Google hopes AI, collaboration will win G Suite customers

With messaging that focuses on innovation and teamwork, Google aims to woo more corporate customers for its cloud-based productivity suite. Is that enough to stop Microsoft's Office 365 juggernaut?

With G Suite, Google faces an uphill battle against Microsoft’s widely used Office 365 productivity tools. At its Cloud Next conference in San Francisco earlier this month, Google unveiled a number of updates to G Suite, outlining its vision for a collaborative, AI-infused set of apps under the marketing banner “Make it fast. Make it smart. Make it together.”

Among the announcements: Google Assistant’s integration with G Suite Calendar; the expansion of Cloud Search to third-party business applications; and the addition of telephony features to create a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offering within G Suite.

Following that raft of updates, is G Suite better positioned to truly threaten Microsoft’s Office 365 dominance?

G Suite has certainly built strong momentum of late, adding another million paying business customers in the past 12 months to reach 5 million. Among these are a range of big-name customers such as Colgate-Palmolive and market research giant Nielsen; however, Google doesn’t break out its customer numbers by organization size.

“G Suite continues to grow rapidly,” said Raúl Castañón-Martínez, a senior analyst at 451 Research, though he added that Google is likely to have benefitted from overall market growth, not necessarily by making a dent in Microsoft’s share.

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