Google Workspace
Guide to Collaboration
& Productivity

Chapter 1

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace is a centralized system that brings everything you need into one place. It includes all of the productivity apps you know and love, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet and much more. 

Formerly known as G Suite, this tool was crafted specifically to help connect people no matter where everyone is located. By enabling remote and hybrid teams to work together from all around the globe, this tool focuses on innovation, collaboration, and connection.  

With connectivity in mind, this new user experience “embodies our vision for a future where work is more flexible, time is more precious, and enabling stronger human connections becomes even more important,” according to Google.

Below, we’ll explore Google Workspace FAQs, break down some of its top features, and review the potential benefits of Google Workspace for your business:

 

Google Workspace Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should My Organization Use Google Workspace? 

There are countless reasons why your organization should use Google Workspace, but here are five important ones to consider: 

  • Agility. Organizations across the globe must quickly respond to ever-changing technology, workforce adjustments and more, making agility critical in today’s market. By utilizing Google Workspace, you and your team can make updates in real-time to instantly share with your internal and external end-users. 
  • Future-proofing. The workforce environment frequently changes, but one of the most influential factors in the last few years has been the transition to hybrid and remote workplaces. Google Workspace has been built and updated with these shifts in mind. Plus, when a software update becomes available, Google Workspace contacts all of its users to let them know how, when and why the change is taking place, so you’re always prepared for what’s next. 
  • Reduced cost. Google Workspace compiles all of the tools into one place, which means you only pay one fee for everything you need. If you’ve been paying for multiple platforms that each only serve a couple of purposes, you can dramatically reduce the cost of your day-to-day tools with Google Workspace. 
  • Simplified communication. Whether you’re across the hall or across the globe, Google Workspace simplifies your organization’s communication processes through integrated tools, real-time updates and similar features. 

These changes were made, overall, to help organizations connect, meet ever-changing demands, and improve the experience of their own customers. 

What is Cloud Collaboration? 

Cloud collaboration is a modern way for organizations to work together. It allows employees to share, review, and edit documents in real-time. What makes this possible — and effective — is the use of an “off-premise” cloud computing-operated application, such as Google Workspace. 

Designed and developed for the cloud, Google Workspace delivers effortless real-time collaboration. You and your team members can simply log into your Google accounts (from anywhere), open the documents you need and get to work. All changes are saved securely to the cloud, but can also easily be rolled back if necessary. Google Workspace is the perfect example of a true cloud-first workplace.

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Chapter 2

Google Workspace Applications & Features

Google Workspace has applications and features that are each designed to improve your business, connect your teams, and increase productivity. Here are just some of those incredible tools: 

Gmail

With over 1.8 billion active users, Gmail is the most popular email provider — and it’s still growing. 

What Makes Gmail Different from Other Email Providers? 

  • Collaboration. Gmail has a number of features that promote collaboration, including Chat, Spaces, and the ability to start a Google Meet video call from the main page.
  • Ease of use. With simple labels, organization tools and more, Gmail is an easy-to-use platform that still provides you with the features you need. 
  • Integration with other tools. In addition to being able to start a Google Meet video call, you can also share documents, create notes and lists in Google Keep and more. 

Google Chat

Google Chat is an instant messaging software that allows your employees to communicate with each other in real-time. Whether you need to message one person at a time or an entire team, Google Chat has the ability to connect you with your coworkers. 

Google Meet

Google Meet allows your organization to connect with each other through video calls.

While there are several use cases for Google Meet, the remote work benefits have been crucial over the last few years. Some of the remote work-specific benefits include: 

  • Automating ongoing meetings. By utilizing an ongoing link and a Google Calendar integration, you can be sure you and the other meeting attendees never have to search for a meeting link again. 
  • Avoiding Zoom fatigue. In order to help your employees beat Zoom fatigue, you can bring them back to a centralized platform that’s built-in with the other Google tools they use daily. 
  • Promoting remote security. Google’s platform features many security measures to keep all of your information safe. With a “security-first mindset,” Google features cloud security by design, a number of compliance certifications, and a robust data protection program. 

Google Meet Best Practices

There are a couple of extra steps you can take to enhance your Google Meet experience even more, including: 

  • Create a dedicated workspace. With an area that’s designated for you to focus on various projects, you’ll be able to get into the necessary mindset every time you enter your workspace. 
  • Check your internet connection. Before your next call, be sure to double-check your internet connection. This is especially important if you’re in a new location for the day, traveling or have a similar situation. 
  • Customize your Google Meet experience. Within Google Meet, there are several options for captions, video views and other features that can customize your experience. 

