Google announced a design overhaul for G Suite that will further integrate its enterprise productivity services including Gmail, Chat, Meet, and Docs.
The new G Suite will be available to a select group of customers for preview starting this week, with a larger roll out slated for later in 2020.
In essence, the redesign further blurs the lines between Google services: The Gmail app will also serve as a hub for Chat, Docs collaboration will be directly embedded in Chat rooms, and backend search will function across Chat and Gmail. Overhaul, Google claims these changes are intended to help G Suite users retain their focus by reducing the need to switch apps between tasks. The tech giant also noted more features are in development, such as supporting picture-in-picture video calls within Gmail and offering Meet functionality directly in Docs.
Deeper G Suite integrations pose an existential threat to Zoom and Slack, as enterprises will look to cut redundant software subscriptions. As we have noted before, Google and Microsoft together account for virtually the entire enterprise office suite market this gives the tech giants a considerable advantage over smaller competitors like Zoom and Slack, which only offer standalone enterprise communications platforms.
Google and Microsoft can exercise this advantage by promoting their less dominant services through their already dominant platforms. Overhaul, In concrete terms: If G Suite is suffused with Google Chat integrations available at no additional cost, it doesn’t make sense for an enterprise to pay for both Slack and G Suite. And because there aren’t viable competitors to Microsoft and Google in the enterprise office suite market, enterprises will choose to stay within their ecosystems, cutting the redundant services offered by Zoom and Slack.
Google will likely take a more gradual approach to rolling out the G Suite integrations due to concerns over both the user experience and antitrust regulation. For enterprises that use G Suite along with competing services like Slack or Zoom, the deeper integrations might come off as more invasive than useful, considering how much real estate they occupy within the revamped user interface. So even though Google could probably flip a switch and turn on every available integration at once, it risks alienating a significant number of customers by doing so. A more gradual approach could also help to avoid regulatory scrutiny.
In May, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield told The Verge, “Microsoft is perhaps unhealthily preoccupied with killing us, and Teams is the vehicle to do that.” Google is employing a similar strategy to grow market share in this domain, and as it faces antitrust scrutiny in both the US and Europe, it may restrain its G Suite integration plan in an attempt to avoid attracting further regulatory attention.
This news was originally published at businessinsider.com