Google Workspace Review 2021 – Is it Any Good?

Google Workspace Review

This Google Workspace Review talk about the latest features, developments and updates and the pricing.

I have been an active user of G-suite since 2016. But Google has recently rebranded G-suite, adding more advanced features and renaming it as Google workspace. 

The following article will discuss it in detail and how it can help your business grow.

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace is a bundle of Google’s productivity tools with some extraordinary functionality for the smooth running of your business. 

Google-Workspace-Formerly-G-Suite-Business-Collaboration-Tools

The evolution started back in 2006 when Google launched “Google Apps for your domain” to choose a custom domain name as your Gmail address. It contained some organization tools like Google calendar, Google page, and Google talk. 

Google Apps for Domain
Source

The service offered was free, which pulled a lot of audience attention. Looking at the immense popularity, Google quickly monetized it in 2007. The platform kept adding new features, but in 2016 Google rebranded it and launched G-suite. 

Google Workspace Features in my experience:

Google Workspace allowed higher integration between multiple Google productivity apps. Before Workspace, my business was running smoothly on G-suite. It contained a wide variety of Google tools that ran on cloud computing. 

G-suite was a paid tool with more than 6 million paying business users like me. It also had G-suite for education, which is still absolutely free and has over 120 million people using it worldwide.

In October 2020, Google sent me a mail regarding the G-suite’s branding into Google workspace and a list of all the additional features it was offering. Google has fully optimized the current situation when most of the professionals work from home. 

It contains different kinds of productivity tools like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs, Meets, Sheets, etc. For me, it was always really hectic to switch over thousands of apps every time I am working. It decreased my productivity and focus on tasks. 

But Google Workspace allows me to create a sheet or document on my mail itself. I don’t have to continuously hop on any other platform to access it. Previously, I could only use the meet picture-in-picture on Gmail or chat where we can see and listen to people while smoothly working on both platforms. 

With Google Workspace, you can perform this function on Sheets, Docs, and Slides as well. A human touch becomes very important while discussing essential business requirements like a sales compilation sheet, custom pitch, or client presentation. 

I have also collaborated with clients by giving them guest access to our drives and chats. This makes it very easy for me to share work and provide relevant access to outsiders.

Google Workspace Application 

Workspace applications

1. Gmail

Through the latest version, I can send voice notes and communicate via video calls. I have also taken a custom domain name that represents my company. It allows me to easily integrate various other Google Workspace tools into the mailbox itself. Also, Gmail blocks 99.99% of spam and phishing emails, helping to keep my business safe.

2. Google Chat

The chat option allows me to stay connected with my team members. I can easily do a one-on-one chat or create a group of up to 8000 members and take updates on their daily working activities. The latest version lets you integrate Google chat with Gmail, Sheets, Docs, and Slides.

3. Google Calendar

It is one of the most important Google Workspace tools that my team uses regularly. This helps me in organizing all my tasks, from meetings to personal appointments. Through Calendar, I can easily pre-plan all my future tasks and become more efficient.

4. Drive

Through Google Drive, I can easily create, edit, and share files. All data are stored in the cloud, which cuts off all space issues. I can also maintain separate drives for each project.

5. Docs

My business extensively depends on Google Docs. It allows me to create and edit files in real-time. I can share it with multiple people and limit their access. Google Docs allows you to edit offline, which automatically gets saved when connected to the internet.

6. Google Meet

It helps my business stay connected with people by providing seamless video calls. My work now is to schedule a meeting and share the link, and anyone with the link can quickly join it. 

We can also schedule multiple meetings using Google Meet so that people don’t forget and are available during these slots.

7. Sheets

It helps my business to keep track of data in a more organized way. You can perform edit, add charts, comments, and send it to clients with limited access. Google uses high-security protection to save data from getting lost or stolen. 

To make it more personalized, I have used their latest Apps script to add custom functions and menu items.

8. Forms

I use Google forms to conduct detailed market research. We create forms and send them to our target audience. The platform captures all the responses and displays them in the form of charts. One thing, I can easily share the information among other Workspace apps like sheets on the go.

You can also set rules and time-bound the form, which will help analyze the results more efficiently.

9. Sites

Google sites are a refined version to showcase reports. We can integrate Docs and Drive to present a better and more precise view of the report. Like other tools, Google sites also enable sharing through limited access.

10. Currents

It is one of my favorite productivity Google tools that track all the relevant resources under a single platform. I can post photos, videos and share my ideas through currents. The tool makes it very easy for me to communicate ideas and take instant feedback.

11. Keep

It helps me in keeping track of all my activities. I have been a Keep fan for years. It allows me to maintain a to-do list and store all my relevant information. 

12. Apps Script

This tool was solely built to improve business efficiency and enhance productivity. Through Apps script, I can easily create custom solutions for my problem without seeking help from any professionals. 

In the past, I have added many custom functions to my Google tools keeping my business requirement in mind.

13. Cloud search

Google workspace stores information on clouds. By enabling cloud search, I can easily navigate the comprehensive platform from Docs, Drive, Sheets to Calendar, Slides, and many more. 

Besides, the information stored meets all the privacy guidelines, so users can only see the data they have access to.

14. Slides

It is one of the most beautiful ways to display technical information. Through Google slides, I can easily create multiple slides using its easy-to-use design templates. It also allows me to add members who can give instant comments on the slides themselves.

Google Workspace Pricing

Google Workspace comes with four unique payment plans named Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise. You can also take a 14 days free trial of any plan mentioned below.

Let’s discuss what I think about these plans.

1. Google Workspace Business Starter 

The Google Workspace Business starter plan is priced at $6 per user every month. It contains all the productivity tools mentioned above. It will be best for smaller businesses with a limited number of members.

