At Google, they believe in separated and perfected applications that come together within a platform where you can collaborate well. As opposed to one big integrated application. Application speed, features and user experience is key. Any delay in it is one too many. However, that vision creates an unclear proposition compared to Microsoft Teams and Slack. Few organizations currently consider using Google Chat and Google Meet instead of Teams or Slack. Google wants to change that, soon.
In conversation with Google, we learned that Google does realize that the go-to market for Meet and Chat is not working well. They are simply not seen as competitive to Teams and Slack. Google plans to change that sometime in the next few months. There are many ways Google believes people can collaborate within an organization. The way Slack and Teams work is one, but Google seems to have come up with a new way that they think will work better. There needs to be something of a collaboration platform where tools like Meet and Chat are integrated or connected.
Google Meet and Google Chat remain separate
With Google Meet, Google has an excellent tool for video meetings. With Google Chat they have an excellent chat app. If you compare that to Teams and Slack, it would make sense to merge those two applications, but that’s not going to happen. Google feels that both applications can co-exist and provide the best experience and speed this way. They want these applications to come together with Google Workspace on a new platform that we can expect in the coming months.
As an example, they mention the ability to use Google Meet for multiple meetings. You can prepare a customer meeting with a colleague and use the same meeting ID. For example, you start a meeting with your colleague at 9:00 and the customer has an invitation to attend that meeting at 9:30. The customer cannot see that you start half an hour earlier, but this kind of flexibility is more difficult when you start integrating different tools.
In addition, they want to keep the speed and user experience optimal. If you build one large integrated application, you always get delays because a lot of features and data need to be loaded that do not directly contribute to what you are using the application for at that moment. There are plenty of users who have complained at times about the slowness of the Microsoft Teams client, so Google does have a point there.
Do Slack and Teams have much to fear from Google?
Slack has recently embarked on a complete redesign of the application, it will look more like Microsoft Teams to compete more head-to-head. Because of the way Meet and Chat are brought to market, they are now often not seen as competitive. With the new way of collaboration that Google has in mind and that will soon be available, that should start to change. That could have a major effect on the competition with Slack and Teams because Google will make this part of Google Workspace, so for existing Google Workspace customers it will most likely be included for free.
Google Workspace currently has 10 million paying customers (organizations). Of those 10 million, most will probably use Slack or Teams. If Google succeeds in offering a good alternative, it could cause a major shift. A company with 1,000 employees could save 1,000 licenses on Teams or Slack, which would safe them a lot of money. .
Migration easy with Mio
Migrating your collaboration tool is not easy. In the ideal world, you want your users to stop using Slack or Teams overnight and start using Google Meet and Chat instead. That’s tricky because users have certain workflows. It takes time to change. Google already seems to be anticipating on this by partnering with Mio. With Mio it is possible to show messages sent in Google Chat also in Slack or Teams or vice versa. This allows you to spread a migration over a longer period, giving users several months to make the switch and change their workflows. Since messages are exchanged between the different services, colleagues can still maintain contact as usual.One colleague will send a message in Google Chat, an other will respond in Slack instantly.
Waiting for Google’s vision of collaboration
By connecting the dots, it is clear what Google is moving towards. The big question, of course, is what that vision of collaboration is and what product or solution they will present in the coming months. Also if they will be able to convince organizations to use Google Chat and Google Meet as their collaboration tools. Just a little more patience is needed.