Google Voice

Google Voice is a user-friendly, cloud-based solution that helps your teamwork from anywhere in the world and connect with their team, clients and partners, all while reducing the overhead associated with system administration. 

Can Google Voice Replace My Office’s Phone System? 

Yes! It cannot, however, replace a call center. It exists to provide a simple and scalable solution to your business.

What Happens to Missed and After-Hours Phone Calls? 

Google Voice immediately transcribes voicemail messages and logs calls, so your team knows where to pick up the next morning.

Could My Desk Phone and Google Voice Number Be the Same?

Yes, you can work with your company’s administrator to port your desk phone number to Google Voice. But please note: the entire process takes at least two weeks to complete. 

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is the centralized place to organize your day. You can use this space to track your meetings, reminders, tasks, video and phone calls, and more — all with dedicated time to make sure your work gets accomplished. 

Here are just a few of the ways you can utilize the Google Calendar

  • Hybrid work tools. Let others know whether you’ll be joining the meeting from the office or from home in the RSVP settings. 
  • Meeting invites. Through Google Calendar’s meeting invites, you can add users, find a time that works for everyone on the call, directly add a meeting link and more. 
  • Event reminders. Never forget a meeting again with customized reminders that let you know about the meeting and its details ahead of time. 

Google Drive

Google Drive is cloud storage for all of your documents, notes, photos and more. 

Everything your team needs can be accessed at any time, promoting remote, hybrid, and asynchronous work schedules. 

Plus, you can customize the access on each individual document, providing availability to the documents that everyone needs, while limiting access to more sensitive information.  

Google Docs

Google Docs is a word processor that allows you to work in real-time with your coworkers. With this platform, you can create a wide variety of documents, including: 

  • A newsletter
  • An outline for client deliverables 
  • A project proposal
  • Sales agreements 
  • And more! 

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a simplified way to compile your data, review it and make agile, data-driven business decisions

With the Google Sheets platform, you can create: 

  • Budgets 
  • Data analysis statements 
  • Invoices
  • Project tracking reports 
  • And more! 

Google Slides

Present your information in an interesting and visual way with Google Slides. This presentation builder is built with your time in mind, so it has several features to help you quickly create visually appealing presentations, including: 

  • Collaboration tools. There’s no need to work alone. With Google Slides, you and your team can work together on a presentation at the same time to make faster progress. 
  • Templates. With captivating built-in templates and the ability to import your own, you can create consistent visual presentations that your audience will love. 
  • Reversion history. With Google’s built-in revision history, you can always track and revert to previous changes to make sure you create the best final product. 

Google Forms

Gather the information you need with Google Forms. With the ability to send out surveys and forms, you can get internal feedback from your employees or request 5-star reviews from your customers. 

With multiple question types, you can ask your audience to fill in the blank, select from multiple answers or check boxes for answers that apply to them. And by tailoring your question type to your audience, you can be sure to get the most out of your survey. 

Once answers have been submitted, Google Forms comes with easy-to-understand data in written and visual breakdowns. You can also analyze that data in Google Sheets to get more insight from the responses. 

Google Sites

Google Sites is the easiest way to create a webpage without design or coding experience.

With a little creativity and inspiration, you can create a number of different web pages, including: 

  • Event websites to bring your team together 
  • Help centers with frequently asked questions 
  • An intranet for your organization
  • Landing pages to promote new content 
  • And yes, more! 

Before you go create your pages, keep in mind: Google is replacing their “classic” sites with new Google Sites. This multi-phased process is expected to complete by early 2023. 

Google Workspace Essentials

Google Workspace Essentials is basically a scaled-back version of Google Workspace. You still get access to Docs, Sheets, Slides, Google Meet, and Google Drive; however, this edition includes fewer features — as the name suggests, only the essentials. 

Who Should Use Google Workspace Essentials?

Google Workspace Essentials is a great option for those who want to try Google Workspace but don’t want to abandon their current email and calendar platforms. 

So, if you’re already utilizing a different email platform but are looking for some improved collaboration tools for your employees, this solution could be perfect for you.

Reimagine the future of work

Google Workspace’s intuitive, enterprise-ready tools lead the field on all counts—and Onix is using its long experience with Google to implement them in ways that save businesses time and money while improving security and company culture. 

