C2C Monthly Recap: June 2022
- C2C News
Browse articles, resources, and the latest product updates.
On Jan. 13, 2022, The C2C Connect: DACH group invited Michel Lovis of TX Group to their community gathering to give a presentation about TX Group’s migration from Microsoft Suite to Google Workspace. After an introduction from co-host and DACH team lead Chanel Greco (@chanelgreco), Michel analyzed the digitization process, the challenges TX Group faced, and the measures they took to ensure that the effort would succeed. Below are summaries of some of the key points covered during the session: 1. TX group has evolved from being a newspaper-only company in 1893 to becoming an internationally recognized network of media and platforms. 2. TX Group has become the largest private digital network platform in Switzerland, reaching over 80% of the population, with 3,700 employees, around 500 technology experts, and 800 journalists from over 50 nations, and their digital revenue share is 53%. 3. TX Group today consists of Tamedia (paid media), 20 Minuten (free media), Goldbach (advertising), and TX Markets AG (market places), all of which are using scalable technology architecture in a federated organizational setup (cloud first/only, with strong push for agility & speed). 4. In 2015, the company shifted workspace operations from Microsoft to Google. The goal of the project was to get all users to adopt most of the Google Workspace applications, including Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Meet, thus making a big change toward the digital environment they have today. 5. Vision vs. reality: close customer care is key! The challenge of migrations is that it takes time for people to lose their original workspace and get used to change. Today TX Group retains many Microsoft installations, and will retain them long-term in some areas, departments, and Teams. 6. TX Group introduced the following measures and resources after launching Workspace: An internal Google CC with Google Experts Business proximity concept implementation Welcome info for new employees Knowledge-sharing and other help offerings Roadshow coffees Inviting people to express questions via management care and a satisfaction survey Specific courses including transformation lab 7. The second bigger change was the implementation of Goldbach. The bigger challenges here included the employees integrating a new company, which required a complete change of their working environment. 8. TX Group identifies six main different measures that were taken in order to make the process easier. 9. At the end of the session, the guests shared the benefits from their Google journey and the areas that would need a closer look. 10. Key takeaways from the session included: act faster, become more open, try something new, and "Pull faster than your shadow IT". Watch a full recording of the event below:
On Wednesday, September 8, Google and a handful of their new and established hardware partners launched a new round of Series One Google Meet Hardware equipment. The headliner of this launch (the Series One Board 65) replaces the good old Jamboard, which launched back in 2016 (released in 2017). An open secret of the Jamboard is its operating system. It’s not Chrome OS; it’s rocking Android. In contrast, these new hardware kits are being launched on Chrome OS, allowing for better continuous updates and less fragmentation on the development side. So what’s the deal with these new kits? Board 65 The new Series One Board 65 is built from the ground up to incorporate Google Meet and Jamboard on the same device. Thus its camera is much more potent than the one shipped built into the Jamboard. In addition, with its 65” screen it is 10” bigger than the Jamboard; a much-needed increase to enable Meet and Jam on the same screen while keeping visibility for the whole room. As a result, this device will fit in perfectly with your hybrid collaboration spaces in your offices and meeting rooms and ensure seamless collaboration between your team members on the board and on their laptops (at home; or halfway across the globe). Desk 27 The collaboration between Google and Avocor brought us another very interesting device. The Series One Desk 27 is a 27” 2K touchscreen built for small spaces or a high-end home office setup centerpiece. Its built-in speaker, microphone, and camera will make you look good in a meeting while allowing for seamless collaboration on a Jamboard. Or, if you prefer, you can use your laptop and connect it to the device to ensure that you have your other work at your fingertips while you’re in a meeting. Using the USB-C connection, you’ll still be able to use the touchscreen and the video and audio equipment. A good all-in-one monitor; with a price. Logitech Logitech launched several updates and new hardware, but the one I find most exciting and will be getting for my desk is the Logi Dock. The Dock is a Deskbound microphone and speaker combination that also includes a USB hub with the ability to connect your monitor and charge your laptop. In addition, the dock and all other devices launched have built-in noise cancellation for your listeners. Allowing you to break free from headsets enables an excellent experience for any private office, at home, or co-located in the same building. RAYZ This traveler's accessory was launched last. The RAYZ Rally Pro is a docking station for your phone that enables you to have a Meet conference anywhere by simply plugging in your phone and joining using the app. Its big, central mute button allows you to quickly mute yourself when you need to order a new latte in your “office,” rather than to fiddle with the app to find the button. Bottom Line I want to end on the reasoning behind these kits for an executive making decisions. Why invest in expensive hardware like this? Why would you get the RAYZ Rally Pro, or why should you get the Desk 27? Well, the worst thing when it comes to building a hybrid culture is friction. If it is hard for people to connect, including everything from joining, hearing, and speaking, and ends at the emotional connection built-in every conversation, be it virtual or physical, you introduce needless friction. This friction is nothing you want to have around and can introduce unmeasurable frustrations and productivity impediments. But the best hardware at home doesn’t help you if your internet connection is terrible. You should start there, for sure.
As more and more businesses adopt a hybrid work remote model, discovering the best ways to collaborate and ensure client security will become the number one priority of home office dwellers everywhere. Thankfully, with the help of Google Workspace security and the recent Workspace update, Google Cloud Services is making working from home more accessible and secure for everyone. What Is Google Workspace? With the ability to safely connect with coworkers through Google Chat and tag teams in Google Drive docs, the connectivity of Google Workspace has given teams across industries the unique ability to adapt and grow like never before. But what exactly is Google Workspace? And how can teams take advantage of recent updates to make the most of working from home?Google Workspace is a collection of cloud and productivity tools and software created by Google to equip workforces with the ability to collaborate and work within Google Cloud. It was formerly known as Google Suite and rebranded as Google Workspace. It has several tools for businesses of all sizes, and it offers significant value to businesses with remote workers.You get numerous tools within Google Workspace, but a few of the most commonly used are: An email system with Gmail anti-spam filters and security Backups and cloud storage using Google Drive A Google Doc environment to share presentations, spreadsheets, and word documents Chat, meet, and schedule calls with Google Calendar Build a small website and host domain registration with Sites What’s Included in the Recent Google Workspace Update? In an effort to provide remote teams with the most efficient tools for cloud computing and team collaboration, Google Workspace rolled out an update in March 2021 to address the new productivity challenges faced by remote teams and frontline workers. The Workspace update included expanded Google Workspace security features and accessibility updates, making it easy to connect remote teams and support more flexible work schedules while providing office-grade cloud security. More Second-Screen ExperiencesGoogle Meet is rising to the occasion for more agile connectivity across devices. In particular, Google Meet’s mobile experience and the ability to host a second-screen experience with Q&As, polls, and captions means teams are able to hold virtual meetings like never before.The “second-screen experience” feature is meant for users who want to share their screen on one device while hosting and viewing the Meet feature on another screen. Instead of worrying about open tabs and windows with private data on your desktop, you can instead open Meet on your desktop and share your screen on a mobile device such as a tablet to show viewers. Updates to Google CalendarAs teams continue to shift to more flexible work schedules, it will become imperative that our work calendars shift with the changing times. Google Workspace updates recently introduced some new calendar features that make it possible for greater time management that doesn’t include an intervention or management from leaders. The new Workspace update introduces time insights directly integrated into your calendar. Identify where you spend most of your time, how long you spend in meetings, and set goals to better optimize your time in the future. Expanded Data Regions CoverageImprovements to Google Workspace security center are also making the future of work effective and more secure. For specific Workspace apps and those who need to manage their data across geographical locations, they now have the ability to control where that information is located, at rest, through geo-location tools.If your organization must follow compliance standards, it’s likely that you must store data within certain regions. Not every region is compliant, so previously sensitive data could not be stored on Google Drive. Now, Google Workspace lets you choose regions where your data is stored so that you remain compliant with numerous standards such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, CCPA, FINRA, and others. Frontline Worker SolutionOne of the more custom solutions in the latest Google Workspace update is the rollout of Google Workspace Frontline: a cloud service created specifically to address the unique collaborative challenges of essential workers. This service provides unlimited user access with limited resource usage.The Frontline edition of the application gives you all the same tools with the standard Workspace subscription, but users have a 2GB storage limitation. You also don’t get Google Vault, a data retention solution, but you can update to the standard edition later and add this feature to your service. Updated Google Workspace Security Features One of the most anticipated components of the Workspace update includes expanded Data Regions coverage and Assured Controls. Updates to Google Workspace security center are better equipping people to work from home while remaining within compliance of ever-evolving cyber security needs. This update is particularly important because it brings enterprise-level security to workers that find themselves further from a physical office than ever before.For Enterprise Plus and Education Plus members, additional security features are available to help them better secure their data. Add key management to facilitate encryption of data using a third-party vendor or your own in-house tools. Keys will be used to encrypt and decrypt data, so a compromise will have less of an impact on compliance violations and data theft.Workspace users will also have the ability to label data for a domain. This feature helps organizations prepare for audits, SEC filings, and other important data. New trust rules provide administrators with the ability to granularly assign authorization to sensitive data across the Workspace environment. The Future of Work and Adopting Google Cloud Services into the WFH Model According to Gartner, 90% of employers plan to allow their employees to work remotely part-time post-pandemic. This staggering number may mean a higher level of flexibility for an already overworked workforce, but to many it has the implications of a greater, more modern work-life balance to come. With more users working remotely, cloud services are a necessary part of any business environment. Instead of managing disparate tools across multiple environments, Google Workspaces provides administrators with a centralized dashboard where they can manage users, access rules, data storage, email, and security. As Google continues to update its Workspaces services, businesses get a robust environment to make it easier for employees to work from home and still remain productive. Extra Credit https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/google-workspace-announces-innovations-to-enhance-collaboration-equity-in-hybrid-future-of-work-301236984.html https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/workspace/the-future-of-work-with-google-workspace?utm_source=wgc&utm_medium=et&utm_campaign=homepage https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/2021/03/assured-controls-access-management-information-governance.html https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/workspace/assured-controls-and-expanded-data-regions-for-google-workspace
The C2C Navigators: Future of Work series gives you access to some of the top minds at Google Cloud, innovative customers, and industry leaders. For the third in this series, we invited four experts from Google Cloud Partner companies to the stage:Tom Galizia – Global Chief Commercial Officer, Alphabet Google, Deloitte Swarraj Kulkarni – CTO, MediaAgility Ritesh Patel – Co-Founder, Quantiphi Tony Safoian – CEO, SADAKey Discussion Points:How have Google Cloud partners responded to the pandemic’s impact on relationships with clients? Given what’s changed on a macro level, what changes have partners observed in everyday working life? Looking forward, how can leadership demonstrate resilience while increasing empathy and compassion toward users’ fundamental needs? How are partners working in virtual settings through challenging projects without being able to read body language or pick up on peripheral clues about their interest and engagement? What’s one superpower or super skill everyone should have to learn to stay relevant with the major shifts toward more virtual communications?Watch the entire conversation here: We will continue the conversation with special guest speakers from Verizon and Workday on Thursday, June 24.
