- Google revamped its enterprise collaboration tool, Hangouts, to better server businesses, the company announced Thursday in a blog, creating a chat platform more akin to products on the market such as Slack.
- The platform improvements were specifically focused on Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, it’s videoconferencing function. Now, companies can run a 30-person video conference with Meet by sharing a link, which does not require accounts, plugins or downloads.
- Hangouts is integrated across the G Suite, making it easier to share content while having a cross-enterprise chat experience. Meanwhile, Box announced it will integrate its secure content management functions into Hangouts Chat as part of a partnership the two companies announced last fall.
Both Meet and Chat have been made more robust to help make Hangouts, which was originally developed for consumers, better suited to the business environment.
The workspace chat and collaboration space is red-hot. Slack recently announced Enterprise Grid, its product catered toward large businesses, and just this week Microsoft announced its tool, Microsoft Teams, will be generally available next week. Google doesn’t want to be left out, so it’s upping the ante with improvements to Hangouts.
For Google, a revamped Hangouts will help make its G Suite productivity suite even more appealing to businesses.
Microsoft and Google may both be betting that businesses will choose the productivity apps already embedded in the services they use everyday, Office 365 and G Suite respectively, for simplicity’s sake. Slack is a formidable competitor with more than five million daily users, so Microsoft and Google could be hoping their respective strategies will slow mass enterprise migration to Slack. But look out, Amazon Web Services is reportedly considering an entrance into the productivity app market too.