App Of The Month: Hangouts Chat for Google’s G-Suite

Hangouts Chat G-Suite Google
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Lots of teams come to work and Slack off. Other come for the Hangouts.

Google has never quite managed to replicate its search engine success in social media, despite years of effort around Google Plus. As it continues to put more attention on business users with its G-Suite of Docs, Calendar and other tools, the recent addition of Hangouts Chat may mark a real opportunity to generate more conversation and collaboration in professional environments. 

What Is Hangouts Chat?

An earlier version of Hangouts had existed for years but faded away as Google launched Duo for video calling and Google Allo for messaging among consumers. It has been in beta mode for about year, but last month the company made it generally available to all G-Suite users. 

How Does It Work?

Hangouts Chat is integrated with Google Sheets, the firm’s spreadsheet application, as well as Docs, Slides and other apps that the company is using to woo enterprise users way from Microsoft’s Office 365. From a chat perspective, of course, this is a messaging tools that’s really competing with Slack, which has become one of the most popular team collaboration tools since its debut a few years ago. 

Besides traditional chat functionality, Hangouts Chat lets users book conference rooms, schedule meetings, and manage various project tasks. Artificial intelligence backed into the platform will make it easier for Hangouts Chat to predict what users need, according to Google. And search, naturally, is a big part of the app, allowing users to find files they need as they conduct conversations with teammates. 

What Are The Benefits?

A number of organizations have already moved their corporate e-mail systems from Microsoft Exchange to Gmail, and if that journey takes them to G-Suite, Hangouts Chat might be a natural next step. Google is also offering potential innovation among users with a set of application programming interface that lets them integrate the app to other systems they might use, such as their CRM or marketing software tools. 

Built-in chatbots, meanwhile, can deal with everything from wrangling team members together for a discussion to alerts when files are being shared around. Displacing Slack isn’t going to be easy, but Hangouts Chat may finally be the enterprise social media success Google has been searching for. 

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Shane Schick

Shane Schick

Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.