The C2C Navigators: Future of Work series gives you access to some of the top minds at Google Cloud, innovative customers, and industry leaders. For the second in this series, we invited three experts to the stage:Kelly Ducourty – VP, GTM Strategy and Operations in Google Cloud Brigette McInnis-Day – VP, People Operations, Google Cloud Peter High – President at Metis Strategy, Strategist, Lecturer, Podcast Host, and AuthorKey Discussion Points:Returning to the office with safety and wellbeing in mind Strengthening culture through inclusive tech and an individualized approach to employee needs to ensure inclusivity for all working styles and needs Recent research on talent planning, learning and innovation, and flexible work environments Transitioning to the next phase of work as a hybrid model, a full return to the office, or staying remoteCommunity Questions Answered: How does Google ensure empathy for a diverse employee population? Does vaccination matter for in-office access and how are you planning on handling that? Who owns the responsibility of making decisions to ensure health and wellbeing? What makes a strong team and what have we learned in the past 14 months that can improve team dynamics?Watch the entire conversation here:
2020 was a year of firsts for many. For some, it may have been the first time they attempted baking sourdough bread. For others it could have been the first year they participated in a virtual happy hour. Many of us also experienced a virtual doctor’s visit for the first time.Before the pandemic shuttered many of our doors, the idea of a virtual doctor’s visit felt almost sci-fi, but this need to innovate uncovered a fair amount of benefits to doing medicine online. As we continue our discussion about mental health awareness, we’re taking a look at Google telemedicine and how G Suite for healthcare is helping to improve many facets of the patient experience, from security to convenience. What Is Google Cloud Healthcare API? Google Cloud Healthcare API is a virtual interface used to store and manage healthcare data. There are many different platforms created to safely store and process patient data, and Google Cloud is among one of the most trusted cloud infrastructures for storing healthcare information.Google Cloud has helped create an infrastructure that is serverless for providers. Google Cloud Healthcare helps generate pipelines of information to cut back on the amount of time that it takes to collect data acquisition and preprocessing. Google’s API has the ability to bridge existing systems that accelerate indigestion, storage, and analysis of healthcare data with Google Cloud Healthcare applications. Google Telemedicine and Patient Security Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of Google Cloud Healthcare is the layered approach to security and privacy. Google Cloud gives the ability to set data access rules for patient security on top of your original securing structure. Google Telemedicine was also created as an extraordinarily simple process that gives you an extension of care and safety through a secure net to virtually see your doctor. In the times that we are in now, it can be difficult to get through a phone line to just schedule an appointment to see your doctor. Now with Google Telemedicine, you are able to see your doctor, schedule appointments, and see all of your information in one place. Whether it's simply sending a message directly to your provider or reordering a prescription, Google Telemedicine is giving a generational standard on direct and effective communications directly from your providers, in the security of your own home. Convenience for Patients and Providers Virtual care solutions rolled out quickly in 2020, providing many with a level of convenience that hadn’t been experienced previously in medicine. To protect patients and providers while connecting virtually, Google Workspace created a HIPAA Implementation Guide to make it possible for doctors to share medical information through Gmail and Google Meet. The convenience for providers is that they are able to create a system through a query on Google’s Cloud Healthcare API, which can store all community specs from their patients’ specific information at a click of a button. This information can also be connected to any business intelligence tool that your provider may use, which saves additional plugins, programs, and time on collecting your data to Google storage. Workspace EMR Puts Patients’ Information All in One Place Utilizing Workspace EMR to create a centralized location for medical records and patient information allows healthcare workers and patients to access important medical records from one place and perform vital remote clinical work.Importing data directly into Google Cloud Healthcare offers a safe way to share important documents like X-rays and CT scans with internal staff, while Workspace EMR creates access to populate forms and compute data, making it efficient, effective, and inexpensive for providers and patients. This is one of the best assets when dealing with Workpace for healthcare. Google Electronic Medical Records and How It Works Workspace for healthcare has spent the past few years perfecting the development of Google Electronic Medical Records. Think about having all of your medical records, including your legacy records, at your fingertips and for your healthcare providers.Google has created a process that can easily access, analyze, update, and electronically annotate patient data even while other providers are using the same patient record. This changes the game for healthcare with Google electronic medical records by keeping clients and providers instantly informed of any changes made to their file.Imagine the impact on our environment when we are able to say no to paper! No more having to call a provider for additional information to include on behalf of a diagnosis. Even no more off-site storage locations, which is just another bonus for patients and providers, making Google EMR system ideal for requesting, inputting, storing, accessing, and updating records from any geographic location. With the new millennium, times are sure changing, with more advanced technology constantly emerging. Workspace for Google and Google electronics’ medical records have given the most modern system to reference and consulate you all through a digital space. What more do you think will evolve over time? Whatever that may be, Google is for sure on top of our modern healthcare landscape. Google Cloud Healthcare API Creates Greater Collaboration Among Providers Google Cloud Healthcare also makes it possible for providers to collaborate with each other. From building complex clinical repositories that can be safely accessed by multiple practitioners to streamlining communication with Workspace features like chat and video calling, Google Workspace is making remote collaboration possible for remote healthcare.Workspace for healthcare provides the best all-in-one place for providers to easily create health assessments, questionnaires, instructional videos, forms, and documents for EMR. Trying to streamline data and services can take a huge amount of time, but they don't have to when dealing with Google Cloud Healthcare API. The software makes it easy for providers to collaborate using a secure network where systems are generated and computed all in one place. Imagine how amazing and a dream-like situation this can be for a provider to have. You don't have to create, research, or use external sources or plug-ins to manage or access information. Convenience is at an all-time high these days.If 2020 proved anything, it’s that necessity truly is the mother of invention. Google Cloud Healthcare API and telemedicine revolutionized the way the healthcare industry shares information, consults with patients, and communicates internally, and it’s only a matter of time before other areas of innovation and improvement crop up in other industries thanks to cloud computing. Join the discussion today! Tell us which industries you think could greatly benefit from cloud innovation. Extra Credit 7 Reasons Why the Healthcare Industry is Migrating to G-Suite 10 Google Workspace tips for healthcare Real-Time, Serverless Predictions With Google Cloud Healthcare API (Cloud Next '19) Electronic medical records system - Google Patent Sign up for an upcoming C2C Deep Dive on patient sentiment hosted in partnership with SpringML.
As companies start putting pen-to-paper for a return-to-work model, companies like Quantiphi are committing to a “flexible future.” But what does that mean for company culture? On May 25, C2C will discuss corporate culture in the future of work with Kelly Ducourty, VP, GTM strategy and operations with Google, Brigette McInnis-Day, VP people operations at Google Cloud, and Peter High of Metis Strategy. They’ll cover questions like: What does the future hold for work-life integration as we return to the office? How are businesses reconsidering approaches to talent planning, learning, and innovation? What lessons learned over the past year can be used to address wellness and employee burnout? To tap into this more in advance of the Navigator, C2C sat down with Laurie Klausner, global head of marketing at Quantiphi, to discuss what culture means to Quantiphi, a global business with most of its workforce in India. Given the dire situation, and a need to ensure cohesion as a company, Klausner shared how they view culture now, supporting their multicultural team and what the future holds for work-life balance. Listen to the conversation below. Full transcript of the conversation below Sabina Bhasin, C2C Hi, everyone. I'm here with Laurie Klausner from Quantiphi, and we're talking about the future of work culture and how this changed our world. We're going to kick it off by just trying to understand a baseline of what company culture means and what success looks like? Laurie? Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi So I think company culture is so imperative in an organization that's growing. So at Quantiphi, one of the first things you'll hear when you join our team is that we refer to ourselves as the Quantiphi family. I think you don't necessarily know how to take that until you're here for a little while, and you realize that despite geographies, despite timezones, despite people from all different kinds of backgrounds, everybody really cares about each other, much like you hope is happening in a normal family. But it's really a phenomenal part of Quantiphi, and I have actually yet to meet anyone in person. But I still feel like I've really gotten to know people and I think that company culture comes from the four founders all the way down through everyone in the organization. Sabina Bhasin, C2CHow do you think, you know, enabling all these different tools and using Workspace and other ways that have helped you all come together as an organization? How has that sort of behavior in that pivot improved outcomes? And what do you think you guys will continue doing past this phase? Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi That was a lot that you just asked there, and I'll try and break it down a little bit. But so in the first part of your question, the tools, so we're a company that's based entirely on all of the G-Suite tools. So I think it was expanding the way we were using them already. So I think Google meet, like you and I are talking right now from two different states, two different places, it makes it very seamless, of course, it's not the same as if we were sitting together over lunch. But I think it's pretty good. It’s pretty easy to understand when someone's talking and you know when there are multiple people on a call, how to make sure you're communicating right or using the raise a hand. So I think as far as getting together, it's a very powerful toolset that we have in front of us. I think we have used it extensively throughout our organization prior to COVID. But I think as far as meetings, I think so many meetings that were in-person have now obviously shifted to being remote and online. I think, initially, people were wary, it's different, right? And I think you always naturally have people who talk more than others who have more confidence. But I think we have found ways to really try and draw people into the conversation, as you would do in person, we're finding ways to do that using the tools. But as far as we use Google Chat, you know, so I mean, you're constantly hearing from people regardless of where they are, and I think that's really been very powerful and allowed our organization that is global, still feel very connected. Sabina Bhasin, C2CYeah, so it sounds like some of those behaviors and those tools will be things that will be used, even if we start moving into more of a hybrid environment. Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi Yeah, Quantiphi is firmly committed to a flexible future. So our HR team and talent team are putting together what that looks like. But I don't think there will ever be a mandate for most positions at Quantiphi to be five days a week in the office. I think there will be a lot more flexibility. I think what we've learned, and as many organizations have is, you can have people be incredibly productive and work on their own schedules around the sort of parameters that you have dogs, kids conflicts, you know, laundry machines breaking, you know, whatever is going on, people can still do some incredible bodies of work. Sabina Bhasin, C2CMm-hmm. Yeah, definitely. I think that's one of the biggest lessons that some of these bigger companies have learned. You know, there's been a little bit of a movement from some of the smaller startup companies to say, you know, there is a better way that we can all work together, we can shift things to people's work, preferential work styles, and make we've learned that people can still be credibly productive despite the environments that they're in. Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi Yeah, I would just add one. I do think that it's, it's paramount to have flexibility. But I do think there is, there is something missing, and I'm just speaking from my personal experience from having, you know, for over 25 years of typically being in an office and often the headquarters of an organization. I think there are small things that just can't be replicated, and I think, as I said, Quantiphi is doing a great job. We have Zen days to allow people to step back from meetings; you know, we have all kinds of connection points that we've tried to make. But it's still not the same, and in fact, you know, there are a few of us who are past our second shot and past the two-week point, and for the first time, since I've been working, we'll be physically getting together and one of the offices here in Massachusetts. I’m really excited, even if it's just a handful of people to have that synergy that happens when you're in person that is important. So my hope, my personal hope, you know, for my team, and the way I think that Quantiphi works, and the way we will work with our partners and customers going forward, is that it is a hybrid. A blend of, you have flexibility, and you can accomplish your job, whatever that looks like, but that there is still some mechanism for people to physically get together because I do think other things come out of that that is really valuable. Sabina Bhasin, C2COh, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I mean, so many of those hallway conversations at times is where the best ideas come up, or, you know, the morning coffee, and you can talk about your days, and you get to know your colleagues as humans. That gives you a little bit more appreciation for the impact they're bringing to the organization, which ultimately leads to better productivity and outcomes. Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiOur team here in North America, most of our team is based in India, but a fair number of us, a few 100 people are here in North America, and every other Friday we have a T.G.I F. The first part of it is always just dedicated to who's new who joined and, you know, they have to say a fun fact about themselves with their favorite foods are but, then it gets conversations going about, Oh, you like this? Or you want to bungee jump? Oh, I bungee jump, you know. And so then it starts the sidebar conversations that you're right, that normally would just happen in person. So, you know, it's, you know, a mechanism to get there, but not quite the same. Sabina Bhasin, C2CYeah, yeah. You touched on something really interesting there. So a lot of your teams are in India, too, right now, right? How are you guys dealing with, you know, the upheaval that your teammates are facing over there and ensuring a strong culture and instill trying to maintain and thrive? From a business perspective? Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi Yeah, we spend a lot of time trying to ensure right that it's true; I think 80 or 85% of our team is based in India. So there are separate peer groups that have been established, really to help with support, specifically around COVID, how to find resources, if people know where oxygen is and what hospitals have room, how to find certain drugs that are needed at this point, and even just support for somebody else to talk to during this time. Then the company they're really trying to ensure those team members, whether it's themselves who are sick, or somebody directly in their family has support to step away from their roles for a short period of time, with no worry about their roles. Quantiphi consistently makes it clear that taking care of yourself, taking care of your family, that's the most important thing. They’re really trying to ensure that people understand they can take that time and not worry about if I need to take two weeks off because I'm sick, or I'm caring for a parent that my job will be threatened that none of those things are worries at this point. I think that’s really shown compassion as an organization. It's hard to read some of the things going on, and here are some of the numbers of people just on our team who are out sick; it can be very overwhelming. Sabina Bhasin, C2CYeah, absolutely. I mean, how do you then, you know, as a receiver of some of that trauma and like hearing those experiences of your colleagues, like how do you also maintain and continue to thrive and ensure that you're, you know, able to pause and digest that? Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiYeah, and I think that's some of what we try and take these monthly Zen days. The goal here is really to have no meetings on a certain day and really be able to step back and think about what kind of work can I accomplish because I'm not on a call? And also, are there things I can do to help someone else or learn something else? I think that can be really valuable, where we're trying to ensure that even within my marketing team, within our sales team, and within the service delivery, the greater team, that there is an overlap of skills so that somebody can take that time away so we can ensure as best we can, at this time, that we are still having the output that Quantiphi is looking to deliver. So it's tricky, and I think you just, you know, certainly as a team leader myself, you know, we always just have to be cognizant of what somebody is going through. I'm sitting here in Massachusetts, but you know, someone in my team and Bangalore, Mumbai, or Trivandrum, they're experiencing something wholly different. You know, they haven't left their house in 19 days, and food is being delivered. But, you know, it's just you have to think about that, you know, if I'm out walking my dog, I have to realize, you know, I'm lucky, but they haven't had that chance to clear their head. So maybe they need to not join one extra meeting today, you know, to find ways to make sure that they can have some control, and still, you know, be able to focus because it can be hard, it's hard if you really don't have, you know, some outlets that you normally would. Sabina Bhasin, C2COh, my gosh, absolutely. I love that Quantiphi does the Zen days; that’s a really smart way to handle a hybrid environment during a really, you know, bizarre time that has caused a lot of upheavals and in many people's lives. Do you think that that has improved productivity or business outcomes overall, though, having the different tools and different ways to sort of manage all of these other parts that were once thought of as “this is your home life, you leave this here, and you come to work, and you're you are 100% plugged in?” Now there seems to be a shift in mindset to coming to work as your whole self and will support you in whatever way that looks? Can you talk to us a little bit about how that has improved outcomes in terms of just people feeling like they are valued, so they want to be more productive? Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiI do think so. I do think there have been so many positive things that have resulted here. We are in the process of adopting Google's #Iamremarkable programming, which is the empowerment of women or underserved voices within an organization. In fact, we have a kickoff session for that starting next week, and we have our first batch of people who are going to go through that training, you know, so I think there are ways to be heard. We also have implemented physical programs. So it's a five or six o'clock on a number of different afternoons, there's sort of stretching, or Pilates, or some dance moves that are all done virtually. One of the women on our team, it was something she had studied in college, and she just sort of raised her hand and said, it could be good, everybody sitting so much, how about if we try these programs? And you know, so it's small things. Last Friday, we had everybody just making these dance moves together. It's good. No one was recording like this because it wasn't necessarily pretty, but it was really human, and I think you touched on that word a minute ago, right? Everybody was also laughing at the end, too, right? It was it didn't matter if you had the right moves, there were dogs involved in kids, and everybody was just jumping around in their kitchens. It was really great. It was a really terrific program to have some levity, too. I think as far as tools and productivity; I think we have absolutely found that people can be productive anywhere and in any way, right? I think the one thing that makes me so encouraged about Quantiphi, and the way we are working with our partners, the way we're going to market, the future, is that I see here is that all of the good things will remain everything good that we have gained from you know, this remote time, this time working in a very different environment. Then we'll be able to layer on the things that we're missing, like traveling to see people when it's safe again, being in person; I think all of that will just complement the work structure that we've been able to have for the last year. Sabina Bhasin, C2CIn terms of the future of work and the conversation that we're going to be having with Quantiphi and other partners in June, what do you think some of the topics are going to center around? Can you share with our community anything they should be aware of going into that conversation? Laurie Klausner, Quantiphi Yeah, I mean, I think the conversation with Ritesh and the other leaders that you're going to be able to speak with, I think they're going to hit on so many really important themes.I think the main one is that we will really embrace everything that's worked, right, we everybody's become flexible. Everybody had to go through these pivots, you know, everyone, whether it's from shifting events to shifting the way we meet and communicate. Travel was a very big part of Quantiphi, obviously, as I've mentioned, we're a global company, and both are in person, our customer meetings, our partner meetings, everything was, you know, traveling so you gain some of the ability of not having to necessarily take a trip for one meeting where you would have, and I think people will have more things come together when they do get on a plane. Then when they do, you know, go to a new office, they'll have a number of things set up to make that valuable. I think people will really carve out that time for the connections, where you might travel and then right away hop to get back home. Then, because people have been home, maybe they'll spend a little bit longer. I think some of the other themes are just the way we have learned to embrace these tools. We'll continue to use those. I think the way companies have really set out targets for what's reasonable, it's just it's a little bit different, right? I think we will have to find a way to ensure that people do sort of shut-down at the end of the day, too. I find that as most of my direct reports are in India, and well, it's fantastic. They're responding to me when I ask a question, a lot of times, I say, “Okay, now, now stop talking to me till tomorrow, because, you know, it's 11 o'clock at night, your time.”It’s great that the technology is there, but I do think we're going to have to find ways to have boundaries so that people don't feel the burden to respond immediately to everything. Maybe it's ways that we'll flag information, you know, messages can come in different ways, if something is truly urgent, versus, “Hey, this was on my mind, so I want to put it in your window, or your email, but you don't have to think about this right away.” I think we'll have to find a way to be sensitive that people don't feel wrong for walking away from work for some, you know, for periods of time, because that's really important. Sabina Bhasin, C2CI couldn't agree more, and I'm hoping that some of these habits and some of these learnings actually continue, post-pandemic, right, then we don't start defaulting back to what we've always known. That's sort of the concern; I think that many people who are kind of on the execution side of work are thinking about like we've developed different boundaries and habits now. But how long will that last? And will that change? With consulting and traveling coming back, is that pace going to also return, or some of those learnings going to also filter into that? If we've seen that business can still be productive and successful as Quantiphi has been, then is that something that we can ensure for the long term? What do you think? Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiI do think so. I think that's something that Ritesh will probably cover, but I do think we will see, travel again, but I do think as you said, I think it's going to be different. I think it won't necessarily be Monday to Friday, every week, right? It's interesting, when I first joined, Aasif, one of the founders, and I were talking, and I said it was really weird for me to have, you know, it had been four months since I had been on a plane when I first joined Quantiphi, and I said: “it felt really weird.” It was just a very weird feeling for somebody who traveled very regularly. In the three months before the pandemic, he had made four trips to India, and three other trips, you know, massive travel time, and he said, “for right now, it's a really nice change, right, you're home, and you're grounded, and you know, have time with your family in a very different way and, of course, you're still able to work.”So I think it will look different. I think we will always travel. I think people benefit from being physically together. I think there's a connection that can happen. One thing Ritesh mentioned was, if in a normal sales cycle, or working with a prospect on a normal time we would have four in-person meetings to lead up to a sale. He anticipates it would be more like one or two now that it will be that hybrid we keep talking about. There'll be some meetings just like this, where you and I are talking like this, and then maybe beginning or end of the connection we would meet in person, you know, so I think that's a great thing. I think like we said earlier, I think leveraging all of what's good, and bringing back the things that have really been missed, that just where there's just something missing from the way we connect as people, I think that'll be great if we can get to that balance. As you said, find ways to keep some parameters around it. Sabina Bhasin, C2CYeah, that that sounds good. I'm really looking forward to that conversation with Ritesh and all the other partners that are going to be joining. Well, this has been a really great conversation. Thank you so much, Laurie. Before we wrap up, I am just curious, is there anything else that you wanted to add that we didn't get to yet? Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiSo you just use the perfect word in your wrap-up there use the word curious. So that makes me think about we started a program back in February called the curious writer’s contest.What we realized is we have some brilliant thought leaders here at Quantiphi, but there were other voices that we didn’t really hear from. We really wanted them to have a place that they could be heard, whether it was their experience with a customer, whether it's some kind of new programming that they were learning or doing, or just how they were handling COVID, or how they were where they were living and how it was going for them, so, we started this content. We had some simple parameters, but basically, write a blog post for us, it could be about myriad topics, and we would help them wordsmith it; we really just wanted to hear their thoughts. And we have had incredible responses. Of course, we made it a little competitive, we have a leaderboard, and we give out prizes, and we got all kinds of submissions. From really incredibly heartfelt poems about how this was going to some brilliant really in-depth programming skills that someone's learned, and some of these are now public on our blog. The overwhelming response makes me realize, I think many times people just need to know where they can share, so o I think Quantiphi’s done a good job really trying to hear from everyone, even while we're all remote. I hope that the program will continue running, even if we're seeing each other five days a week; I think it's still nice to have a place that people can go and write and share thoughts in a different way. Sabina Bhasin, C2CDefinitely, I feel like we could talk all day, and I'm hoping that we get a chance to talk again. Laurie Klausner, QuantiphiI hope so too. Yeah. Sabina Bhasin, C2CSo everybody, be sure to come back and check out our future work is all about the partner perspective; until then, take care. On June 10, Ritesh Patel, Co-Founder of Quantiphi, will join Tony Safoian, CEO of SADA; Swaraj Kulkarni, CTO of MediaAgility and Tom Galizia, Global Chief Commercial Officer Alphabet Google at Deloitte, to discuss client empathy during digital exhaustion. Register here: https://community.c2cglobal.com/events/the-future-of-work-and-client-empathy-51
