Workspace Essentials Starter, Google’s free offer to collaborate
By offering its latest free collaborative offer Workspace Essentials Starter, Google hopes to offer the offer most in line with the world of hybrid work. And convince users of competing solutions to turn to it.
Improving teamwork and innovation through secure collaboration by design is the ambition of the free Workspace Essentials Starter Edition solution launched by Google last week. According to the vendor, Essentials Starter should help employees and their teams break down silos and work differently, even if their business still relies on legacy productivity tools built before the advent of hybrid working. “In a recent survey of hybrid working around the world commissioned by Google, 75% of respondents said that over the next three years, hybrid or flexible working would be a common practice at their company,” said Kelly Waldher, Vice President of Marketing for Google Workspace.
Hence the importance for these companies to adopt the right tools so that their employees can connect and collaborate from anywhere, be it home, office or elsewhere. “The future is flexible, and it’s clear that people need access to tools they love that perform well and can support collaboration no matter where they work and what hardware they use” , Ms. Waldher said again. “Today, companies are beginning to adopt more sustainable hybrid and remote working arrangements, which is why we seek to offer secure solutions that meet the challenges of this new practice,” she said. added.
Remove boundaries between people, places and time zones
Users who want to try Essentials Starter don’t need a new email address, file conversion tools, new plug-ins or desktop software. Essentials Starter works within existing enterprise environments, using a cloud-first model that includes encrypted and secure file access to maintain data security and user information privacy. Customers can sign up with a work email for an Essentials Starter account (no credit card required, and there’s no limited trial period). Then they can invite their teammates to collaborate using Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Chat, Drive, and Meet. They can also store, share and collaborate on over 100 file types, including Microsoft Office, without having to convert them. According to a Google support page, teams are limited to 25 people, but within a single company the number of teams that can register is unlimited.
Essentials Starter will be rolling out over a period of several weeks and may not be available in some regions until mid-February. “Google has optimized its products and added new features to accommodate this shift towards hybrid and remote working, including features for collaboration fairness, connection from multiple workplaces, and background noise reduction. and distractions,” Kelly Waldher said. “Another important element is the ability for employees to provide feedback on the tools they use at work, at a time when many companies are more permanently adopting hybrid and remote models,” she added. . From this point of view, Workspace Essentials Starter poses perhaps a potential problem: that of the lack of supervision, since it does not require or allow administrative control by the IT departments, which is unusual in regarding internal software platforms. This aspect could raise questions about shadow computing and issues related to data governance and security. “There’s a real movement among employees around user choice and employee empowerment,” said Ms. Waldher. “Hybrid and remote working has exposed all the tools, people know how they want to work and which tools they prefer to use. Workspace Essentials Starter gives them another choice to connect and collaborate, even if their company uses a legacy solution”