effect–since Office users can now share Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files within Drive, it’s only a matter of time before they begin relying on Drive for the sharing and collaboration that legacy systems lack, very quickly negating the value of paying for Office licenses at all and pushing their organizations to go Google.

Reinvesting in Google Apps

Despite regular updates to Google Apps, yesterday’s announcements mark the most monumental since Google Drive’s launch in 2012, making it clear that Google is devoting more and more resources to building tools for the enterprise and improving the Apps platform.

While large enterprises will always have unique use cases that need to be addressed through third-party products or custom development, Google is bulking up the functionality within its core packages to solve the needs of organizations of any size and compete with other enterprise solutions like Box, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

There are plenty more improvements to be made, but in the wake of yesterday’s exciting changes, the 5 million organizations and counting currently building their businesses on Google Apps can be confident that the platform is here to stay.