Responding to the needs of one of our most active communities, C2C Connect: Workspace, C2C set out to bring the experts in for an authentic conversation about the future of work. The series will continue through the year and will explore all angles of our professional lives. What will culture look like, and how will employees remain engaged? What about security? How have consulting businesses pivoting, and what will they do going forward? What about Google Cloud customers? How are they remaining connected and productive through disruption?We kicked off the series with a discussion between Kelly Ducourty, VP of GTM strategy at Google Cloud, and Peter High, a strategist, lecturer, and author of "Implementing World Class IT Strategy,” and president of Metis Strategy. High began the conversion with a keynote about understanding what the future of work will look like in the post-pandemic world. You can watch the keynote below. Ducourty, who runs a massive global team, shared how Google Workspace has enabled the future of work. You can watch her explain below. High then shared his perspective on the market holistically; hear his answer below. Doubling down on this concept about the employee experience, we wanted to understand if roles and responsibilities will continue to evolve into the future.Innovative Inventions Born out of Necessity As the conversation pivoted to discussing the balance between employee experience, customer needs, and speed of innovation, certain new norms sprouted. These inventions, born out of necessity, as the saying goes, have had a profound effect, and we were curious about how these innovations will continue. Hear Ducourty and High share their views. How has a virtual environment enabled a more inclusive environment? How will that be maintained into the future of work? Some key ways that Ducourty mentioned include the following: Speech to text supporting those with disabilities and helping them feel more included Location details, letting people know which physical location you are in at the moment, enabling understanding about how to work with one another Scheduling email sends, which allows people to work when convenient while maintaining professional boundaries Some of these features are still within Google as the team tests and iterates before releasing to the market. Hear Ducourty and High share more about inclusivity and how they foresee DEI initiatives.KPIs and Productivity Measurement As employers develop the future of work and how employees will engage and continue productivity, there is a sense of employees enjoying working from home. And for employers, they’ve enjoyed the increase in productivity. A study conducted by Prodoscore found that employees are 200% more productive than they were pre-pandemic. So, we asked the experts, what are some KPIs and metrics that organizations have used to measure the effectiveness of the success? What is being used today? What will continue in the future? Culture and the Future of Work One of the critical discussion points centered around culture. Google and Alphabet are known for maintaining a culture of innovation; as Google continues to grow and redesign for the future of work, how will Google ensure that culture, for which Google has become famous, will continue? Hear what Ducourty said about that business goal. High offered a view from the industry. “Chief Information Officer Ben Freed is a great somebody I greatly admire, and I asked him that very question: how does Google as it has become a behemoth maintain its entrepreneurial spirit, its ability to innovate? He talked about the importance for companies to change a core competence and that that's something that Google has constantly had. Also, he talked about how the organization has these bureaucracy-busting days, where employees list ideas when bureaucracy is beginning to rear its ugly head and unwinding those very activities. He added that being deliberate around this really can facilitate having that innovator’s edge, even as an organization grows large.” We will continue this conversation and explore how leading organizations are leveraging cloud collaboration tools to keep their teams moving forward on June 24. C2C Community Questions We love hearing from the community and getting their perspectives on the issues we are bringing to the fore in the C2C platform. A community member shared with us in advance of the session a fundamental question on all business leaders’ minds: Who owns the project of restructuring and redesigning the workplace?What is the role of the physical office in the future? What about hybrid offices? Do you see differences forming around industry lines for the future of work? What are you seeing, hearing out in the market with customers on these types of progressive approaches? Extra CreditGoogle Workspace and The Evolution of G SuiteTop 20 Google Workspace Features of 2020C2C Talks: Top 20 Workspace Features in 2020, Predictions for 2021, and Hybrid Work FuturesJavier Soltero Answers Customer Questions on Google Workspace and Collaboration in the Cloud
The C2C Navigators: Future of Work series gives you access to some of the top minds at Google Cloud, innovative customers, and industry leaders. For the first in this series, we invited two experts to the stage:Kelly Ducourty, VP, GTM Strategy and Operations in Google Cloud and Interim Global Sales Leader for Google Workspace at Google Peter High, President at Metis Strategy, Strategist, Lecturer, Podcast Host, and AuthorKey Discussion Points:Establishing a post-pandemic work/life balance. How is the Google Workspace team defining the future of work? Google’s culture of innovation and new inventions born out of necessity, what’s next? How are productivity metrics driving decision-making for future work models, like remote work or hybrid version? Community Questions Answered: With so much disruption to the traditional working model, how do you get started, and who ultimately owns this “project”? What is the future role of the virtual office in how employees thrive in the workplace? Do you as executives see major differences forming around industry lines for the future of work? How will we ensure the future of work maintains or builds on the inclusivity virtual work affords those with disabilities? How do we bring human beings back into the conversation when we talk about the pandemic and post-pandemic workplace?Watch the entire conversation here: Stay tuned for a full breakdown of the key moments from this discussion, including video clips and resources, coming soon!
Google Workspace is the evolved form of GSuite, aka Google Apps for Work or Google Apps for Your Domain. Yes, Google has changed the name a few times over the years. The one thing that has not changed is its core tenet, collaboration through cloud technology. Today, with a renewed focus on deep level integration, utilizing Google’s unique magical blend of AI, we are seeing the result of a decade and a half of innovation bringing us the future of work, accessible on any device, from anywhere. Historically, G Suite provided teams with a means to collaborate, communicate, and innovate their digital workspace. Read on to learn more about the G Suite changes and the evolution of Google’s cloud-based services. What is G Suite? To fully understand the new Google workspace, it’s essential first to comprehend G Suite. G Suite is a collection of cloud-based communication, productivity, computing, and workflow tools that was first introduced to the public by Google in 2006. The old G Suite workspace (see what I did there?) was initially named “Google Apps for your Domain,” and the suite included Google Talk, Google Calendar, Page Creator, and Gmail. Naturally, by today’s standards, this was archaic; however, at the time, it was state-of-the-art, even if it didn’t have all of the features of the standalone Microsoft Office suite. With Gmail as its cornerstone, where it had pioneered the concept of no action should take more than 100 milliseconds, everything felt fast, fresh, and very high tech. Google also pioneered the ability to do real-time editing on docs, which came later as the suite evolved. Fast forward a decade, and Google Apps starts to grow up as web technologies matured. In 2016 it was renamed, and we began to see some serious G Suite changes as it grew into a more fully-featured online office collaboration suite. G Suite Changes: The Transformation into Google WorkspaceJust as the workforce at large has adapted to remote work, Google has also reimagined its suite of cloud-based tools to create more real-time connectivity between teams. The new Google Workspace, commonly confused as G Suite workspace, is a digital environment built for collaboration, where teammates can see and hear their project counterparts while working.Among other G Suite changes, Google Workspace has introduced a flood of new features to help everyone stay productive through the pandemic, no matter how their “office” environment looks. Google has beefed up its video conferencing solution called Google Meet, and it is widely regarded as one of the best and simplest in the industry. Over the years, as Google added more features and apps to the suite, there seemed to be missing a critical connection between them. Sure, you stored everything in Google Drive, and you sent things in Gmail and were able to connect attachments in Docs or Sheets or Slides from Google Drive, but still seemed to be a separation between them. Google started to make progress by introducing new features to connect the different apps better and continued working towards a vision of a fully integrated business suite. The next step in this evolutionary process is the move to Google Workspace. What Is Google Workspace? Google Workspace is the newest iteration of Google’s cloud-based collaboration and productivity tools for teams and individuals. It still includes many of the Google cloud products users associate with the old G Suite workspace. Still, Google has added additional features to the hallmark web apps that make collaboration in real time much easier.In addition to these new features, Google Workspace also brings together several of its most-used apps into a single unified workspace in Gmail. This new interface allows you to discuss in a chat room while collaborating in real-time on a document, assigning tasks and keeping an eye on your calendar in the sidebar. When you finish working on that, you can quickly jump back into your inbox to handle your emails. How to Use Google Workspace There are many ways teams can leverage Google’s G Suite changes to create more collaborative and integrated digital workspaces. For teams working primarily in Google Docs, Google Workspace now offers the ability to tag teammates when changes are made for faster input and collaboration and are just one of the ways to use Google Workspace to improve remote communication.For teams that regularly present decks to clients, Google Workspace also offers the ability to collaborate in real-time on your slides. Your group can work on the deck together, some on the same slides, others working on their slides, rapidly speeding up the process. When your slides are polished, and it’s time to present, Google Workspace makes it very simple to share your slides in a beautiful full-screen view on Google Meet or in-person in another window, keeping your notes and controls on your screen to help you when you need to present. Google Workspace gives you the tools you need to get the job done as efficiently and quickly as possible, with the technology getting out of the way and allowing you to shine. Other Google Workspace Features Google works best when you go all in and utilize all the products’ Google Workspace suite. Rounding out the set, we also have Google Keep for notes, Google Tasks for task management, Google Drive for storage, and even Google Voice for your good old phone calls. Google will continue to be a leader in this space for many years to come, and now with the recent name change and new unified interface, they are more vital than ever, and in my opinion, the best choice for business today. In the future, we are likely to see continued investment in improvements and features utilizing ML and AI to provide you with the information you need when you need it and without having to ask for it. Google Workspace is an incredible resource and is essentially the digital assistant you never knew you needed.
Note: This article was originally published on January 13, 2021. @ChristianNewman is a Google Workspace expert and digital strategist with Rise Digital. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.This list is a product of curiosity.As the year wound down, and I began reflecting on how far Google Workspace had come amidst adversity (during a year that at times felt like it would never end, and at others felt like it went by in the blink of an eye), I began looking back on my (many) LinkedIn posts announcing new Google Workspace features and enhancements and I began to wonder which features got more attention than others. How I Made My ListSeveral posts later, I began noting the number of likes each post received. I emphasized the sentiment followers shared toward each new feature in the comments and communications with my clients. Then, I scoured media outlets to find out which ones fetched headlines and which fell flat. And finally, I took an inventory of the many features I didn't post about and reflected on how they integrated to drive productivity.Some of these features —like dark mode — stood on their own two feet, while others like the many improvements to Office compatibility — combined like pieces of a puzzle to reveal opportunities to move Google Workspace and its users forward.I stack-ranked my findings - based more on sentiment than science - threw together a slide for each, and hit record to share my thoughts and hear from others which features made the most significant impact on them. Top 20 Google Workspace Features in 2020Check out the list, and share with me your thoughts. I’d love to hear the C2C community's feedback and ideas on which of the top 20 pushed them forward most in 2020!Strapped for time? Here's a quick capture of the list!20. Dark mode19. Google Workspace migrate 18. Remote-friendly Google Calendar settings17. New Google Groups16. Data Protection Insights Reports 15. Integrated Google Contacts14. Better PDF import to Google Docs13. Intelligent search in Gmail and Google Drive12. Better Google Sheets chart formatting 11. Auto-everything (thanks to AI and ML)10. Improved Google Drive sharing 9. New Apps Script Integrated Development Environment (IDE)8. New Google Classroom Learning Management features 7. Google Meet attendance tracking and moderation 6. Google Voice in Canada 5. Upgrade to Google Chat4. Add-ons 3. Better Microsoft Office compatibility 2. Powerful meetings and learning in Google Meet1. One integrated workspace in Gmail To understand the thought process behind these enhancements and features, we spoke with Javier Soltero, VP and General Manager of Google Workspace in December, check it out. We also spoke with Diane Chaleff, Google Workspace Lead Diane Chaleff about the shift to the Google Workspace and latest developments. The product improvements made in 2020, as Chaleff describes in the Deep Dive, were focused on improving productivity, collaboration, and creativity, as many made the pivot to a fully remote workforce.Next UpWant to share your thoughts with Christian, or have other features and enhancements you'd put on your list? Bring it to his C2C Talks event later this month! You can also keep up with all his Workspace updates on his YouTube page. Extra CreditLooking for more Google Workspace news and resources? We got you. 1. Looking for ways to keep up with all the Google Workspace announcements? C2C founding community members, Steve Larsen and Jesse Nowlin have a Google Workspace Recap podcast, making it easy to keep up with the continuous improvements. 2. Rather read for yourself? Check out the Google Workspace blog. It is the official feed from the Google Workspace team provides essential information about new features and improvements for Google Workspace customers.3. Interested in connecting with other Google Workspace admins and users? We have a chat for that! Email Danny Pancratz, Director of Community and Product to join our Google Workspace group. Want to contribute, too? We would love to share your words, thoughts and musings on our blog! Email Sabina Bhasin, content manager, and let's get the conversation going.
