Google Boosts Collaboration But Still Enterprise Enigma

Dedicated vs. Shared Cloud Voice Services Darin Ward October 03, 2019 When moving voice to the cloud, many service providers tout their dedicated solutions. But is “dedicated” all that it’s cracked up to be? See All in Cloud Communications » 5 Steps for A Seamless Contact Center Cloud Migration Elizabeth Magill September 09, 2019 Ensuring that IT and business teams are on the same page before, during, and after the process is key to a successful migration. Product highlights include:Google Assistant integration with Calendar — allowing use of voice queries to get up-to-date meeting information; in beta. Consider this the starting point of “Hey Google” integration into G Suite, with more features coming in the near future.Live captions in Google Meetings — delivered via a text stream that runs under the user’s video stream. This currently provides live captions, but action items and transcript capabilities are coming.Connected Sheets — integrates Google’s spreadsheet application with its BigQuery managed cloud data warehouse for analytics; in beta. This makes it possible to use Sheets to analyze the massive amounts of data in BigQuery, up to a whopping 10 billion rows worth of data. This means anyone in a company can now analyze data in a spreadsheet without having to be a BigQuery expert.Hangouts Chat integration into Gmail — This integration has been available as a consumer feature for some time but is now in beta for the corporate version. This gives users access to email, chat, and bots in a single, unified experience.Google Voice generally available — users get a single phone number across all their devices; transcribed voicemails and spam filtering included. Google said pricing will be in line with that from other UCaaS providers. Google Voice will initially be available in 11 markets, with more coming.Gmail security enhancements, including proactive phishing and malware protection — Gmail will provide warnings against phishing attacks and virtually execute attachments in a sandbox environment to prevent malware’s spread. Other notable security enhancements include access transparency and new mobile device management features.Currents — provides a way for workers to share information and engage in discussions with others in the company; currently in beta, this is the enterprise version of Google+G Suite Add-Ons — provide a way for workers to access workplace apps in the side panel of G Suite, simplifying workflows with informatoin immediately available; beta to come soon. Integrations include Cisco Webex, Copper CRM, Workfront, and Box, among others.Even as Google narrows the cap in collaboration, it remains perhaps the biggest enigma in the collaboration industry. G Suite initially started with five apps and has grown to 20. Two of the apps, Gmail and Drive have more than one billion users, and in the past 12 months the number of paying customers has jumped from four million to five million, Google shared. AI features also depend on integration across the suite for maximum effectiveness. As an example, when five of the employees invited to a 10-participant meeting decline the invite, Google could recommend that the organizer book a smaller room, for a more effective meeting. The possibilities for AI infusion are limitless, and Google does AI arguably better than any other company. One reason why is that, despite Google’s massive resources, it always seems to be playing catch-up. During a pre-brief analyst session, Google noted that with the updates it now has a full UC solution with meetings, voice, and chat. To that I say, well whoop-de-doo, as almost any of the many UC and UCaaS vendors can offer this. The big question is, what can Google bring to the table that will enable it to lead the industry instead of seemingly constantly chasing it? Toward that end, here are three areas to watch: 2. Artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities — Google, one of the leading AI companies, is working to infuse AI features into every aspect of G Suite to make users more productive by finding the right information faster, generating high-quality work in less time, and empowering teams to be better. One area that Google should excel in is search, as nobody does that better. Google Cloud Search enables employees to search and find information across documents, CRM information, emails, and other data sources. During the analyst event, one of the speakers cited a stat that workers switch tasks every three minutes and the combination of search and AI can virtually eliminate that and let people stay on tasks better. Some examples of AI infusion can be seen today with grammar checking and suggested responses in email. For those not familiar with the latter, when you start to type a response in Gmail, Google will provide suggestions on how to finish your sentences. Success here would come from increased personalization, with your auto-response suggestion being different from mine. Over time, Google’s AI should get better at understanding what a specific person would say versus a generic email. With G Suite updates announced today at Google Cloud Next ’19, Google has narrowed the gap between it and many of the mainstream enterprise communications and collaboration vendors. The focus of these updates is employee empowerment, allowing teams to work faster, smarter, and more collaboratively through better integration of its products and a number of new capabilities. 3. 360-degree personal view — One of the more interesting aspects of Google is that its services are so well adopted among consumers. YouTube, consumer Gmail, Maps, Translate, and other services are de facto standards. It’s possible Google could marry the consumer information with company data and create personalization that’s beyond what any other vendor can provide. It’s debatable whether workers would want their personal and professional data mixed together — but I believe if doing so makes life better, most will opt in. For example, Google can automate the process of rescheduling a cancelled meeting. If Calendar knows that an attendee has a personal engagement, such as a school event, it will avoid rescheduling the meeting at that time. The potential is there. The question is whether Google can make the value compelling enough. collaboration.jpg Are We Heading for Cloud in a Box? Tom Nolle September 26, 2019 As the cloud craze continues, enterprises are looking for simplified “in a box” cloud solutions to address their communication and collaboration needs. So here we are again. Google is once again that disruptive vendor to watch. It has a strong, broad product line and a ton of potential. The announcements at Cloud Next ‘19 need to be the starting point of continued and accelerated innovation to achieve a leadership position in the enterprise.Tags:News & ViewsUCaaSGoogle VoicecollaborationG SuiteCloud CommunicationsAI & AutomationAPIs & Embedded CommunicationsDigital TransformationMeetingsProduct News Articles You Might Like 5 Ways Cloud UCC Changed the Workforce Mark Roberts September 16, 2019 The UCC digital renaissance has come and stayed. Now, enterprises are fine tuning their networks to better engage employees and customers. Hyping Up Hybrid: Making the Case Ryan Daily September 05, 2019 With the race to the cloud heating up, some enterprises aren’t dashing to the finish line with the same intensity – opting instead for a “hybrid” pace. Log in or register to post comments 1. Integration of G Suite products — This “differentiator” is something that could be said about all the large collaboration vendors but rarely comes to fruition. For example, little integration exists between Microsoft Skype for Business and Teams or Cisco Webex and BroadSoft. From what I saw at the event, Google apparently has been working diligently to ensure what happens in one product is known in others so the more G Suite application you use, the more productive you’ll be. Google emphasized the importance of email, the value of which many feel is falling with the rise of team collaboration. Despite the rhetoric, email is still kicking and will be around a long time. Given the size of its installed base, Gmail can be the focal point of Google’s integration strategy. Nevertheless, Google remains well behind most of the competition in terms of enterprise mindshare. Also, while the adoption numbers are impressive, Google is rarely the primary collaboration vendor within an enterprise. Businesses are more likely to be using another vendor and augmenting their collaboration strategy with a handful of G Suite applications. This is true for all collaboration vendors but many companies I have talked to refer to themselves as being a “Cisco shop” or “Avaya shop.” Rarely do I hear “Google shop.” read more