In this, you get access to Gmail Business Email, customized according to your business name. The Gmail tool will block 99.99% of spam and provide a secure email page. You can include up to 100 members in the Meet tool, which provides a smooth video calling experience. 

All the information is stored in the cloud, and every user receives a maximum storage capacity of 30Gb. Google Workspace provides proper security options to safeguard all important data. Along with this, every member gets 24*7 support to help them get through any issue they might face while working on their portal.

2. Business Standard

This Google Workspace Business Standard will cost you $12 per user every month. In my opinion, it is good for a growing business that requires more cloud space and has a good number of members. My business has been using this plan, and we love the services it provides.

Along with all the features provided in the starter plan, it also included multiple new features. Firstly, you can consist of up to 150 participants while video calling and can also record your meetings. The storage facility exceeds the previous pan and provides 2TB of cloud storage per user.

3. Business Plus

The Business plan from Workspace will cost you $18 per user every month. This plan is best for big businesses that contain medium to high members.

This plan provides you with an essential functionality of ediscovery through which you can easily retain data from a specific time and export it anywhere. Along with this, It extends the previous plan and allows you to add up to 250 participants to the video call. 

You can also track their attendance and record meetings. The storage capacity is more diverse, and each member gets 5GB of cloud data. It also allows you to encrypt important data and store it in your vault tool.

4. Enterprises

The Enterprise Google Workspace is for enterprises. It provides all the additional functions that are important for the smooth functioning of the business. You have to contact the sales team to get custom pricing.

Along with other features, you get access to S/MIME encryption, which enables users to encrypt emails and digitally sign emails to function as a legitimate sender. You can add up to 250 participants while video calling. 

It provides noise cancellation, attendance, and live streaming. One of the best things about the plan is its unlimited storage functionality provided to the member. It includes many advanced security features to enable you to safeguard important information.

How secure is Google Workspace?

Google workspace runs on the cloud and checks all the security parameters making it a secured network for businesses. I have always been in awe of the working structure of Google. Both Google and its users run on the same cloud network, which indicates the company’s trust in the platform.

Security Features

1. Premium cloud security- It is one of the biggest companies to enable perfect forward security which means all your data will be encrypted when transmitted from one server to another. This protects our data from being stolen. 

It will automatically decrypt the data when it reaches the other server. The same thing follows while sending emails. It doesn’t matter which action you perform; Google will always encrypt your data between data transfers.

2. High performing hardware designed to safeguard information- Google manages hundreds of operating systems specially customized to respond quickly to any suspicious items. It works on multiple data centers to equally distribute user data among them. 

So, even if any one of the centers comes down, your data will not be lost.

3. Tailor-made data protection- The administrator has full control over their data security. They can enable specific authentication processes to build a secure network. I use the 2-step verification process, which will block any suspicious activity and safeguard my information.

Security

In this process, your members have to provide additional information to access the google workspace account. Google continuously monitors activities and reports to the administrator in case of any unusual activity. 

The administrator can also set rules if any members want to encrypt the mail using its Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME).

4. Enable DLP- Data Loss Protection (DLP) is set up to protect crucial information from getting leaked. You can easily enable DLP to protect your emails. It will scan all the information sent and look for any suspicious data. 

The administrator can set a rule as to what type of data will not be sent. So, if DLP finds any kind of irrelevant data, it will ask the sender to rephrase or block that email. It will safeguard all your information from any suspicious activity.

5. Spam and Phishing detection- Google can detect up to 99.99% of spam. It doesn’t break the hierarchy of your essential emails with spam. Along with this, Google also protects against Phishing. 

Google Workspace is inclined to follow the DMARC standard (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance). It tells mail servers a number of steps they could follow if they find any phishing emails. 

These mails are mostly sent from unauthorized centers and can easily be detected using the latest technology.

6. Qualified all the toughest security standards- Google values security over everything and has bagged all the big security certificates like the Certify EY point, ISO/IEC, HIPAA, AICPA SOC 213, FedRAMP, and PCI DSS.

All these certifications explain the working structure of Google and being one of the biggest companies, it has never compromised on its user’s safety. 

If you still have any doubt regarding its security towards users, then I would highly advise you to visit the official website and read in detail about all these certificates.

7. Full transparency- Google maintains a transparent and trustful relationship between its users. All your personal information is always safe and can never be sold to any 3rd party. I have been using Google for years and have never faced any issue regarding my data security.

We always have full control over our data. Google doesn’t claim any right over your personal or company information. One of the major things that Google follows is to present a transparency report now and then. This enables users to know where all their data are stored.

Security Applications

1. Admin- The Admin portal will allow you to take charge of your Google Workspace and build a platform that contains all the advanced protection. I have also enabled a 2-step verification process on my portal to avoid any third-party access.

2. Endpoint management- To create an additional coat of security, you can enable endpoint management. It allows you to secure your company’s data by enabling strong passwords and screen locks. 

The user can also wipe out information in case of any theft. You can easily install it on any of your devices like Android, Windows, iOS, Chrome, macOS, or Linux.

3. Vault- It is one of the best tools to retain information. You can set the number of days, and the tool will retrieve all your past stored information. The retrieved data can easily be transported anywhere. This helps users to safeguard their data in case of any loss.

4. Work insights- It is solely made to help the administrator analyze how its business is adopting Google Workspace as a whole. The adoption insights show the time spent by team members on all the Google tools. 

You can also see if people can collaborate via Docs, Slides, or Sheets easily. These are tiny pieces of information that help in making important future decisions.

Conclusion

Google is one of the most trustable companies globally, and all its products provide high-level security and ease in performing tasks. Google Workspace is a great tool that is specially made to solve the problems that businesses face. 

Thus, turning up to Google Workspace can help in the smooth running of your business. 

About Amrita Pathak