The power of community is in its conversation, and this week, the women are speaking. At C2C, we believe sharing journeys can provide the motivation, inspiration, or belief others need to either take their first steps or keep going. In that spirit, we’re honoring Women’s History Month by having career conversations with the women from our global community, culminating today on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021. Today we’re featuring Kelly Wright, Head of Google Workspace Engineering at SADA. C2C: You’re in a video call with people you haven’t yet met. How would you introduce yourself?Kelly Wright (KW): My name is Kelly Wright. I currently lead a team of engineers focused on the implementation of Google Workspace and complementary tools. I have been at SADA for just shy of eight years and have worked as a support engineer, deployment engineer, and sales engineer for Workspace, which allows me to act as an escalation point in our engagements. C2C: Talk to me about your experience and education. What certifications did you get, what did you feel like you needed? KW: I actually have a bachelors’ in mathematics. I took a few CS courses to fulfill the requirements and really fell in love with the puzzles that technology gave me to solve. My first steps into the technology industry were actually in the networking space at a company called Bedroc. During my time there, I worked on networking and telephony projects and some help desk staff augmentation. In terms of certifications, the needs melded over time. For my first job, I earned my CCNA. As I moved into working with Google Workspace, certifications I’ve found useful include the original G Suite Deployment Certificate, the recently added Professional Collaboration Engineer certification. C2C: How did you get started with Google Cloud? KW: I made a move to SADA and took on the, at the time called, Google Apps for Work support, and ever since, my focus has solely been on Google Apps/G Suite/Workspace as it grew and evolved over the last eight years. C2C: When you think back on your career, what stories can you share to demonstrate what it means to be a woman in tech? KW: There are so many stories. I’m sure we have all experienced something negative, whether from coworkers or externally. One story that ultimately jolted me into the reality I was trying to walk into casually was at a networking event straight out of college. A professor of mine was able to get me discounted tickets and helped me navigate the waters. I remember one man who looked at my resume and said something to the extent of the following: “People are going to entertain you at these events because you are a minority here—because you are a woman in a room full of men—but you need to show them what you are capable of; a one-page resume won’t do that. So make sure they remember you for more than just being the only woman at a networking event.” I remember thinking about how curt the feedback was, but I ultimately believe it helped with my assertiveness, whether I realized it then or not. Especially because that would not be the last time I was the only woman in a room or one of few. A couple of weeks later, I ran into one of those conference acquaintances at a bookstore, and I picked up the nerve to reintroduce myself. That reintroduction got my resume passed along a couple of hops to the CEO of my first job. However angry I was after that first event, I think it knocked me out of the quiet woman I thought I was supposed to be. C2C: Have you felt the “imposter syndrome” creep up on you? How do you deal with it? KW: All the time. A colleague of mine once also pointed out that my perfection syndrome feeds into imposter syndrome. I don’t think it will ever go away and evolves, but with a lot of coaching, self-reflection, and self-affirmation, you can keep it at bay. At my first job, I was the only woman engineer, and there were definitely moments where I would joke that I was picked as the travel partner on trips because that meant the other engineer didn’t have to share a room. But with a lot of self-reflection, I realized quickly that those guys would not have tolerated someone who couldn’t hold their own. Moving into a leadership role had a big part to play, even though it did take me a bit to get used to it. While I am now in a position to be the escalation point, it was no longer my job to be the absolute expert on every minute detail of a deployment. Now, though, my imposter syndrome sends me into a sort of hyper attention to the amount of backlog I have, whether in tasks or responding to emails in a timely manner. Especially with the last year of remote working, it has taken a considerable effort not to feel utterly under water, since there have been many times an entire week was filled with meetings with no time to work. I am learning with a lot of coaching to unabashedly set realistic expectations about when I can complete something. C2C: How do you want to change the world? KW: My very wise leadership coach asked me one day to think about what the cause of my snarkiness was when I was stressed. Was it because I had too many things on my plate and therefore couldn’t get to them all, or was it because I needed more life—a bike ride, a book, a nap? I should think about what it is that was making me stressed and then plan around it. If it was a book I needed, being OK to shut down at the end of the day without feeling guilty. If it simply needed to get through some of my backlogs, I had the strength to set expectations when a new task would be prioritized. If changing the world meant even just normalizing not feeling guilty about saying no to things, that is a small change I would like to make. C2C: Inspire Me! What advice would you give someone interested in a career like yours? KW: Find a place where you are given opportunities to thrive and learn and take those opportunities given. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are struggling with something. ______As a former journalist, I am already ready for a good story. So, tell me a story! Reach me at email@example.com, or comment below.
It began as a LinkedIn post about the Top 20 Workspace features of 2020. The post and conversation got our attention and a bounty of other Workspacers, so we scheduled a C2C Talk to hash it out; after all, a top 20 list can only have 20 features. Here’s what you missed from @ChristianNewman of Rise Digital, a Google Cloud partner, and his C2C Talk on Top 20 Workspace Features of 2020, which he co-hosted with C2C members @Jesse Nowlin, @PaulRLees, @chanelgreco, and Steve Larsen (@larsen161). With Lees and Greco in Europe and Newman in Canada, the panel brought a global perspective to the conversation. 5 Key Themes Drove Workspace Success in 2020 Driven to help companies become more productive, Newman’s last project at Telus came 18 years from his first day, and it was to lead the transformation to G Suite/Workspace. As a result, Telus, which recently formed a strategic alliance with Google Cloud, became more agile and improved global collaboration and productivity from Vancouver to Manila. “Simply put, they had this access to the same information at the same time as anyone else for the very first time in their careers,” Newman told a virtual crowd of 30 people. “And I thought that was something very special, and that the world needed a lot more, so here I am today, helping businesses do just that.” So, here are his five themes based on his experience. First, Google’s efforts to make a smoother transition to Google Workspace were pivotal. Making the compatibility with Microsoft Office much more manageable by adding functionality to improve efficiency, like in-email communication, they thought about the end user each step. Hear Newman explain the other ways Google Cloud created a smoother transition. Second is the addition of AI and ML permeating the entire platform. For example, search chips in Gmail and a more intelligent Google Drive, even smart reply, Workspace focused on productivity and making the users’ lives easier. Third, the add-ons and integrations make Google Workspace extensible and allow this product to become central to all other tools and products customers rely upon each day, including educators. Hear Newman explain more and his favorites. Fourth, Google embraced the sudden pivot to remote work or school and created integrations with Google Meet. The ability to change the background, auto layout, and tiled view moved the experience forward. Finally, an integrated workspace brings it all together. “You can just focus on moving your work forward and getting things done so that you can do what you do better,” Newman said to an attentive crowd ready to share their points of view. Features for Me, and You Inclusivity was not just the theme socially but also within Workspace, and it’s a favorite of Chanel Greco, CEO of Saperis and creator behind YouTube videos about the fundamentals of Workspace for end users. Greco also added that she likes the polls feature as it makes the entire conversation more interactive; the panel and the attendees agreed. “At the end of the day, no matter what we're working on, it's all about people, right? People are at the center of everything that we do,” Newman said. “So, if we can find a way to bring them into the conversation and be able to learn more about them, then it's just going to make for a better end product, and they enable us all to do whatever we do better. And if technology and Google workspace can help us to do that, then I'm game for it.” Some other ways Workspace is responding to their customers is through the Google contacts sidebar tool. “Not only can I very quickly inside of my Gmail or other screens see details about the user and their contact information and things like that, but also the history or recent interactions that I've had with them through files and things like that, too,” Newman said. “I think that's been really helpful to me—this whole idea of integrating between the various apps of Google Workspace.” And that’s just how Google intended its products to be used, according to Jesse Nowlin, a fixture in the C2C community and CIO at Westland Real Estate Group. “I think that the unified Gmail interface is really just Google,” Nowlin said. “They are really leaning into the whole experience of living in Google, you use all their tools, and making it amazingly easy just to utilize all of that.” Hybrid Work Futures But, this concept of meeting improvement raises a fascinating point. The Harvard Business Review ran a fascinating article around our working futures’ hybridity. This discussion raises an interesting question about how the future of work will look; primarily, we think about it through the lens of collaboration and productivity. If the meeting experience is improved through features like raising hands, polls, the infinite AI tools, or even the contact tool, what happens when we don’t use them anymore? How will we function in the future when we return to the office or a hybrid environment? How will we function in the future when we return to the office or a hybrid environment? Will they be as productive? Will the quieter team members speak up in an in-person setting? Will business move as well as it is now? We will have a great discussion exploring these questions and more in April with Kelly Ducourty from Google. Stay with C2C for more details as they become available. What’s Next for Workspace? We started collecting your ideas in our post here, but the group also discussed what they think is on the functional road map and what they’re not certain Workspace will pull off in the next year. The main ask? To get the technology out of the way, so end users can focus on the work. So far, Workspace has responded by making it easier to access all its apps. One example is the Google File Stream for the desktop. “It will bring that and the other tools together, which they sort of worked around by installing another tool from Google called backup, and sync on the same machine,” Newman said. IT makes it so people can get access to what they want when they want.” Nowlin shared improvements and future enhancements on Google Voice. See below. Newman also predicts that Workspace will incorporate more AI and ML learnings, as he explains in the clip below. Fintan Murphy, CEO of Damson Cloud, a Google Cloud partner, weighed in on the discussion, adding that Google needs to develop an employee engagement system to ascertain employee satisfaction and ensure social-emotional engagement as you would in a normal office setting. Check out his reasoning in the clip below. As the panel discussed, the chat was abuzz from attendees sharing their predictions and wants for Google Workspace. Check them out below. What do you have to add to the list? Reporting and analytics Numbered headings in Google Docs for scientific articles Custom fonts for Google Slides Improvements on assigning within Workspace apps Focus on Google tasks, making it easier to stay organized Adding tabs to Google Chat that is similar to Microsoft Teams, such as Files Project management boards Improved cloud search Mixing landscape/portrait in Google Docs Improve closed captioning on Google Meet when speakers have accents Calendering across Google Calendar and Outlook Automation of user management Public livestreaming on Meet Reminder app Extra Credit Resources shared through the talk are available below: Search Meet Solution Engineering, a workaround for livestreams on Meet Cloud Search as a Custom Search Engine Workspace Admins Shared Drive by Steve Larsen