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Chapter 3

Google Workspace for Business

Google Workspace Pricing

Google Workspace has a number of pricing options for businesses of every size: 

  • Business Starter. This package starts at $6 USD per user, per month
  • Business Standard. This package starts at $12 USD per user, per month
  • Business Plus. This package starts at $18 USD per user, per month

Each package comes with a business email and all of the Google Workspace tools. The variants include: 

  • The level of security 
  • The maximum number of video meeting participants 
  • The amount of cloud storage per user 

You can explore each of the package details here to find the one that best fits your organization. If none of those meet your needs, they also have the option to connect with them and create an enterprise-level solution

Why Do I Need Google Workspace?

There are several reasons your business can benefit from Google Workspace, including: 

Collaboration

While your organization’s collaboration efforts may look different now than they did a few years ago, that doesn’t mean they should be more complicated. 

With Google Workspace, you and your team can work together on any project, understand each other’s schedules and complete your collaborative tasks in a timely manner. 

Lower Cost and Improved ROI

With all of your team’s tools in one centralized location and, even more importantly, covered by one fee, Google Workspace can be a cost-effective tool that saves your organization money. 

Additionally, Google Workspace is known for improving the return on investment (ROI) for organizations. Since this platform was created to enhance businesses’ collaboration, flexibility and growth, its features are all centered around meeting these goals

For example, once you choose to invest in Google Workspace, creating and integrating an intranet for your organization only increases your investment by providing continuous value to your team. 

Streamlined Processes

No matter where you are on your cloud journey, it’s important to know that the Google Cloud Platform can help you build, innovate and scale your business.

Google Workspace can help streamline many of your organizational processes, including: 

Extended Functionality

With tools that are built to integrate with one another, Google Workspace can provide your team with tools they need to get things done — all in one place. Plus, Google Workspace also integrates with outside solutions to extend the functionality even further. 

For example, Google Workspace now boasts integrations with Happeo and AODocs, a blend of capabilities that gives your users access to a robust content management and employee engagement solution without the need for on-prem hardware. 

How to Use Google Workspace

In order to drive collaboration with Google Workspace, you should focus on these four steps: 

  • Assessing and planning. While you may be excited about this transition and want to jump right in, it’s crucial that you plan your move to Google Workspace. 
  • Enabling your employees. Provide your organization with the information they need to have an effective transition to Google Workspace. This may include providing them with a team of colleagues who are leading this initiative and can answer any questions they may have. 
  • Transforming your operations. Once Google Workspace is in place, be sure to utilize it and allow it to improve your operations. Make sure your employees are aware of the tools available and have the proper training to utilize them. 
  • Inspiring your team. Empower your team to get creative with Google Workspace — you never know what process they might streamline or site they might create that completely transforms your organization for the better. 

Google Workspace Security 

While there are several security features built into Google Workspace, there are still additional ways to mitigate risk. 

Google Workspace Security Best Practices

With ever-evolving cybersecurity threats, it’s important to ensure your organization always follows Google Workspace best practices:

Create Organization-Wide Standards

By getting everyone involved, you can help each person understand how important their role is. Every employee can help protect your organization from data breaches, ransomware attacks and other threats. 

You also will want to implement security standards across your organization that includes any physical security measures you want your employees to take, an emphasis on strong passwords and your organization’s specific requirements and multi-factor authentication requirements. By requiring every member of your organization to utilize multi-factor authentication, you can block nearly all automated breach attempts

Use Access and Authentication Tactics

By limiting access to documentation — especially to files that contain sensitive information — you can add an extra layer of security to your organization. 

You should also implement a zero-trust security model to ensure seamless operations and organization-wide security. A zero-trust security model is, at its core, exactly what it sounds like: it’s a system that never trusts — instead, it requires consistent verification to access any documents or other sensitive information. 

Utilize Managed Alerts 

Be the first to know when an issue arises through managed alerts. 

Google Workspace’s Alert Center provides you with the ability to see security alerts, “including phishing, malware, and other suspicious activity,” according to Google.

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Chaper 4

Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365

There are several options in the market for cloud-based collaboration systems, but two of the most popular are Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Here are some of the differences between the two platforms: 

Pricing

Google Workspace

As we explored, Google Workspace has a number of pricing options for businesses of every size: 

  • Business Starter. This package starts at $6 USD per user, per month
  • Business Standard. This package starts at $12 USD per user, per month
  • Business Plus. This package starts at $18 USD per user, per month

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365’s platform also comes with several packages, including: 

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic, which starts at $6 USD per user, per month
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business, which starts at $8.25 per user, per month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard, which starts at $12.50 per user, per month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium, which starts at $22 per user, per month

Features 

Google Workspace

With the exception of Google Workspace Essentials, each package comes with a business email and all of the Google Workspace tools. The variants include: 

  • The level of cloud security
  • The maximum number of video meeting participants 
  • The amount of cloud storage per user 

Microsoft 365

Each of Microsoft’s packages have a varying number of applications, features and tools. Teamwork, communication, email and calendar are some of the features that can be found throughout these packages. 

