Meet the new Hangouts

Last year, we talked about doubling down on our enterprise focus for Hangouts and our commitment to building communication tools focused on the way teams work: from anywhere, at anytime. More than half of the workforce will contribute remotely by 2020, so businesses require purpose-built tools to help employees succeed. Our customers have told us it should be effortless for them to connect over video and that chat should be more collaborative, so we’re evolving Hangouts to focus on two experiences that help bring teams together and keep work moving forward: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.

Start your meetings with a quick click: meet Hangouts Meet

Hangouts Meet is a new video meeting experience with one goal: make joining meetings effortless so that people can be as productive as they are when they’re face-to-face. We’ve consistently heard from customers about ways we can improve Hangouts, like making it easier to work with external clients or reducing the ‘time to start’ a meeting to zero. That’s why we’ve built Hangouts Meet to have a light, fast interface and smart participant management.

Hangouts

Running 30-person video conferences smoothly is easy with Meet. Simply start your meetings with a shared link — no accounts, plugins, downloads or hassles. Meet provides a place for everyone to join from Calendar, an email invite or an ad-hoc share. If you’re dialing in from a conference room, your laptop or using the dedicated mobile app, just a few clicks and you’re in.

Braintree, a PayPal service, has been using Hangouts Meet over the past three months to connect employees across board rooms, meeting rooms, breakout spaces and offices. “Based on initial use, Hangouts Meet is one of the most frictionless video conferencing systems we’ve experienced,” says Jerome Knapp, Manager of Systems Administration at Braintree. “Starting a meeting or sharing a document from the web, calendar invite or meeting room involves a single click. It’s an antidote to the VC fatigue that’s stopped my users and executives from taking full advantage of other systems.”

With Meet, native, full-screen presenting makes it easy to showcase your team’s projects. And as Meet integrates directly with G Suite, information you need about each meeting is automatically pulled from Calendar. For our G Suite Enterprise customers, each meeting comes with a dedicated dial-in phone number, so team members on the road can feel connected and productive in meetings despite wi-fi or data issues.

Hangouts Meet is one of the most frictionless video conferencing systems we’ve experienced.

Jerome Knapp

Systems Administration at Braintree

Bring your teams together on projects: introducing Hangouts Chat

Hangouts Chat is an intelligent communication app for teams that takes direct messaging in Hangouts and evolves it to reflect the way modern teams talk business.

Working on a project means bringing cross-functional teams together, discussing tasks that need to get done and sharing your work. Chat is built with exactly this in mind.

GIF

Dedicated, virtual rooms create a lasting home for each project, with threaded conversations so your team’s progress is easy to follow. Chat’s deep integration with G Suite means shared content from Drive and Docs, or photos and videos can be viewed directly in conversations. And powerful, filterable search in Chat makes it easy to find all your content dating back to the start of the project.

Chat is built not only to reflect the way teams work, but to provide a platform for the enterprise tools they work with. The Hangouts Chat platform supports a wide range of capabilities — from bots to simple scripting using Google App Script — and integrates with third-party applications so teams can do more right from within the conversation. Some companies we’re teaming up with to build out the platform include: Asana, Box, Prosperworks and Zendesk. And to make workflows even easier, Chat features @meet, an intelligent bot built on top of the Hangouts platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule meetings for your team with Hangouts Meet and Google Calendar.

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Hangouts Meet is generally available today and will gradually roll out to all G Suite customers over the next few weeks. G Suite customers can apply to try Hangouts Chat through the Early Adopter Program.  

Meet the new Hangouts

Last year, we talked about doubling down on our enterprise focus for Hangouts and our commitment to building communication tools focused on the way teams work: from anywhere, at anytime. More than half of the workforce will contribute remotely by 2020, so businesses require purpose-built tools to help employees succeed. Our customers have told us it should be effortless for them to connect over video and that chat should be more collaborative, so we’re evolving Hangouts to focus on two experiences that help bring teams together and keep work moving forward: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.