The power of community is in its conversation. We know that the best ideas begin amid laughter and grow into success stories through coffee-fueled days and nights among friends. With the “Tell Me a Story” series, we want to know how you got there, wherever that may be; after all, your journey could help another take their first step. Bringing our series home is Google Workspace Administrator Nina Trankova. She doesn’t fit the typical mold, and that’s what makes her an excellent role model. Through her story, we learn how other women or those with no-code experience can also become successful in the cloud landscape. How did you get started with the Google Cloud Platform? More than ten years into her tech career in eastern Europe, Trankova attended the Global Google Product Experts Summit in Sunnyvale, California, in 2018. “Listening to the presentations during the two-day event, meeting Google engineers, [and] joining workshops revealed a magnetic atmosphere to me,” she said. “I wanted to retain this experience of discovery, and I enrolled for a Google Cloud Professional Certificate.”And as the saying goes, like attracts like, energy creates energy; after that summit, Trankova was unstoppable, even launching a website to share her experience and knowledge. This website recognized best through its hashtag moniker #OnEBoard, also has become her favorite project working with Google Cloud products. “It’s motivating me to be better, continue learning, develop it further, expand and scale in the way Google does their projects,” she said. What makes you an expert? Here is where Trankova gets really cool in C2C’s book. She worked fearlessly in a space mostly dominated by men but had an aptitude and interest in the field. So, rather than spending a lot of money or stressing about what to do, she hopped on Coursera, a platform we all have access to and is bursting with potential. With Google offering certifications on that platform, Trankova jumped on the opportunity and earned her Certificate for Google Workspace Administrator in January 2020, after 10 years of working in IT. Her top skills now include the Google Product Experts program, awarded to her for lifelong learning. “I guess lifelong learning is my best skill,” she admits. We couldn’t agree more. Even for those interviewing to be part of her team, she looks for their ability to learn and grow. “I would look at how they are listening (as a skill), and do they keep up with their personal, professional growth goals,” she said. Also, Trankova focuses on asking questions about the interviewee’s curiosity and problem-solving.But, she also says, “have a sense of humor.” We at C2C certainly agree! What’s your favorite Google Cloud product? Why? Many of you reading this may agree with Trankova when she wholeheartedly admits that her favorite is Google Workspace because of its collaborative character. “It might sound cliché, but when you are experiencing Google Workspace with a team, then you know the universal strength of the 21st century: teamwork in the cloud,” she said. That’s awesome! So, what certification is next? For Trankova, it’s all about ML; she’s eager to dive into Python. “I started last February, but I canceled my course due to COVID-19 work overload,” she recounts. “So, this year I'm excited to restart with Python.” Inspire me! Why did you choose to join the C2C community? “I was curious about the use cases C2C members were sharing and wanted to listen to the conversations,” she said. “The transformation in a large spectrum of industries based on Google Cloud technology is impressive, and C2C lets members know a little bit what's behind the success stories.” Get connected. C2C is all about bringing people together. How can the community best get in touch with you? Head to social media, and find her on Twitter @ninatrankova. Wanna talk about it? If you’d like to connect with Trankova, join our community and find her in the Workspace chat! Have a story to share and want to be featured? Email Sabina Bhasin, content manager. Want more C2C content or curious about who we are and why we’re here? Visit our website.
The power of community is in its conversation. We know that the best ideas begin amid laughter and grow into success stories through coffee-fueled days and nights among friends. With the “Tell Me a Story” series, we want to know how you got there, wherever that may be; after all, your journey could help another take their first step. Today, we bring you a story from Christian Newman, digital strategist at Rise Digital, on being a people-centered, coffee-fueled Google Cloud partner. How It Started Newman started as a Google Cloud partner in 2017 when he helped TELUS transform its marketing team’s G-Suite into something that exceeded productivity gains and employee engagement expectations.“Everyone felt like part of the same team with access to the same information at the same time as everyone else with no barriers,” Newman recalls, “It was a game-changing experience for me. … I thought, ‘the world needs more of this.’” How It's Going After 18 years in telecommunications, Newman had left TELUS, his current contract was ending, and he was living through a global pandemic. “I was at a crossroads. Find another full-time job or follow my heart and deliver a solution the world needs now, more than ever: Google Workspace.”Ultimately, Newman grabbed his coffee tumbler and followed his heart to a Google Cloud partnership, and he couldn’t be happier that he did. What Makes You Stand Out? “My most important skill is connecting with and understanding people,” Newman reveals.That is saying a lot coming from a man who obviously places a lot of value in technical knowledge. He currently holds eight certifications, ranging from Google Workspace Sales to Google for Education Deployment Services to Google Certified IT Support Professional. If there’s something one needs to know about Google Workspace, Newman’s the guy to ask. Despite the current library of Google Cloud knowledge taking up space in his brain and the desire to obtain the Google Certified Collaboration Engineer in the near future, he maintains the most important way to approach this work is by focusing on the people.“Far too often, companies expect technology to drive digital transformation and business results, but if people lack the mindset, skills, and engagement necessary for a successful transformation, … adoption and return on investment will suffer,” Newman warns.Building relationships allows solutions to be tailored to specific client goals, making everyone more successful in the end. Talk Google Cloud Products to Me. Do You Have A Favorite? “Google Meet has got to be my favorite Google Workspace app right now. … It brings us closer together at a time when we’re forced to be far apart and need human connection more than ever.” As a Google Cloud Platform Expert, What Drew You to C2C? “I got involved with C2C to learn from others, develop my skills, be helpful, and work together to meet [the] collective goal of improving lives with Google Workspace,” Newman says. Get Connected Since C2C is all about bringing people together. How can the community best get in touch with you? Visit my website, connect with me on LinkedIn or send me an email. Wanna Talk About It?Have a story to share and want to be featured? Email Sabina Bhasin, content manager. Want more C2C content or curious about who we are and why we’re here? Visit our website.
The power of community is in its conversation. We know that the best ideas begin amid laughter and grow into success stories through coffee-fueled days and nights among friends. With the “Tell Me a Story” series, we want to know how you got there, wherever that may be; after all, your journey could help another take their first step. Today, we bring you the story from Paul Lees, CEO of Bespin Labs, who noticed a need, planted a seed, and now has grown the organization to help companies worldwide. Let’s start at the beginning. Lees found himself in the Google sphere through a series of fortunate events and began his career as the technical director of an identity and access management company, specializing in Novell and Microsoft products. “One of the products that I was extremely experienced with, in addition to identity and access management, was Novell’s email platform GroupWise,” Lees said. “I’d been using and developing tools around Novell NetWare and GroupWise, since the early ’90s, so had a good understanding of how everything worked ‘under the covers.’”A chance meeting with a colleague in the industry revealed a tip that changed Lees’s life. “A large U.K. media company was looking to migrate away from GroupWise to something called Google Apps,” he said. “Other organizations in the media industry had already made a move but didn’t migrate; however, I knew that if Google Apps were going to become mainstream, it would need to have a migration tool.”Being familiar with Quest, Lees already spent hours moving organizations from GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange but quickly realized there wasn’t a Google Apps migration tool. “So I spent the evenings researching, and eventually, with the help of a talented developer, created the world’s first migration tool for Google Apps,” he said. “The tool was an immediate success with partners in the U.S. who were desperate to use it.”And the rest is history. Lees left his steady IT job, along with a few others, and created their own Google business in the U.K. C2C: That’s pretty cool. But, what makes you cool? Paul: I’ve been around the Google Cloud market almost since day one, so I have got a good understanding and experience of the ecosystem, but I would say that my area of expertise is really with Google Workspace/G Suite and the APIs that support it.In addition to Google Workspace, I’ve been involved in Google Cloud Platform when the only thing available from Google was the Google App Engine. I developed my second successful application for the Google ecosystem. I’m now working on product number four; we don’t talk about three or five, those crashed and burned, but we learned from them and moved on. In addition to creating applications, I've also presented at Google Next twice, including being a Google Team Drives launch partner. I've worked with most partners worldwide and been involved, behind the scenes, in many high-profile Google migrations. I was also responsible for the world’s first Google to Google migration and lived to tell the tale. C2C: What makes you an expert? Paul: I feel that I’m an expert at creating applications for Google Workspace. I’ve made applications that have serviced millions of people and tens of thousands of businesses, so I know what it takes to build a product, create a brand, and scale an organization to service and support that brand and its community. C2C: Talk Google Cloud Platform to me. Do you have a favorite product? Project? Paul: I was really into Google Wave, but I guess Jesse Nowlin has covered that one already. So for me, it would have to be Google Docs. I just love how I can collaborate with my team, partners, and customers on everything from documents to presentations.However, what I love the most is introducing people to real-time collaboration for the very first time. When they join the group, and everyone is in the document at the same time, commenting and adding content is just priceless.Someone once said that I love my products more than I love my children. That isn’t true, but I am super passionate about the products I create. Currently, I am focused on Patronum, a Google Workspace user life cycle and management tool, and we’re excited to be creating a new brand and a customer community around it. We want to be different from the other Google Workspace management tools in the community. We aim to be truly customers first. This starts with community-driven features and a road map as well as a community-based pricing policy. We’re excited to bring Patronum to the market and can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on with a broader audience. C2C: If you could go back and tell yourself a piece of career advice, what would it be? Paul: If I could go way back in my early career, I would have to tell my younger self to believe in myself more. I’ve let opportunities pass by and relied on others when instead I should have been bolder and more courageous. C2C: What’s next? Paul: I’m not really into collecting badges and certificates just for the sake of it, but I do have the Google sales and technical certifications required to maintain partner status, and looking forward to renewing those this year. I’d like to get all the Google Workspace-related certifications, as I often see things from an API perspective, so making the time to learn some of the standard Google tools would be extremely helpful to some of the projects we currently have underway. C2C: Inspire me! Why did you choose to join the C2C community? Paul: I feel that Google Cloud lacks a solid, well-run independent community. There are pockets of interactions around, including Google’s Cloud Community, Reddit r/GSuite, and a number of meetups around the world, but they often feel unloved places, even though they have some extremely talented contributors. Due to the global pandemic, people and organizations are looking for better ways to interact and stay connected. Many creative individuals in the Google Cloud community have risen and created their amazing podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs. I am hopeful that C2C can become a vital resource that helps bring all these things together.
