Gartner analyst Craig Roth recently commented (in the context of the Nielsen group moving 56,000 staff from Microsoft to Google) that “With Office 365, you can work in clever new ways, but, as a crutch, you can always work the same way you did in 1995,” whereas G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for work) “is solely focused on new ways of working.” His comment really resonated with us here at Cobry because it reflected exactly what we see every day with G Suite. There’s no doubt that Office 365 is a very strong product, but the challenge we see is that it’s very hard for organisations to find new and better ways of working through it. Users demand that almost everything is put back as it was so that they might have “switched to the cloud” on Friday but everything is remarkably similar on Monday.
This dilemma is one of the main reasons we’re such advocates of G Suite – it truly enables teams and organisations to forge improved systems and processes. Systems and processes that might not have become apparent with another set of tools. The usability, flexibility and increasingly, above all, intelligence of G Suite are central to this process.
Over the course of a working week, research has shown that the average worker spends a total of 3 work days on standard tasks such as sending emails, sourcing information and scheduling meetings while spending only 2 full days on the work they’re primarily there for.
These are the kinds of repetitive tasks that employees can get bogged down in while losing motivation for the projects they’re working on. Computers, however, thrive on these jobs. This is where machine intelligence can really play a part in the modern workplace.
Machine intelligence has been creeping into more and more of Google’s tools over the past decade; we’ve seen it’s success in many different areas, including instant translation and photo recognition. So if you want your team to spend less time on menial tasks, and more time on the projects required to drive your business forward, here are a few ways in which G Suite is set up to help.
After juggling emails, sourcing internal information is one of the most time-consuming tasks for employees. Research shows that in some cases employees can spend up to a whole day at work every week looking for information that the organisation already has. One way that G Suite tries to remedy this is with Quick Access in Drive. This feature uses machine learning to bring all of the most relevant documents and files right to your fingertips when you open the Google Drive app. Machine learning allows Drive to learn about the different ways we all work, and will pick up on different patterns to allow it to suggest the files that it thinks you’re going to need next, without even having to ask for them.
As technology and business continue to develop, less and fewer organisations and teams work from the same locations, which makes it harder and harder to find the time to arrange meetings and coordinate team efforts. Google Calendar’s ‘Find a Time’ feature also uses machine learning to remedy this common problem. It searches through your team’s calendars to find out when all participants are free before suggesting times, dates and even meeting rooms that have been previously booked to help save you time.
Spreadsheets are great for collating data, tracking trends and helping with financial forecasts, but sometimes the tricky part is converting all that data into useful information that everyone can understand. That’s where Explore in Google Sheets comes in handy. Explore automatically summarises the data from your spreadsheets, creates charts, graphs and offers valuable insights into your work. Machine learning also plays a part in Explore, by using Natural Language Processing (NPL) to understand the questions you ask, and then turn them into formulas to offer immediate responses so that your team can easily understand the data being presented.
Creating a high quality and informative presentation can take some time, and more often than not, more time is spent on slide formatting than on the actual content itself. Google Slides’ Explore feature automatically offers recommendations for the layout of your presentation to help draw the attention of the viewer. By taking away the requirement for manually formatting and designing each slide, Explore helps users create their presentations in 30% less time on average.
Google know that human resources is a huge part of any business, and a lot of time and work goes into welcoming new team members and saying goodbye to those moving on. That’s why they’ve added Team Drives to G Suite. The goal of Team Drives is to cut back on time spent getting new-starts up to speed with projects by providing access to all the files, documents and information they need, all from one place. As well as being able to easily revoke access to all of the sensitive company information when a team member leaves. All you have to do is add a new user to your Team Drive to instantly provide access to everything that the team is working on. When the time comes that someone is parting ways, you simply remove them but keep all of their work in the same place for others to continue with.
Modern teams don’t always have the luxury of popping their head around the door and arranging a quick meeting in the room down the hall. Nowadays, it’s more and more common for those working together, to be in completely different places while they do so. This is why video conferencing has become so important in recent years, to help these teams come together and explore their ideas.
Google has completely revamped Hangouts to cater to this function and made it as easy to use and as accessible as possible for everyone. With no downloads or plugins required, users are able to invite anyone on any device from any location, even if they don’t have a Google account or data connection. Each new meeting will create it’s own link for video along with a phone number so that even those out in the sticks can call in and take part. Hangouts can support as many as 50 video participants, provides integration with Google Calendar for scheduling and offers screen sharing so you can ensure your team will literally be on the same page, from anywhere in the world.
One of the best parts about the integration of machine learning in G Suite is that all of these features continue to learn about your team’s habits and workflow. This means that as time goes on, the service they provide will only get better and help your team become even more efficient.
If you’d like to find out how your team could be working smarter, or you’d just like to find out a bit more about G Suite and what it could offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to have a chat about how we could help.