Start your meetings with a quick click: meet Hangouts Meet

Hangouts Meet is a new video meeting experience with one goal: make joining meetings effortless so that people can be as productive as they are when they’re face-to-face. We’ve consistently heard from customers about ways we can improve Hangouts, like making it easier to work with external clients or reducing the ‘time to start’ a meeting to zero. That’s why we’ve built Hangouts Meet to have a light, fast interface and smart participant management.

Hangouts

Running 30-person video conferences smoothly is easy with Meet. Simply start your meetings with a shared link — no accounts, plugins, downloads or hassles. Meet provides a place for everyone to join from Calendar, an email invite or an ad-hoc share. If you’re dialing in from a conference room, your laptop or using the dedicated mobile app, just a few clicks and you’re in.

Braintree, a PayPal service, has been using Hangouts Meet over the past three months to connect employees across board rooms, meeting rooms, breakout spaces and offices. “Based on initial use, Hangouts Meet is one of the most frictionless video conferencing systems we’ve experienced,” says Jerome Knapp, Manager of Systems Administration at Braintree. “Starting a meeting or sharing a document from the web, calendar invite or meeting room involves a single click. It’s an antidote to the VC fatigue that’s stopped my users and executives from taking full advantage of other systems.”

With Meet, native, full-screen presenting makes it easy to showcase your team’s projects. And as Meet integrates directly with G Suite, information you need about each meeting is automatically pulled from Calendar. For our G Suite Enterprise customers, each meeting comes with a dedicated dial-in phone number, so team members on the road can feel connected and productive in meetings despite wi-fi or data issues.

Hangouts Meet is one of the most frictionless video conferencing systems we’ve experienced.

Jerome Knapp

Systems Administration at Braintree

Bring your teams together on projects: introducing Hangouts Chat

Hangouts Chat is an intelligent communication app for teams that takes direct messaging in Hangouts and evolves it to reflect the way modern teams talk business.

Working on a project means bringing cross-functional teams together, discussing tasks that need to get done and sharing your work. Chat is built with exactly this in mind.

GIF

Dedicated, virtual rooms create a lasting home for each project, with threaded conversations so your team’s progress is easy to follow. Chat’s deep integration with G Suite means shared content from Drive and Docs, or photos and videos can be viewed directly in conversations. And powerful, filterable search in Chat makes it easy to find all your content dating back to the start of the project.

Chat is built not only to reflect the way teams work, but to provide a platform for the enterprise tools they work with. The Hangouts Chat platform supports a wide range of capabilities — from bots to simple scripting using Google App Script — and integrates with third-party applications so teams can do more right from within the conversation. Some companies we’re teaming up with to build out the platform include: Asana, Box, Prosperworks and Zendesk. And to make workflows even easier, Chat features @meet, an intelligent bot built on top of the Hangouts platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule meetings for your team with Hangouts Meet and Google Calendar.

ahoy

Hangouts Meet is generally available today and will gradually roll out to all G Suite customers over the next few weeks. G Suite customers can apply to try Hangouts Chat through the Early Adopter Program.  

Q&A: Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners tightens up global operations with G Suite

Editor’s note: We spoke to Alberto Fontana, Owner and Global Operations Director of Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners, about the company’s growth strategy and how it’s supported by G Suite collaboration tools. Founded in 1952, Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners is one of the world’s leading producers of industrial fasteners. The Fontana family business has more than 4,100 employees, 19 production plants on four continents, and an annual turnover of $1billion.

Why did you choose Google Cloud’s G Suite to help you grow?

In 2014, our annual turnover doubled when we bought one of our main competitors. This helped us expand pretty rapidly. Today, we have factories in Italy, Mexico, Brazil, India and the United States, and we produce more than 10 billion industrial fasteners per year. This rapid global expansion brought fresh challenges we needed to overcome: we had two separate email solutions, our on-premise server system felt outdated, and different locations were using different IT systems. We looked for ways to unify the company and G Suite was a perfect fit.

How was the migration process to G Suite?

With outstanding assistance from Innext, our Global Change Management Service Partner, we began moving 14 terabytes of files from our servers onto Drive. We wanted our teams to choose G Suite rather than to be forced to make the change, and within just six months, all 4,100 of our staff had Google accounts and Gmail. Data migration was only a part of the whole “Project Innovation” we undertook with Innext, whose team of Google Cloud credentialed trainers educated our people on G Suite features and best practices.