The year was 2009. The iPhone looked like this (3GS): Microsoft had just released Windows 7, and Asus Eee PCs running the new OS were all the rage, complete with underpowered processors and three-hour batteries: Social media started taking over and was proven as a consumer change platform when United Airlines began breaking guitars. And of the most popular songs of the year and still one of my favorites, the all-time classic, “I’m On A Boat” by Lonely Island featuring T-Pain! While we were all busy poking each other on Facebook, tech whizzes started founding companies like Uber, Square, Quora, and Venmo, and Satoshi Nakamoto was busy mining his first Bitcoins. And then, Google comes out with the beast, Google Wave! Google Wave was everything: chat, email, Google Docs, and could even push out posts to Blogger, Google’s original blogging platform. It also boasted a Twitter feed and widget development platform. It created the original web workspace, where you could communicate and collaborate with your friends and peers, catch up on your latest feeds, take polls, play games, share photos, and publish to your blog. Oh, and Joss Whedon’s Firefly inspired everything from the name to the error messages. And I loved it!It was fast, and users could do so much. It felt like we were witnessing the next level of email communication and internet capabilities. And then, it just disappeared. Google officially killed the project in 2010, citing a lack of interest. How did Google Wave influence the Google Workspace of today? There are possible reasons why Google quickly ended the project. It had a clunky interface; it was overly complex, and it provided constant updates to all the waves happening in real time. For reference, imagine if you saw every email conversation in your inbox being written before your eyes—similar to a Google Doc, but in email—very quickly becoming an overwhelming firehose of information and activity.But, it wasn’t a bad idea. It was just ahead of its time and tried pushing out features that were not quite ready to be introduced on the technology of the time, even though it was only 10 years ago.The ethos of a unified, real-time work and communications portal that Google dreamt up for Wave has become the foundation for what is now Workspace. The Google Wave team was on the right track then, as is the Google Workspace team now. Armed with a much more robust infrastructure, a way more mature Google product suite, and a treasure trove of data—the likes of which we will never fully understand—they stand poised to complete the dream they started 10 years ago. The timing couldn’t have been better, or worse. Just as Google Wave created a deluge of information 10 years ago, we haven’t improved that much; instead, it has gotten worse. We are always overwhelmed with information, compounded by push notifications and an always-on mentality. Pair that with the pandemic, and we witnessed the adoption of new technologies at an accelerated pace.As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in April of 2020, “we saw two years of digital transformation in just two months.” As businesses raced to keep up, they turned to Google Workspace for support, and as a result, the recently renamed product is experiencing massive growth—but at the expense of time away from technology. The issue with the way teams conduct their workday is the constant contact and the hundreds of apps that make it possible. With overlapping features, employees are often confused about which app they should be using for what communications. Take this common use case, for example: Want to chat? Slack. Oh, but what if you’re going to chat about a task in Asana? Should that be in Slack or stay in Asana? What about an email thread? Should that information stay in email or be brought into your CRM? If it’s copied into your CRM, should you discuss that client or customer in the CRM, Asana, Slack, or Google Chat (because the team you are working with prefers Google Chat?) You get the idea.A few years ago, Google teased us with a magical future of contextual awareness in our business apps. The system would work silently in the background to serve up the information we need, and the people we need to talk to, on the platform of our choice, precisely at the right time and on the suitable device. We are still waiting for that future to arrive. But, Google Workspace is inching closer. As with any Google product announcement, the initial version is about 80% done. Google will spend the next few years working hard to make its vision a reality, and finally, it becomes part of the core functionality and receives regular updates. In Google’s announcement blog post, it called Workspace “everything you need to get anything done now in one place.” Google also said it was introducing “a new, deeply integrated user experience that helps teams collaborate more effectively, frontline workers stay connected, and businesses power new digital customer experiences.” Workspace has all the ingredients to do what it promised, already working in its apps. All Google has to do is integrate them into the Gmail/Google Workspace space while avoiding the issues that caused the downfall of Google Wave 10 years ago. This is no small feat. I believe Google will be releasing features to make this happen and bring the elements of its other apps into Gmail at a much faster pace due to already having the experience and infrastructure to support the real deal. I don’t think we are likely to see full versions of Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides in Gmail anytime soon, but their current positioning suggests we won’t use it, relying on the full apps to conduct deep work.I also believe Google will create the fully integrated, contextually aware work operating system that we so desperately need to simplify our flood of information and help us control and complete our ever-growing list of tasks. Add this compelling business platform together with the simplicity of ChromeOS, and you will have achieved the Workspace of the future we were robbed of 10 years ago.That, my friends, is the future of work. Now that we have that solved, I would love to have teleportation next. Is that too much to ask? Jesse Nowlin is the Westland Real Estate Group CIO by day and tabGeeks founder and podcast host by night. He can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn and his podcasts Google Workspace Recap and Supporting IT Support.
This article was originally published on December 1, 2020.We got to know Javier a little bit earlier, so in the Rockstar Conversation, Sean Chinski, C2C Chief Customer Officer, had a little more fun with Javier Soltero and broke the ice with some trivia. Soltero not only shared a peek into the future plans for Google Workspace, but he also shared what drives him, like his Puerto Rican heritage and serving on Grupo Guayacán, a Puerto Rico-based nonprofit organization.“To come out to Silicon Valley after college and working here has been a real joy and an opportunity to bring a different perspective on products,” Soltero said. “I also hope to act as a source of inspiration and proof for a lot of people, not only Puerto Rico or other parts of Latin America, to see examples of people who were able to work on products that have such broad reach.”Hear the whole comment below.Progressing through the myriad questions provided by our engaged community, one question rose to the top:What are the upcoming features for Workspace? Currently, new features are only ideas, but they could include video, intelligence capabilities for calendaring, and more. Although Soltero didn’t have specific details to provide, he did share how he and his team are approaching enhancing the current suite of products.“Google products have a point of view,” he said. “They’re opinionated products; they bring a point of view to everything that they do. So as we look to the future, I worked with a team to say, ‘look, we have these products, they have a point of view on everything, so what are our core opinions that are true today and will be true tomorrow?’”We also wanted to know what Soltero and his team are focused on despite the pandemic altering team collaboration to strictly use online tools. What are the three primary goals for the new direction of Google Workspace? Javier and his team started developing their goals by asking themselves one question: “What did we learn these last eight months of disruption in our lives?” This is what they learned:Work is not defined by the place you go, but where it needs to happen. That has significant implications.Manage time and attention because you have competing demands. Establish and foster human connection in a world governed by video calls. The ultimate goal, he said, is about responding to the lessons learned and evolve the existing set of products in a way that is going to not only make a difference in people’s lives today but also in the future now that communication and collaboration have adapted to a remote-first environment.As the world still evolves and adapts to new norms, TikTok made the current quarantined world accessible in a fun, creative way. So we wanted to know, does Javier also have a TikTok, or will Google be building an enterprise TikTok? Okay, so maybe a Google version of TikTok isn’t in the near future, but what about other ideas for videos?Would Google Workspace enhancements feature internal audio/video end-to-end communication? “Yes, that’s an easy one. Absolutely. That was great about Hangouts, and it’s an important missing capability for us to facilitate on-demand, ad-hoc calling,” Soltero said. Soltero added that starting in Q1 and into Q2, innovation will accelerate in a responsible and deliberate manner.Hear Javier explain Google Video Calling using Google Meet and what’s coming next.As Soltero works on figuring out the future of collaboration and the suite of tools that will make Google Workspace indispensable. What is the early reaction to Google Workspace?Our community was curious about how well Workspace is resonating with the Google Cloud and G Suite long-haulers. “It’s hard to frame in terms of conversions,” he said. “We’re taking our entire customer base through the transition. So everyone is moving to Workspace, and the feedback we’ve gotten is positive.”But that doesn’t mean Soltero and the team are resting on their laurels, reaping the benefits of positive feedback. He is mindful of the lift change brings to support teams. Speaking of support teams, they often get peppered with questions about creating personalized workflows or workspaces. So our community wanted to know, are there any plans for low-code development or personalization tools? “Sure, one of the most obvious points here is AppSheet, which is a recent acquisition from Google Cloud, and we’re working with the team to develop a low-code, no-code experience,” he said.Soltero also discussed how being remote curtailed collaboration since he relies on whiteboards to paint ideas, but in the current remote environment, he uses Jamboard and Chat to stay connected. He further described how he personalized his workspace and Workspace. Soltero even shared how he personalized his workspace and Workspace. Personalization comes up a lot when we think of certain environments, like education or medicine. Google Workspace, as Soltero explained, is working to evolve its suite of products and services toward improving productivity, regardless of verticals, in two ways: Human connection: Before you get to the industry, you have to truly satisfy the need for accessibility and reach of communications and collaboration. Level of prescriptive buildout: The art of building the products correctly is to have the right set of strong opinions about the right things. Soltero illustrates his two points by discussing email in the clip below. Unfortunately, the conversation quickly ran out of time, but Javier left us with a closing remark.“Hit me up on TikTok!,” he joked. “No, thank you for being our customers and our fans and our critics, keeping us honest and pushing us to do better work.”
