As of October 6, 2020, G Suite is no longer G Suite.
Instead, as part of a push to update product experience, and position themselves better for the future of work and remote working, Google announced that G Suite would be getting a brand makeover and a new name.
Introducing Google Workspace.
While the primary productivity apps of G Suite (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, Chat) will all remain, the new name “Workspace” is a nod to the more unified workspace experience targeted with this rebrand.
Google Workspace: A Deeply Integrated (and Unified) Experience
The most obvious change to the productivity suite, apart from the updated logos and badges for each app, is the “more deeply integrated experience” that Google is promoting.
Some of the changes that focus on integration are, for example, that you’ll now be able to collaborate in apps like Sheets, or Slides, while within an entirely different app.
So, for example, if you’re in Chat, you’ll be able to dynamically create and collaborate on documents with other guests in a Chat room.
There will also be added features to the Chat experience, like the ability to:
- Create rooms
- Invite collaborators to join chats from inside and outside your organization
- Start message threads, and react to messages using emojis (a similar UI to Slack)
Watch this video to learn more about the changes
The new integrated experience comes with a catch though — only paying customers of the Google Workspace will be able to take advantage of this feature.
Changes to Pricing and Storage With Google Workspace
While the pricing for Workspace plans has remained mostly the same, the names of each plan have changed, and Google has created a new, top-tier plan that wasn’t previously introduced.
- What was previously known as the Basic plan is now known as the Business Starter plan and costs $6 per user per month.
- What was previously known as the Business Plan is now known as the Business Standard plan and costs $12 per user per month.
- The new option is known as the Business Plus Plan and costs $18 per user per month.
For the Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus plans, Google has implemented a 300 user maximum. Organizations larger than that will be required to upgrade to an Enterprise or Enterprise Plus plan. Though Google doesn’t publish the cost for Enterprise plans, leaked information indicates the cost could range from $20-$30 per user.
Enterprises must also consider what the increase in price means for preserving data from former employees. An increase in plan rate also means an increase in archived licensing costs. To minimize costs, enterprises should consider a third-party backup solution, to protect and store all user data, without paying unnecessary licensing fees to Google.
Storage sizes will also change based on the plan you have:
- Business Starter plan = 30 Gigabytes
- Business Standard plan = 2 Terabytes
- Business Plus plan = 5 Terabytes
- Enterprise plan = unlimited storage
This is one of the biggest changes within the announcement, as previously users on the Business plan would receive unlimited cloud storage. While 2TB and 5TB of storage for the Business Standard and Business Plus plans are substantial, it is not unlimited.
Additional Changes on the Horizon
Other changes to Workspace will be rolling out in the coming months, too.
Specifically, Google has already announced the user interface will get a makeover. For example, they will add all four of its key collaboration apps at the bottom of the new Gmail interface, eliminating the need to formally “switch” apps, making a more fluid workflow, especially on a mobile device.
There are also talks of features like:
- Picture-in-picture video calls in Gmail
- Integration of Google Meet into content tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides
- Better security “locks” into Meet and Chat
Backup Solutions for Workspace
Among the changes that were announced, one update was noticeably missing. There is no change to the shared responsibility model, meaning that the users are still responsible for protecting data against:
And, as the new integrated process welcomes even more data to be stored in its infrastructure, businesses should now, more than ever, consider a third-party backup solution.
Learn more about the importance of backing up your data in cloud services like Google Workspace.