Tech giant Google has a large suite of tools for businesses and employees in its G Suite ecosystem, but the company is also announcing a number of new ways to integrate an even wider suite of outside tools with its own services to make things that much easier for those who need to wander outside of Google’s tool set or use specialized equipment for work. Hangouts Meet will soon gain compatibility with a wider range of equipment and apps, Google Calendar will get the ability to use add-ons, Hangouts Chat will become able to connect groups inside a company with outsiders in a single group chat, and Google Sheets users in a G Suite installation will soon be able to take advantage of a range of new import and export tools, along with macros and intelligent pivot tables.
Hangouts Meet is getting some of the biggest changes. Google has partnered up with video collaboration firm Pexip to make Hangouts Meet compatible with a much wider range of video conferencing equipment, including hardware from big names like Cisco and Polycom. On the software side, Hangouts Meet is being reworked for interoperability with Skype, allowing those who wouldn’t usually use Hangouts to collaborate easily with those who do. Google Calendar users will soon find that they can build add-ons for events using third-party software tools, and they’ll also be able to simply click or tap on a meeting in progress to join it. Compatibility with a range of conferencing tools is also being added in, including GoToMeeting, Microsoft Exchange, Cisco WebEx, Arkadin, and Vonage. Hangouts Chat will be updated to make it easy for users to connect with workers outside of the G Suite domain. Finally, Google Sheets is gaining support for a number of different import and export options, and will soon be able to tap directly into a company’s SAP, provided it has been given the correct privileges.
All of these changes are coming within the next few weeks, and represent a shift of sorts. G Suite apps have been worked on with a goal of convergence in the recent past, and now that Google has put together a cohesive, easy-to-use ecosystem, the new goal seems to be to build outward from there and make the system easier and more appealing to use in order to drum up more business and make life easier for current users.
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