Originally published on December 11, 2020.Our C2C Deep Dive: Google Workspace Efficiencies event featured Google Workspace Lead Diane Chaleff, who spoke with legacy G Suite customers eager to learn about the shift to the Google Workspace and latest developments. The product improvements made in 2020, as Chaleff described, were focused on improving productivity, collaboration, and creativity, as many made the pivot to a fully remote workforce. As Chaleff expounded upon the benefits, the chat was abuzz with positive comments about the improvements made in 2020. Take a quick look through some of the highlights, and perhaps try the improvements out if you haven't already. Google Workspace is built with consumer-grade usability and puts people at the center to deepen the connection between employees and customers. Immersive experiences like Meet picture-in-picture improve collaboration by helping people build meaningful connections.Enhancements like live captions, adaptive layouts, low-light mode, and noise cancellation connect workers from the frontline to the back office. Flexibility across an open collaboration platform is essential to power work from anywhere. Google is powering real-time collaboration to make work more fluid, seamless, and efficient for customers. Gmail now allows users to create a secure chat room to communicate with a group and track projects, edit and collaborate on content, jump into a meeting, or search files. Stop the switch and save them time.Another feature focused on the customer experience allows for previewing, editing, and collaborating on a linked file without opening a new tab. The goal is to limit the switching between tabs, so users have more time to focus on other responsibilities while working remotely, such as their kids. How does Google Workspace use AI to save time? Smart data tools make analysis easier and more accessible—you can even connect your BigQuery data to Sheets to analyze billions of rows of data without SQL knowledge.AI-powered tools like Smart Compose and Smart Reply, which suggest complete sentences and quick replies, help users create high-quality content and communicate faster. Tip from the C2C Community: When using Breakout Rooms, users can assign attendees to a room, but attendees cannot be pre-assigned to a room. Assigning occurs during an active Google Meet session.Watch how it all comes together.Explore how all these new features and enhancements work together for any task, like a birthday party! Keep up with Workspace.You can check the status of upcoming features, product enhancements, and road map by checking the Google Workspace Updates blog. That said, here’s a short clip of Diane’s favorite updates; let us know if you’ve used any of them! We ended with a question from the C2C community.Do you have examples of how AI is being used in Workspace for time and attention analytics, especially as companies go virtual due to remote work?Our C2C Rockstar with Javier Soltero also touched on analytics; watch below to see how the Workspace team handles this customer feature request. Want to watch the whole Deep Dive? Check it out below: There are still plenty of questions from the C2C community, with answers to come. Is there any thought of going beyond spelling and grammar to providing stylistic tips? How similar is “creating a doc from Gmail” to “collaboratively writing an email?” Can we also hear about what's coming in 2021?We aim to answer any remaining questions in the coming weeks, and we will continue to update as more information becomes publicly available. Until then, check out our upcoming C2C Talks on Dec. 15. We will feature C2C community member Jesse Nowlin and his story about pivoting to using Workspace within his organization. Register for the talk here. Connect, learn, and share with C2C.We love our chats! Check out some of the resources our community shared during the C2C Deep Dive. Want to understand the ROI of G Suite in mid-market organizations? Check out the Forrester Report on The Total Economic Impact of Google G Suite. Want to keep up with all the updates to Workspace? Take a look at upcoming workspace releases. Want to learn about energy usage and AI? We covered this topic in a previous C2C Rockstar with Hamidou Dia. Join our C2C Community Connect Chat Groups!There is so much more to discuss, so connect with your peers and share ideas, get support, and even build the next great product! Get in touch with Director of Product and Community Danny Pancratz at Danny.Pancratz@C2CGlobal.com
Originally published on December 17, 2020.Author’s Note: C2C Talks are an opportunity for C2C members to engage through shared experiences and lessons learned. Often there is a short presentation followed by an open discussion to determine best practices and key takeaways.Google Workspace is a highly engaging topic among our members and we want to hear from you. To share your Google Workspace story and be a part of our blog series, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Jesse Nowlin, our first featured story, is not only one of our community’s pioneer members, but he is also extremely knowledgeable in the space. Really, check out his blog, his podcast, and his LinkedIn. Transforming tech and shattering entrenched habits—that’s how Jesse Nowlin, CIO at Westland Real Estate Group, began working at the family-owned real estate business. Five years later, the heavy-lift didn’t ease as 2020 brought with it a new challenge: take 500 employees, who are used to working in an office, and make them comfortable working remotely. The challenge is becoming clear, but how did Nowlin respond? With Google Workspace, of course! Here’s how he did it. What is the primary challenge?When Nowlin joined in 2015, Westland Real Estate Group was an established 40-year-old company with an unmatched devotion to Pentium 4 computers running Windows 7 and Exchange 2003. But, little did they realize, they were on the brink of exponential growth. “I very quickly realized that there were a lot more problems than anticipated other than an aging phone system and some old architecture,” Nowlin said. “When they said, ‘modernize the brand,’ or rather, modernize the infrastructure, they weren’t kidding.”Hear Jesse describe the infrastructure. So he had to figure out how to set up new infrastructure, a more robust wireless network, and find a scalable solution that could accommodate affiliate offices. How did you use Workspace as a solution? “Google Workspace has been a huge part of what we do—obviously, at the time, called G Suite,” Nowlin said. He added that it was a “lifesaver” for his organization because of its simplicity and ease of use, but it also provided financial improvements. “In 2018, we found that we were spending about 15% of our work on moving people around, whether it was computers or locations,” he said. “We [also] had a very high turnover in Vegas, and for some reason or another, the asset managers liked to play musical chairs. So to try and address that, we built automation software.”By using Workspace, the movement of computers or locations didn’t cause a pause in business or any lag time in work due to IT setup or management. Hear Nowlin explain more and how other medium-sized businesses can do to improve business outcomes. Although improvements over the years helped get the organization to 2020, the workforce challenges didn’t stop. Once March hit and offices closed up, sending workers to manufactured workspaces in their homes, Nowlin had to pivot again. But he got creative by using the power of Workspace and some MacGyver-like ingenuity. Listen to the below to hear what he did. And how's it going? Overall, it’s going well, and Nowlin is currently working on rolling out the updated Workspace features. Nowlin says they’re also moving toward zero-touch deployments, and it’s working well from an operations standpoint. But IT needs have changed, and they’re not always solvable. “Remote work really only works well if you have a dedicated space at home with which to work,” he said. When employees work in their kids’ rooms or closets because it’s the only quiet place in the home, there needs to be a solution that allows for a 50/50 split between working from home and going to the office. So that’s what he’s working on planning for now. “We've refocused all of our operations on figuring out how to be as zero-touch as possible and how to be able to do everything remotely and anybody being able to work on any device,” he said. Despite being smart, Nowlin admits he didn’t know much about transitioning to a fully remote environment. So, he did what all good students do and read—a lot. What did he learn? “Remote work won't be for everyone. But we need to adopt this way of thinking now, whether we like it or not because everything we do going forward will reflect this new way of working,” he said. “So everything we do looking forward to 2021 should be designed for a flexible work environment, work-anywhere-on-almost-anything approach.”We can’t wait to hear what’s next. Curious about what books Nowlin read of what tools he recommends? Check out the lists below:Books:The Phoenix Project, which Nowlin says “is a must-read for everyone in IT” Range by David Epstein Rework by Jason Fried and Havid Heinemeier Hansson Distributed Teams by John O'DuinnHardware:Logitech Brio webcam Jabra wireless headset Logitech MX Master Mouse Logitech MX KeyboardChrome Plugins:Loom The Great Suspender Calendly Pocket GrammarlyAnd we’ll let Nowlin tell you about one last tech tool. “The breakout star in work from home, my Arlo Video Doorbell, so I can see who is at the door and if I actually need to step out of my meeting to get the door.”Extra CreditOur members have tons of great ideas—here’s what they’re reading and sharing:Discussing improved productivity inevitably leads to a discussion about metrics. Hear how one organization uses a tool called Prodoscore to improve sales team success. Bring Chrome OS to older laptops with CloudReady if you want to mimic what Jesse Nowlin did, but buying new Chromebooks isn’t a feasible solution. Google Workspace Admin Insights is a new YouTube show featuring C2C members Steve Larsen, Dominik Kugelmann, Kim Nilsson, and Brian Kim. Workspace recap podcast is by Jesse Nowlin and Steve Larsen. Check it out if you would like to keep up all the improvements, updates as they become available We want to hear from you!There is so much more to discuss, so connect with us and share your Google Workspace story. You might get featured in the next installment! Get in touch with Content Manager Sabina Bhasin at email@example.com if you’re interested. Rather chat with your peers? Join our C2C Connect chat rooms! Reach out to Director of Community Danny Pancratz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adaptations 2020 created for office workers—like maintaining productivity while working remotely and discovering digital collaboration tools—are becoming fixtures of daily life. As 2021 gets going, many of these shifts are here to stay, even if they create hybrid environments for workers, so we wanted to know what the C2C community thinks the future looks like for productivity and collaboration using Google Workspace, a topic that came up in a recent C2C Talks event with Jesse Nowlin. Prediction 1: Integrations with Other SaaS Applications“I think one of the most important things that Google has to do a better job of is talking about integration with other key SaaS applications out there,” said Joey Maller, VP of sales at UpCurve Cloud.“If you look at Microsoft, their story is Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Teams, right? Google doesn't have a CRM, so to compete with that story, it has to be Workspace, Salesforce, and Meet and Google Voice or other VOIP solution," Maller said. “So that's one area where I'm looking at in 2021: the integration to complete that whole story of collaboration and communication,” he added.Others echoed Maller’s thoughts and had predictions of improved integrations as well.“Using Google is great when you’re just within your organization working with others that use Google, but if you try to integrate with Microsoft, for example, it’s tough,” said Scott Lingle, director of IT at Eagle County. “The editing tools for Microsoft Office files are great, but they’ve still got a ways to go to make it seamless when you’re working with others.”Prediction 2: Remote Work Is Here to StayWe need to adopt this way of thinking now, whether we like it or not because everything that we do going forward is going to reflect this new way of working,” said Jesse Nowlin, CIO at Westland Real Estate Group. “And if you don’t, essentially, you’re going to be caught off guard, like many of us were at the beginning of the pandemic. So everything we are looking forward to in 2021 should be designed for a flexible work environment.”Nowlin touted the benefits of the virtual background that Google Meet offers, but how else are we going to make our employees more comfortable working from home in a semi-permanent way? We are just as eager to find out what Google is cookin’ up!Prediction 3: Indispensable Features Streamlining Communication“Internally, having Chat within Gmail is just beautiful, and now I just want to see this same chat within my next document without having to share my document in a Google Chat or a Google room,” said Dominik Kugelmann, chief of vision and co-founder of 22d consulting.They expect that there will be an “all-in-one” solution for all conversations, at least that’s what they are most excited about in 2021.What do You Think?We are taking your predictions all month and will be following up throughout the year! Share it here, directly to Sabina Bhasin, content manager.
This article was originally published on October 8, 2020.Google announced the rebranding and fresh redesign of the G Suite this week. The new name? Google Workspace, a timely, smart, and ambitious reimagination of what the company says is the result of “work itself transforming in unprecedented ways.”Javier Soltero, VP and GM of Google Workspace, described the new platform as “everything you need to get anything done, now in one place. Google Workspace includes all of the productivity apps you know and love—Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and many more.”The three core elements of the change include: an integrated user experience; a new brand identity that encapsulates the vision and power of the integrated suite; and specifically targeted ways for Google’s wide range of customers to jumpstart their use of the tools.Raul Castanon, senior analyst at 451 Research / S&P Global Market Intelligence, told Computerworld that “the rebranding marks a milestone reflecting how Google has streamlined its portfolio over the past two years, bringing together products that were previously loosely integrated into a tightly unified suite.”Suite Surprise: What’s New in Workspace?Here’s a couple of examples of changes the millions of users can take advantage of right now and what Google is rolling out over the next couple of weeks.Business users can already connect with customers and partners using guest access features in both Chat and Drive. Next up, users will be able to dynamically create and collaborate on a document with guests in a Chat room. “This makes it easy to share content and directly work together with those outside your organization,” Soltero noted, “and ensure that everyone has access and visibility to the same information.”In July, Google announced Meet picture-in-picture to Gmail and Chat, “so you can actually see and hear the people you’re working with, while you’re collaborating,” Soltero pointed out. “In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out Meet picture-in-picture to Docs, Sheets, and Slides, too. This is especially powerful for customer interactions where you’re pitching a proposal or walking through a document.“Where before, you could only see the file you were presenting,” he added, “now you’ll get all those valuable nonverbal cues that come with actually seeing someone’s face.”As for initial questions and implications regarding the announcement, Soltero addressed support for third-party apps. He told The Verge that Google has “no intention of reducing support for third-party apps in Google Workspace.”So, for instance, if your team already is using a mix of Google services, Slack, Asana, Zoom, or anything else, nothing should change there, reported The Verge. “But the new integrations and promise of less tab-hopping shows that Google is hoping that more of its users will start using more of its products instead of the alternative.”You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got AnswersIn announcing Workspace, Soltero pointed to three tenets that helped drive the revamp, which should be music to users’ ears: “Simplicity, helpfulness, flexibility—these guiding principles apply both to the way people experience our products and to the way we do business.”C2C is excited to announce that Soltero will be joining one of our interactive C2C Rockstar Conversations on Nov. 19 to talk about all things Workspace. We’ll unpack the new features and functionalities, ask him about what’s coming next as the concept of “work” continues to evolve, and give you the chance to ask him your questions.You can register here for the C2C Rockstar Conversation with Soltero, and also submit your question for him in advance of the session.Soltero and Google have sizeable ambitions for Workspace, and they go far beyond integrated productivity apps.What we are all experiencing today “are unique challenges, but they also represent a significant opportunity to help people succeed in this highly distributed and increasingly digitized world,” Soltero stated in the Workspace announcement. “With the right solution in place, people are able to collaborate more easily, spend time on what matters most, and foster human connections, no matter where they are.”
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