How did G Suite impact your office-based teams?

Staff at our 19 sites can now work together simultaneously on single, continually-saved documents using Docs or Sheets. No more worrying about having the wrong version or losing information when people fail to save. On top of that, management now has oversight on up-to-the-minute progress, and can leave feedback in clear and simple comments.

How have your factory teams benefited from G Suite?

Our factory staff surprised us by using G Suite in interesting ways. One example is they use  Sheets as an alternative ). The staff installed large screens in the factory on which operators can upload information on a live Sheet, such as daily goals and progress in real-time.

How has this helped your teams work together across borders?

With G Suite, our managers now use mobile devices more than desktop or laptop computers, even when they’re offline, so that they can stay in touch when they’re visiting sites and clients. At the same time, Hangouts has reduced unnecessary travel, and meetings are easier to arrange on Calendar and at our facilities with Chromebox for Meetings.

How do you make sure everything’s running smoothly?

Unlike with our on-premise servers, we never experience outages or have to spend time on maintenance. For staff feedback, Forms is ideal for collecting vital data from our sales team and global HR.

Can you tell us about your experience with Google’s security and compliance?

Following a discussion with James Snow, Head of Google Data Security, we’re convinced that Google’s security meets our needs, and is certainly better than our previous servers. One major benefit is that we can partition our information and share it with third parties, such as auditors.

What’s next for Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners?

Beyond universal adoption of G Suite in our Italian HQ and in our foreign branches, we keep improving our new “collaboration and communication experience” by evaluating new initiatives provided by Innext, like our CSS project and customized Transformation Labs. It’s our intention to be more than the biggest industrial fastener company — we want to be the most innovative, too. And because G Suite is regularly updated, we know Google will keep us ahead of the curve.

Q&A: Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners tightens up global operations with G Suite

Editor’s note: We spoke to Alberto Fontana, Owner and Global Operations Director of Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners, about the company’s growth strategy and how it’s supported by G Suite collaboration tools. Founded in 1952, Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners is one of the world’s leading producers of industrial fasteners. The Fontana family business has more than 4,100 employees, 19 production plants on four continents, and an annual turnover of $1billion.

Why did you choose Google Cloud’s G Suite to help you grow?

In 2014, our annual turnover doubled when we bought one of our main competitors. This helped us expand pretty rapidly. Today, we have factories in Italy, Mexico, Brazil, India and the United States, and we produce more than 10 billion industrial fasteners per year. This rapid global expansion brought fresh challenges we needed to overcome: we had two separate email solutions, our on-premise server system felt outdated, and different locations were using different IT systems. We looked for ways to unify the company and G Suite was a perfect fit.

How was the migration process to G Suite?

With outstanding assistance from Innext, our Global Change Management Service Partner, we began moving 14 terabytes of files from our servers onto Drive. We wanted our teams to choose G Suite rather than to be forced to make the change, and within just six months, all 4,100 of our staff had Google accounts and Gmail. Data migration was only a part of the whole “Project Innovation” we undertook with Innext, whose team of Google Cloud credentialed trainers educated our people on G Suite features and best practices.

How did G Suite impact your office-based teams?

Staff at our 19 sites can now work together simultaneously on single, continually-saved documents using Docs or Sheets. No more worrying about having the wrong version or losing information when people fail to save. On top of that, management now has oversight on up-to-the-minute progress, and can leave feedback in clear and simple comments.

How have your factory teams benefited from G Suite?

Our factory staff surprised us by using G Suite in interesting ways. One example is they use  Sheets as an alternative ). The staff installed large screens in the factory on which operators can upload information on a live Sheet, such as daily goals and progress in real-time.

How has this helped your teams work together across borders?

With G Suite, our managers now use mobile devices more than desktop or laptop computers, even when they’re offline, so that they can stay in touch when they’re visiting sites and clients. At the same time, Hangouts has reduced unnecessary travel, and meetings are easier to arrange on Calendar and at our facilities with Chromebox for Meetings.