Licensing/Commitment 

Google Workspace

The prices listed above are for Google Workspace’s Flexible Plan, which allows your organization to add and remove users as necessary. While you can sign up for an annual contract, there’s no obligation

Microsoft 365

The prices listed above for Microsoft 365 are based on a yearly commitment. If you would like to purchase their monthly services, you can do so at an increased rate. 

For example, the Microsoft 365 Business Basic is $6 per month per user on an annual contract or $7.20 per month per user monthly. 

Ease of Use

Google Workspace

Most people are familiar to one degree or another with both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. Still, despite familiarity with these tools, ease of use plays a critical role and is often the deciding factor.

Many employees are demanding to have the ability to use Google Workspace tools at the office because they are more familiar with that platform. 

Microsoft 365

If your employees are unfamiliar with this platform, they may be less comfortable using it. While Microsoft 365 isn’t difficult to use, your users may not find it as intuitive.

Migration

Google Workspace

A migration may seem like a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t need to be. The familiarity of Google’s environment results in minimal training for your users, and the intuitive dashboards available in Google Workspace enable administrators to quickly understand how to manage and maintain their new environment.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 migrations vary by organization size, data and similar factors.

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Chapter 5

Google Workspace Implementation: Migrate Your Organization’s Data

By focusing on change management throughout your implementation process, you can avoid common migration issues. 

Change management can occur in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Sponsorship. Get your entire organization involved in the migration process. From the C-Suite to your latest hire, you need to establish and secure sponsorship to get your organization excited about the change — and pass that enthusiasm along to their managers and peers. 
  • Internal branding and messaging. When crafting your internal messaging about this transition, be sure to use enthusiastic, informing and engaging language. Your employees need to understand and embrace how this change will positively affect them — so make sure you provide that information to them in a clear and concise manner. 

Having a change management plan is an effective way for organizations of all sizes — even enterprise organizations — to have a smooth transition to Google Workspace.

Working With a Google Workspace Partner

Working with a Google Workspace Partner can get you to the benefits faster! As a Premier Google Cloud Partner, we’ve perfected the art of Google Workspace migration.

Our process helps your organization: 

  • Innovate. Accelerate your business transformation and agility with solutions like AI, machine learning, automation and more.
  • Achieve. Drive your organization’s success by tapping into the Onix team’s experience to help you choose the right GCP solutions. 
  • Analyze. Work with Onix to leverage the full power of your data to solve your biggest business challenges.
  • Scale. With Google Cloud’s flexibility and open-source architecture, you can run apps anywhere — and continue to scale your business at speed. 

Google Workspace Training 

You’re never alone during your transition to this collaborative platform — Google Workspace offers courses, training and more to make sure your team is always up to date. 

In addition, Onix has a number of packages available in the resource center, including: 

Take our Google Workspace Assessment

No matter where you are in your cloud journey, Onix can help you take the next step with confidence.

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Chapter 6

Google Workspace Customer Success Stories

In working with hundreds of customers of all sizes and industries, we’re familiar with nearly every use case for Google Workspace. We’ve got the tools, expertise and framework to create a solution that fits your business goals: 

Equifax Workplace Collaboration Case Study

Problem

Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax wanted to improve its internal collaboration and build a flexible, mobile work environment. Its legacy system didn’t support the kind of secure, widespread collaboration Equifax workers demanded.

The Atlanta-based company strived to energize its workers with a modern work environment bolstered by the gold standard in cloud security.

Solution

This transformation was larger than merely switching from Outlook to Gmail. Equifax wanted secure file storage, real-time collaboration, video chat and more than what Microsoft Office provided. Ultimately, Google Workspace better supported Equifax’s desire to have a more mobile, data-driven culture in which secure, shared, collective knowledge was a must.

Onix led this migration from Microsoft Office to Google Workspace for more than 20,000 users across the global Equifax universe.

Outcomes

Equifax wanted to revolutionize the way they work, and that doesn’t always come easy. But Equifax took Going Google and the improved collaboration and security it provided seriously. Dealing with the unexpected was a big part of this project, and Onix led Equifax through issues as they arose. 

The migration to this new platform and change management initiative to introduce it to Equifax employees were both huge successes. As a result, collaboration is both easier and faster for employees.