Blatant abuse of taxpayers dollars …as Govt business

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNo “widespread abuse” of State resources for political campaign – PresidentMarch 21, 2016In “latest news”Ramjattan admits govt using public funds for campaigningJune 22, 2019In “Local News”Opposition to Diplomats: Government has fallen, it cannot be business as usualDecember 29, 2018In “latest news” The Cabinet ministersThe A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition is campaigning heavily on State resources; and some observers have noted that this a blatant abuse of taxpayers’ money and a possible violation of the law.What was labelled as ‘Government business’ turned out to be a massive elections campaign, when a large ministerial convoy ventured to Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) at the weekend.Nineteen Ministers spent three days visiting various communities, making grand promises in exchange for votes.At the community of Tiger Pond, Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix made it clear that he was there simply to garner votes.“You understand why it is important for us to come and convince you that you should vote for this coalition,” Minister Felix remarked.He added: “If I wanted to go to church, I’d go to church in Georgetown. I wouldn’t come here for Sunday school. While I wouldn’t mind worshipping with you, but I come here to ask for your vote, let’s understand that clearly. Vote coalition!”Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan recalled that only 39 residents voted for the APNU/AFC coalition at the last General and Regional Election in 2015. He urged that, this time around, more residents vote for the coalition.“To the approximately 96 persons who did not support us on that occasion but rather cast their votes for the then Government, I’d like to ask you… to do the same this time, which is to give their support to the Government because this time around, we are the Government,” Minister Bulkan said.The coalition Government has been accused by many, including Opposition members and independent political commentators, of using taxpayers’ money to fund its elections campaign.Minister of State Joseph Harmon recently denied that these outreaches are part of the coalition’s elections campaign strategy. He insisted that it was strictly Government business.But the outreach in Region Nine, which was branded ‘Government business’, shows that APNU/AFC is campaigning on State resources.Both APNU and AFC, when they were in Opposition, strongly criticised the use of State resources for campaigning – a practice they are openly engaging in today.The coalition has also been accused of forcing State agencies, such as the Guyana Revenue Authority, to attend party sponsored events.Christopher RamOnly recently, outspoken Attorney Christopher Ram blasted the Government for misusing public money and reiterated the need for modern campaign financing laws which will prevent this kind of abuse from happening.However, he noted that there are existing laws which can be enforced to penalise defaulters.In Chapter 1:03 Part XIII of the Representation of the Peoples Act titled “Election Expenses”, a limit is placed on personal campaign expenses to GY$25,000 per candidate and a maximum sum of GY$50,000 multiplied by a maximum number of 53 from a total number of 65 candidates for each contesting political party.And according to Section 120 (1) of the amended Act, following elections, political parties’ election agents have 35 days in which to submit financial returns to the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission, disclosing on behalf of candidates and their parties, all payments made by the party’s election agent, amounts of personal expenses paid by each candidate, all disputed and unpaid claims, all monies, securities, and those received for the conduct of the elections, the names of donors and contributors, among others.However, since the enactment of these regulations (Act 24 of 1990) they have neither been observed by contesting political parties nor enforced by the CEO. read more