How do you make sure everything’s running smoothly?

Unlike with our on-premise servers, we never experience outages or have to spend time on maintenance. For staff feedback, Forms is ideal for collecting vital data from our sales team and global HR.

Can you tell us about your experience with Google’s security and compliance?

Following a discussion with James Snow, Head of Google Data Security, we’re convinced that Google’s security meets our needs, and is certainly better than our previous servers. One major benefit is that we can partition our information and share it with third parties, such as auditors.

What’s next for Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners?

Beyond universal adoption of G Suite in our Italian HQ and in our foreign branches, we keep improving our new “collaboration and communication experience” by evaluating new initiatives provided by Innext, like our CSS project and customized Transformation Labs. It’s our intention to be more than the biggest industrial fastener company — we want to be the most innovative, too. And because G Suite is regularly updated, we know Google will keep us ahead of the curve.

Q&A: Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners tightens up global operations with G Suite

Editor’s note: We spoke to Alberto Fontana, Owner and Global Operations Director of Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners, about the company’s growth strategy and how it’s supported by G Suite collaboration tools. Founded in 1952, Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners is one of the world’s leading producers of industrial fasteners. The Fontana family business has more than 4,100 employees, 19 production plants on four continents, and an annual turnover of $1billion.

Why did you choose Google Cloud’s G Suite to help you grow?

In 2014, our annual turnover doubled when we bought one of our main competitors. This helped us expand pretty rapidly. Today, we have factories in Italy, Mexico, Brazil, India and the United States, and we produce more than 10 billion industrial fasteners per year. This rapid global expansion brought fresh challenges we needed to overcome: we had two separate email solutions, our on-premise server system felt outdated, and different locations were using different IT systems. We looked for ways to unify the company and G Suite was a perfect fit.

How was the migration process to G Suite?

With outstanding assistance from Innext, our Global Change Management Service Partner, we began moving 14 terabytes of files from our servers onto Drive. We wanted our teams to choose G Suite rather than to be forced to make the change, and within just six months, all 4,100 of our staff had Google accounts and Gmail. Data migration was only a part of the whole “Project Innovation” we undertook with Innext, whose team of Google Cloud credentialed trainers educated our people on G Suite features and best practices.

How did G Suite impact your office-based teams?

Staff at our 19 sites can now work together simultaneously on single, continually-saved documents using Docs or Sheets. No more worrying about having the wrong version or losing information when people fail to save. On top of that, management now has oversight on up-to-the-minute progress, and can leave feedback in clear and simple comments.

How have your factory teams benefited from G Suite?

Our factory staff surprised us by using G Suite in interesting ways. One example is they use  Sheets as an alternative ). The staff installed large screens in the factory on which operators can upload information on a live Sheet, such as daily goals and progress in real-time.

How has this helped your teams work together across borders?

With G Suite, our managers now use mobile devices more than desktop or laptop computers, even when they’re offline, so that they can stay in touch when they’re visiting sites and clients. At the same time, Hangouts has reduced unnecessary travel, and meetings are easier to arrange on Calendar and at our facilities with Chromebox for Meetings.

How do you make sure everything’s running smoothly?

Unlike with our on-premise servers, we never experience outages or have to spend time on maintenance. For staff feedback, Forms is ideal for collecting vital data from our sales team and global HR.

Can you tell us about your experience with Google’s security and compliance?

Following a discussion with James Snow, Head of Google Data Security, we’re convinced that Google’s security meets our needs, and is certainly better than our previous servers. One major benefit is that we can partition our information and share it with third parties, such as auditors.

What’s next for Fontana Gruppo – Special Fasteners?

Beyond universal adoption of G Suite in our Italian HQ and in our foreign branches, we keep improving our new “collaboration and communication experience” by evaluating new initiatives provided by Innext, like our CSS project and customized Transformation Labs. It’s our intention to be more than the biggest industrial fastener company — we want to be the most innovative, too. And because G Suite is regularly updated, we know Google will keep us ahead of the curve.