Read more about this case study here.

Hospital Goes Google for Workplace Cloud Collaboration

Problem

Hurley Medical Center was utilizing a system that didn’t give them what they needed, so they needed a change in how they worked and communicated. 

Solution

In order to lead the way in transforming the way hospitals work, Onix, with the help of partner Google Cloud, implemented two days of immersive discovery workshops across all departments to determine what solution would put Hurley Medical Center on this trajectory. 

At the end of this intensive evaluation period, all signs pointed to Google Workspace. Hurley’s leadership understood they could quickly realize the return on investment when they opted to Go Google and move off the Microsoft environment.

Outcomes

Migrating to Google Workspace reduced the time and costs that come with managing complicated legacy licensing and also boosted security for sensitive data. At Hurley, the move to Google Workspace means the hospital can continue to deliver high-quality healthcare, bolstered by the latest technologies in its state-of-the-art facilities.

Read more about Hurley Medical Center transforming its cloud computing system here

Happeo & Trimble Case Study  

Problem

Trimble is a global technology company that strives for industry improvements across the world. With over 150 offices, they were struggling to maintain an effective intranet with the tools they were using, Google Workspace + Currents. 

Solution

Through a partnership with Onix, Trimble was able to implement Happeo, a turnkey social intranet built specifically for Google Workspace that connects their team members, encourages collaboration, and creates a strong community within the organization.

Outcomes

By utilizing Happeo, Trimble is now able to create a space for all of its employees to find the answers they need, spend time connecting with their colleagues, and seamlessly collaborate on company deliverables. 

With a collaborative, customizable space, Trimble is able to create a unified brand experience within their intranet through channels, static pages, and more. Trimble also has the ability to utilize dynamic analytics tools to monitor which content is most effective, who they are engaging with the most, and, even more importantly, who they are not. 

Read more about this solution that brought together a global organization

Canam Group Inc. Cloud Collaboration Environment Case Study

Problem

Canam Group Inc., a Saint-Georges, Quebec-based company, has workers in many different locations and time zones, however, they relied upon email attachments to share files across the company. These files were getting muddled. Too many versions existed with too many people touching them and making new versions.

Their employees needed the ability to create living documents that teams could open simultaneously to collaborate in real-time, no matter where they were located or what time of day it was.

Solution

Canam Group Inc. needed a large enterprise deployment of the leading, cloud-based workplace productivity tools suite. Between Google and Onix, the solution involved a technology evaluation, a change management strategy, and a data assessment, to see how much data (email, documents, etc.) we would need to migrate during the deployment. 

Outcomes

The entire project, from planning to full adoption took just six months, moving quickly from concept to Go Live. After Going Google so successfully by deploying Google Workspace, leadership at Canam Group Inc. is now exploring the benefits of migrating to Google Cloud in addition to maximizing their current investment in Google Workspace.

Read more about the Canam Group Inc.’s cloud collaboration environment

Garland Industries Workplace Collaboration Case Study

Problem

Cleveland-based Garland Industries, Inc., has led the commercial roofing industry throughout the last century by providing high-performance, innovative waterproofing solutions engineered for long-term performance. They struggled with outdated, insufficient systems that were holding them back from effectively growing their business. 

Solution

A Google Workspace Migration and Deployment with Onix was the right solution for Garland Industries. 

“We liked the resources that Onix had for deployment and training,” said Bruce Emrick, Director of IT for Garland Industries. “We didn’t move quickly; we moved one region at a time, and we’ve never looked back. Switching to Google was a big deal. We had overhead costs and issues (around legacy systems), and time spent in setup and support. But Google just made it easy and those problems went away.”

Outcomes

Garland employees appreciate how the security built into Google Workspace makes it easy to know who has access to what, and how simple it is to share docs. Calendaring has eliminated administrative overhead, empowering the end user. 

Employees can also customize the ways in which they do business. The company has a variety of files, such as photos, CAD drawings, and scope of project documents, storing them all in Drive folders filed by customers. Ultimately, this makes communication with customers even more efficient.

Read more about the Garland Industries migration to Google Workspace.

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Conclusion

Are You Ready to Become a Google Workspace Success Story?

To help your organization quickly set up, adopt and maximize Google Workspace Essentials, we've developed a Google Workspace Essentials Quick Start Package to get your organization started on this journey. 

Our Certified Google Workspace Deployment Specialists are committed to customer success and will work with you to ensure that you meet — and even exceed — your goals.

Contact us today to learn more and see what Google Workspace can do for you.

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