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Growth of Google Apps in 2014: Revisiting Our Predictions

BetterCloud Monitor

June 2, 2014

3 minute read


google-apps-custom-2Late last year, we made 5 predictions for Google Apps in 2014. Let’s examine how last year’s predictions have unfolded in 2014.

1. Drive will mature in a major way and more organizations will move away from Microsoft Office

At the end of last year, we predicted that 2014 would bring on huge changes for Google Drive. Fresh off the heels of the major spreadsheets overhaul, 2014 has indeed already seen many changes to Google’s cloud storage and collaboration solution.

Early this year, Google introduced activity streams for Drive allowing users to keep track of any edits or changes made to documents they either own or are shared on and, in a move to remain competitive with the likes of Box and Dropbox, Google greatly reduced the cost of Drive storage. But, the biggest update so far this year was the launch of Add-ons for Google Docs and Sheets, which give users a host of added functionality via solution offerings from third-party provides like Lucidchart, MailChimp and UberConference.

Other major updates we’ve already seen this year include:

  • The launch of separate mobile applications for Docs and Sheets with Slides coming shortly. These new applications give users the ability to edit offline on the go.
  • The introduction (at last) of image editing in Docs, Slides and Drawings allowing users to crop and add borders to their images.

As Google steadily continues to build out the functionality of Drive and Docs, Sheets and Slides, more organizations feel comfortable migrating away from legacy suites like Microsoft Office and to the Google Cloud.

2. 2014 will be a big year for Google Hangouts

Towards the end of last year, BetterCloud’s own use of Google Hangouts had reached a fever pitch. We’d been steadily transitioning away from other web conferencing solutions like GoToMeeting and Webex for Google Hangouts and this year, we’ve been able to completely deprecate our use of these services thanks to the introduction of Chromebox for Meetings.

The all-in-one hardware / software system allows us to easily communicate with colleagues, customers and partners via an integrated 100% cloud experience. Using Chromebox for Meetings, we can easily start a conference call, add participants via web app or phone line and communicate seamlessly.

3. The Chromebook ecosystem will mature

2014 has also been huge for Chromebooks. According to market research firm, NPD, up to 25% of all the low-cost laptops sold in the United States are Chromebooks and the devices have overtaken MacBooks for the number 2 spot in laptop sales. Moreover, according to Google, Chromebooks are deployed in almost 10,000 schools in the US.

It’s clear Chromebooks have a bright future ahead of them and a recent statement from Google and Intel announcing 20 new Chromebook devices slated for release in the coming months means we’re likely to see Chromebook adoption further accelerate.

4. AWS Will Face Stiff Competition from Google Compute Engine

Google Compute Engine has been picking up steam since it became generally available late last year. The Infrastructure as a Service is of particular interest to BetterCloud as we’ve steadily begun leveraging Compute for our product, FlashPanel. Moreover, Google’s announcement of managed virtual machines (VMs) this March gives BetterCloud the best of both the App Engine and Compute Engine worlds. Our VP of Engineering, Kevin Skibbe, notes that, “with the new managed VMs, we get the customization and management that comes along with Compute, as well as the scalability that comes with App Engine.”

And as for the competition, AWS is clearly feeling the pressure from Google. After Google lowered prices for Compute during its annual Cloud Platform event, AWS quickly followed suit with its own price cut.

5. Year of the Google Apps Marketplace

Lastly, we predicted that 2014 would bring about big changes for the partner ecosystem, particularly for Google Apps Marketplace vendors like BetterCloud. Surely enough, at this year’s Global Enterprise Partner Summit, Google announced a new partner program specifically for third-party developers. The Technology Partner track provides a program specific to technology partners meant not only to recognize their successes but also to offer them technical, marketing and sales support to help the bring their products to more Google Apps customers.

Google has made huge advancements in just the first half of 2014 and we’re excited to see what’s up next for the platform.