Google Says Goodbye to G Suite, Hello to Workspace

Workspace to Highlight New Tiers and Features

Business users of Google products may soon notice a new name on their Google Drive. Google (GOOGL) announced it will rebrand its G Suite apps for business as Google Workspace in an effort to compete with Microsoft’s (MSFT) Office 365.

The new name will come with new pricing tiers. Currently, businesses can choose between a version of G Suite that bills monthly at either $6 or $12 per user. Now, Google is introducing a Business Plus plan for $18 per user per month. This new tier will come with enhanced security features for enterprise customers.

The rebrand will also include new features and more colorful logos for many apps. Google recently made it possible to start a video meeting with Meet from inside Gmail. Now, Workspace users will be able to create new Google Docs without leaving their Google Chats. It’ll also be possible to “tag” a coworker in a Google Doc—when you mouse over a colleague’s name in a document, their contact card will appear.

Pinning Competitive Hopes in the Cloud

While Google’s free consumer products are already widely used, the tech giant seeks to give its cloud business a boost by generating more business from schools, companies, and organizations that typically use Microsoft products. In the coronavirus era, when Google has seen reduced advertising on its platforms, that diversification would be a welcome revenue stream.

Microsoft currently controls the market for business emailing and word processing software. In fact, the research group Gartner (IT) said Microsoft owned 87.6% of this customer base in 2019, while Google only had 11.5%. Google’s market share went up one percent from 2018, but the Workspace rebrand indicates the company is aiming for even more growth.

Zooming out, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, started including earnings from cloud services in quarterly reports for the first time in February. At $3 billion, Google’s cloud revenue was up 43% compared to the same time last year. The tech company is hoping the latest refresh will help cloud sales surge in 2020 and beyond.

A Long History of Branding for New Business

This isn’t the first time Google is using a rebrand as a pitch for new business customers. Six years ago, Google Enterprise became Google for Work. In 2016, many Google for Work products became Google Cloud. That same year, Google Apps became G Suite, which will now become Workplace.

Since the start of the pandemic, Google has seen a boost in its remote work users. In March, Google hit a milestone of 6 million companies on G Suite. Now, with new leadership including a cloud executive from Oracle (ORCL) and a Workspace leader from Microsoft Office, Google is angling to capitalize on this success, take pressure off its advertising revenue, and get another lift from business customers.

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