Track your New Year’s fitness goals with Google Calendar

New Year’s resolutions are a lot easier to create than they are to keep. Luckily, Goals in Google Calendar is there to help you find time for the things that matter. Set a goal like “run 3 times a week,” and Calendar will help you find the time and stick to it. Starting today, we’re adding new ways to make sticking to it even easier.

If you’re setting out to achieve a goal, seeing progress can be a great motivation. Goals in Google Calendar makes finding time for activities like hitting the gym or going on more runs easy. But it hasn’t been as easy to track whether you’re reaching that goal — even if you’re using fitness tracking apps in parallel — since you still have to manually mark your goal “done” every time. Starting today, you can connect Google Fit and Apple Health to your fitness goals in Google Calendar. When you do, activity in your favorite fitness apps will be recorded and used to mark your goals in Google Calendar as “done” automatically.

And you can see how you’re doing with the new visual performance tracker.

Goals_in_Google_Calendar_Visual_Tracker_1.width-804.png

With this integration, future goal times will be even more tailored based on when you’re most likely to complete them. Say you set a goal to run at 6:30 every other morning but aren’t actually hitting your stride until 7:15 — Google Calendar has you covered and will adjust accordingly. So not only can Calendar keep track of your activities and performance, it can also help you find the best time to do them.

Happy 2017! Here’s to great success with all of your goals this year.

Track your New Year’s fitness goals with Google Calendar

New Year’s resolutions are a lot easier to create than they are to keep. Luckily, Goals in Google Calendar is there to help you find time for the things that matter. Set a goal like “run 3 times a week,” and Calendar will help you find the time and stick to it. Starting today, we’re adding new ways to make sticking to it even easier.

If you’re setting out to achieve a goal, seeing progress can be a great motivation. Goals in Google Calendar makes finding time for activities like hitting the gym or going on more runs easy. But it hasn’t been as easy to track whether you’re reaching that goal — even if you’re using fitness tracking apps in parallel — since you still have to manually mark your goal “done” every time. Starting today, you can connect Google Fit and Apple Health to your fitness goals in Google Calendar. When you do, activity in your favorite fitness apps will be recorded and used to mark your goals in Google Calendar as “done” automatically.

Goals in Google Calendar_Google Fit Integration_FINAL GIF

And you can see how you’re doing with the new visual performance tracker.

Goals in Google Calendar_Visual Tracker.png

With this integration, future goal times will be even more tailored based on when you’re most likely to complete them. Say you set a goal to run at 6:30 every other morning but aren’t actually hitting your stride until 7:15 — Google Calendar has you covered and will adjust accordingly. So not only can Calendar keep track of your activities and performance, it can also help you find the best time to do them.

Happy 2017! Here’s to great success with all of your goals this year.

Download Google Calendar at the Play Store or App Store.

Track your New Year’s fitness goals with Google Calendar

New Year’s resolutions are a lot easier to create than they are to keep. Luckily, Goals in Google Calendar is there to help you find time for the things that matter. Set a goal like “run 3 times a week,” and Calendar will help you find the time and stick to it. Starting today, we’re adding new ways to make sticking to it even easier.

If you’re setting out to achieve a goal, seeing progress can be a great motivation. Goals in Google Calendar makes finding time for activities like hitting the gym or going on more runs easy. But it hasn’t been as easy to track whether you’re reaching that goal — even if you’re using fitness tracking apps in parallel — since you still have to manually mark your goal “done” every time. Starting today, you can connect Google Fit and Apple Health to your fitness goals in Google Calendar. When you do, activity in your favorite fitness apps will be recorded and used to mark your goals in Google Calendar as “done” automatically.

Goals in Google Calendar_Google Fit Integration_FINAL GIF

And you can see how you’re doing with the new visual performance tracker.

Goals in Google Calendar_Visual Tracker.png

With this integration, future goal times will be even more tailored based on when you’re most likely to complete them. Say you set a goal to run at 6:30 every other morning but aren’t actually hitting your stride until 7:15 — Google Calendar has you covered and will adjust accordingly. So not only can Calendar keep track of your activities and performance, it can also help you find the best time to do them.

Happy 2017! Here’s to great success with all of your goals this year.

