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Google Workspace reinvents company culture for modern workforces


Johannesburg, 02 Oct 2023
Google has released Duet AI for Workspace.
Google has released Duet AI for Workspace.

Research has found that switching to Google Workspace drives a positive culture change, a more secure and productive environment, and saves around a month of work per year, per employee. With the upcoming release of Google Duet generative AI, the business benefits of Google Workspace are about to become even more pronounced.

This is according to Moussi Samaha, Regional Workspace Lead at Google, who says culture change is proving to be one of the top three impacts of switching to Google Workspace. He notes: “Being cloud native makes the entire difference. As Google productivity tools evolved from the first Google Apps for work, through to G Suite, to the advanced Workspace we know today, it has always been cloud-native, so collaboration is at the heart of it. Real-time collaboration makes people feel more included, whereas if they work alone in silos, they feel left out.”

Business impacts of Google Workspace

Other top impacts of Google Workspace are cost optimisation, efficiency and productivity. Samaha says: “Cost optimisation is achieved because Google Workspace consolidates many shadow IT operations and offers a complete one-stop solution with all the tools employees need. The ROI is always proven when customers do a total cost of ownership exercise. In terms of improved efficiency and productivity, by shaving off seconds and minutes on every task, Google Workspace saves on average around 121 hours of work per year, per employee.”

Research carried out for Google by Quadrant Strategies last year found that 82% of Google Workspace switchers said their team had become more innovative, 56% said Google made it quick and easy to get what they need from team members, and the average number of collaborators per document was a staggering 13.4. Organisations also reported that the communication platforms on Google facilitate meaningful conversations, with these benefits more apparent the larger the organisation.

Samaha says other research by Google has found that switching to Google Workspace improves employee engagement, with around 80% of employees saying they feel more involved in projects and decision-making. This improved productivity and collaboration drives a better employee experience, with an average 63% increase in employee retention.

Gregory MacLennan, CEO at Digicloud Africa, Google's chosen reseller enablement partner in Africa, adds: “Collaboration can be challenging when teams are dispersed. By unifying a variety of tools – including Gmail, Chat, Meet, Docs, Slides and Sheets – with comprehensive embedded security and a people-first experience powered by Google AI, Google Workspace overcomes the challenges of today’s dispersed and hybrid workforces. Hybrid work may be popular among South African employees, but organisational leaders have expressed concerns that remote work is detrimental to company culture and teamwork. Google Workspace infuses a sense of direct communication and collaboration into remote and hybrid teams.”

Workspace collaboration in practice

Samaha explains that in practice, Google Workspace collaboration might see an entire team working together on a document or slide in real-time. “You don’t work on it on your own, save, send and wait for someone else to make changes and send it back. Google was the first mover on collaboration tools and, over the years, we have perfected them.”

The seamless integration between the Google tools and apps offers myriad benefits. For example, when a user is typing a mail to request a meeting at a particular time and date, they will automatically be given the option to generate a Google calendar event and send a meeting invitation – without leaving their inbox. Shared calendars allow teams to see when others are available. Google Meet video meetings are fully integrated, so users can easily move from a chat or document collaboration into a video call. Google Cloud Search allows authorised users to search for relevant files and data across all the company’s content – from e-mails to slides, sheets and calendars. Google Workspace also offers Apps Script, a low-code platform for building solutions that integrate, automate and extend Google Workspace.

Enhanced security, advanced AI

Crucially, Google Workspace protects users and data against cyber risk. “Other cyber security tools might be efficient and useful, but they tend to tackle one aspect of security. Google Workspace looks at complete defence with a powerful array of tools to protect the entire environment,” says Samaha. “Google’s cloud-first, zero-trust security model provides up-to-date protection against phishing, malware, ransomware and other cyber attacks. It protects files, docs, sheets against malware and data loss, with the security tools all integrated and managed under the admin console, which offers a 360-degree bird’s eye view over the entire environment. We spend $1 billion a year on security enhancements, and the security we have internally, we pass on to customers.”

Duet AI for Workspace, which became generally available in September, will make Workspace even more powerful, Samaha says. Embedding generative AI across all Workspace apps will enable users to write, organise and connect faster and more meaningfully.

Samaha says Duet AI for Workspace will dramatically speed up and enhance work, whether users are generating and refining proposals and e-mails with one click, helping generate creative slides and visuals, or creating and managing projects more efficiently. 

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Digicloud Africa

Digicloud Africa is Google’s chosen enablement partner in Africa. Through Digicloud, Google is creating an ecosystem of Google Cloud partners across the continent. Digicloud supports its partner network by providing the necessary training, tools and resources needed to implement cloud solutions and support to their customers successfully. As customer demands for technology intensify, Digicloud is increasing its investment in supporting its partners to achieve sustainable growth. Digicloud’s partner enablement helps organisations build skills around open, advanced technologies to go to market with outcome-based solutions. Find Digicloud Africa on LinkedIn.