With Google’s recent announcement of Team Drives— in the company’s own words: “shared spaces designed for teams, enabling easy storage, organization, and access to files” —the juggernaut behind Google Drive has thrown its hat into the enterprise content collaboration ring.
What makes Team Drives such an interesting prospect, however, is not simply its storage and collaboration capabilities, but how those capabilities can combine with the multitude of other services for which Google and the Google partner ecosystem are known for. While organizations already make use of many of these services, migrating data from on-premises servers or from other cloud providers to Team Drives will no doubt optimize an organization’s ability to draw on the full power of these web services, especially G Suite, which has become a favorite service for many who never even thought of migrating to Team Drives before.
The Power of G Suite
Whether or not the name “G Suite” rings a bell, most people who are familiar with Google and their products have regularly interacted with it. Comprising things such as Drive, Gmail, Google+, and Google Sites, G Suite is the small galaxy of apps Google has created, dealing with everything from website creation to social media. Not counting the thousands of third-party apps with which G Suite is compatible, the platform includes:
- Google +
- Hangouts Chat
- Hangouts Meet
- Cloud Search
On its own, each of these apps can be a formidable tool, but the magic of G Suite is how confidently it lives up to the platonic idea of a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
The power of G Suite, in the end, doesn’t reside in any one component, though each has many strengths to recommend it. What makes G Suite so dynamic is how smoothly each of the apps in the suite interact, and how seamlessly connected the experience of using them can be.
However, if your organization has G Suite, but still uses another file storage method like on-premises servers or a non-Google cloud option, it’s difficult to fully adopt G Suite and take advantage of all that platform has to offer until your organization’s content is in Google Drive. Essentially, before migrating, your experience with G Suite is akin to working with one hand tied behind your back. You’re receiving a fraction of the functionality and potential available to you.
Collaboration at the Core
Part of what makes G Suite so impressive is its focus on a type of collaboration that cloud solutions don’t often talk about. While many services emphasize how tools enhance collaboration between users, G Suite emphasizes both that and the collaboration of the tools themselves.
Because of their inclusion under the Google umbrella, all of the apps in G Suite can function in concert with one another, saving users time they might have spent digging through multiple disconnected apps in the past, trying to convert files created in one company’s product to a format that will be compatible with another’s.
Thousands of apps are available on the GSuite Marketplace
The synchronicity of G Suite does away with all that, lacing together your team’s drives, the chat platform you use, the tools you use for website building, email, and more. This means that you can easily switch from editing a document with team members on Drives, to holding an online meeting (whiteboard and all) on Jamboard, to tending to archiving and discovery with Google Vault.
Powertools for Google Drive is an especially good example to this. Integrating directly with Google Drive, the app allows users to create workflows, centralize user access, craft detailed activity reports, and closely manage documents as they grow and change, enhancing Drives’ already impressive collaborative abilities.
Project manageability doesn’t stop there, however. Asana allows users and managers to create dashboards that are synced to Drives and Gmail. These dashboards allow teams to monitor progress on tasks large and small, and see who is in charge of what. These capabilities ensure that every member of a team is aware of how a project is moving along, and eliminates the need for complicated group chats or multiple message threads to do so. If a spreadsheet format works better for you, G Suite also offers SmartSheets, which provides top tier project management capabilities, such as the ability to attach files either from your desktop or directly from Google Drive. Not only is G Suite invested in project management tools; it’s invested in providing a multitude of them, so you can find what works best for your team.
For teams focused on security, Virtu, integrates with Drives and Mail, allowing users to encrypt sensitive files and correspondences for additional safeguards. Meanwhile, DocuSign ensures you can securely get signatures for anything ranging from workflows to sensitive information approvals directly through Gmail and Google Drive. Like so many other of the G Suite apps, DocuSign provides fluidity and security on a level that can’t be guaranteed with multiple clashing, disconnected programs.
Of course, all of this doesn’t even touch on G Suite’s integration with other app providers, such as Okta, with which you can sync your organization’s Google Cloud directory to get access to over 5,000 additional applications which focus on everything from onboarding of users’ mobile devices to further control of G Suite permissions and licenses on the go.
The interaction of these apps allows users to accomplish whatever they might need to without juggling a litany of different, often incompatible applications. In the place of that logistical headache, G Suite offers a centralized and expansive toolbox that prioritizes consistency and communication.
Experience the Magic of G Suite
With all of these options awaiting your organization, there’s never been a better time to migrate to Google’s Team Drives, and set your business up for expanded success. Ever updating and growing, G Suite and the Google team behind it are constantly finding new ways to provide you with a cloud solutions platform that goes well beyond the basics, with powerful functionalities that can transform what it means to work and collaborate in the cloud. With all this and more, it’s time to abandon the inconvenience and cost-inefficiency of on-premises servers, and experience the power of the cloud as only Google knows how.