Download Google Calendar at the Play Store or App Store.

A totally rebuilt Sites, customer-tested and open for business

Earlier this year, we announced that a totally rebuilt version of Google Sites was on the way. Since then, we’ve worked with a set of customers through an Early Adopter Program to test the new Sites and fine tune the experience. Today, the new Google Sites is ready for all customers.

We’ve started turning customer feedback into new and improved features.  For example, some customers asked for the ability to measure how much engagement their sites were getting. You can now track site performance with Google Analytics. Other customers asked for more customization and different designs, so you can now choose between six themes to give your site the right look.

Nadia Lee, a product and change manager at Dow Jones, tested the new Sites to build a few informational sites for her teams and had this to say: “Sites is much more user friendly than other tools I’ve used, especially for non-technical people. It’s nice that I can collaborate in real-time with colleagues and see the edits they’re making. And, the final product looks clean and well-designed.”

Since its launch in 2008, Sites has made it possible for employees to build working team and project sites without writing a single line of code (no HTML, CSS or any other all-caps acronym.) But, web technologies have progressed a lot in the past decade, and the new Sites is an even more approachable way to build a site.

Sites as easy to create as a doc

Now, it’s easier than ever to create a site and add text, links, images and more with a quick cut-and-paste, or simply drag-and-drop to rearrange and resize elements on the page.

Sites integrated with your favorite apps

The new Sites is built to work with your favorite Google apps so you can insert content from the tools you use most. It’s easy to embed a schedule from Google Calendar, a video clip from Google Drive, or a location from Google Maps. You can also insert content from Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms and a live version will be presented within the site.

Sites GA GIF

Sites built together

The new Sites is the first truly collaborative tool for building team and project sites. Using the same technology as Google Docs, the new Sites brings real-time, multi-user coauthoring so the whole team can add and update a project site without worrying about conflicts or locked pages.

Sites that are beautiful and functional on any screen

The new Sites also includes themes and layouts designed to intelligently scale and flex to any screen size, so they look great when you access them on a 30-inch monitor at your desk or on your smartphone during your commute. And, an integrated preview mode lets you see what your site will look like on a desktop, a tablet and a smartphone while you’re editing so you can build the most useful team and project sites.

The new Google Sites is open for business. If you’re a G Suite customer with Google Sites enabled, you can get started building on the new Sites now or learn how to enable Sites in the Admin Console. Customers can continue to use classic Sites as we continue to add capabilities and improve the new Sites.

Gmail and Google Calendar get a whole lot better on iOS

Today we’re making some changes to the Gmail and Google Calendar apps on iOS.

The new Gmail app for iOS

When you get the next Gmail iOS app update, you’ll notice some exciting changes: The biggest overhaul of the app in nearly four years. It’s the Gmail you know and love, with a fresh new look, sleeker transitions and some highly-requested features. It’s a lot faster, too.

With the new app, getting things done on the go is a lot easier — whether you’re trying to find a message your colleague sent you last month, or trying to get through your work inbox on a Monday morning.

Gmail-on-iOS_new-app_2.width-1716.png

Starting today, you’ll be able to:

  • Undo Send, just like you do on the desktop, to prevent embarrassing email mistakes

  • Search faster with instant results and spelling suggestions (like when you type “flighht,” but you really meant “flight”)

  • Swipe to archive or delete, to quickly clear items out of your inbox

Gmail_on_iOS_Undo-Send_0.gif

Google Calendar: Updated for you

Based on your feedback (thank you!), the Calendar app on iOS has some shiny, new features:

  • Month view and week in landscape view, so you have even more ways to see your schedule at a glance.

  • Spotlight Search support, so you can search for events, Reminders and Goals in Apple’s Spotlight Search and find what you’re looking for faster.

  • Alternate calendars. If you often look up dates in a non-Gregorian calendar — like Lunar, Islamic, or Hindu — you can now add that calendar to easily see those dates alongside your current calendar.

Calendar_on_iOS_week_and_month_view.width-2000.png

We’ll continue to improve both Gmail and Calendar for iOS so you can be more productive on the go.