G Suite will become paid in July 2022: How does this change affect your business?
Since its origins, the technological giant Google has thought about and reinvented its services for companies and individuals in order to adapt to the needs of a hyperconnected world. One of these adaptations can be found in 2006, when it began to offer businesses an advanced space, called Google Suite (G Suite).
This platform, which was free for businesses, non-profit organisations and educational institutions, offered a set of free cloud-based communication tools to improve productivity and create a collaborative environment.
In recent years, the company has been introducing changes in terms of name and functionalities, even charging for the service from 2012 for new companies wishing to use the platform. Despite this, G Suite has remained free for those who have been using its professional accounts on a regular basis, which has meant big savings.
However, at the beginning of 2022, Google announced that from 1 July it would stop offering these services free of charge, so that companies would have to choose one of the Workspace paid plans. Now that they have to make a decision, many of them have begun to consider other options that better suit their needs and offer other functionalities.
So, in order for you to know how these changes can affect your company and what are the alternatives that exist, today in Fonvirtual we show you everything you need to know about G Suite, from its evolution to the changes that will arrive from next July, through the alternatives available to you.
What did G Suite offer businesses?
For customers, contacting them through an email account that contains the company’s domain (firstname.lastname@example.org) builds their trust, since if we talk to them from a generic one, they may doubt whether they are talking to a real company.
G Suite offered this possibility, and in addition, it allowed the permissions and operation of the applications to which users had access to be set according to the configuration established by the company in the administrator panel.
A collaborative environment
Although employees could take advantage of the platform’s functionalities on an individual basis, it was designed to support teamwork. In this sense, G Suite offered advanced applications to facilitate communication and collaboration between employees from any location.
For example, in terms of communication, a corporate account had access to advanced video conferencing and instant messaging software: Google Meet and Google Chat.
Unlike Hangouts (a service specific to generic accounts), Meet allowed meetings to be organised, not only with employees of the organisation itself, but also with external partners (customers, suppliers, etc.).
Chat, on the other hand, allowed employees to have a real-time conversation through direct messaging or the creation of team chat rooms. It also had a group messaging function to share content and deliver a message only to members of that group.
Increased cloud storage capacity
Whether corporate or not, all Google accounts are hosted in the cloud and therefore offer users the possibility to upload and save their files and documents in an application such as Drive. However, depending on whether G Suite was used or not, the storage capacity was different.
In this regard, corporate accounts had 30 GB or unlimited space (depending on whether it was a company, a non-profit organisation or an educational institution), as opposed to generic accounts, which had only 15 GB.
Although all Google applications are characterised by security, G Suite was better adapted to the needs that companies might have in this area. That is why it offered services such as two-factor authentication, whereby a confirmation in addition to the password was requested at login (e.g. a code sent to a phone number).
What changed with Google Workspace?
As we have just seen, G Suite had very useful functionalities to promote a collaborative environment from anywhere and productivity in companies. However, it had a major issue: the applications were not connected to each other, so the platform was not used to its full potential and a lot of time was wasted switching from one to another.
Thus, in October 2020, Google introduced a series of modifications in order to adapt to the demands of the new worker profile that had emerged after the pandemic. A worker who needed to find his or her internal communication tools quickly and easily, in an environment where they were all integrated and “collaborating” with each other. To this end, G Suite became Workspace, a space that met this need and which, from June 2021, was also extended to any Google account.
While there was no change to the tools included and no need to re-learn how to use the service, the user experience was improved and advanced features were added to support internal business communication. For example, with Workspace, users could initiate an internal video call (not with customers) directly from the Chat application, without having to leave the conversation.
What is changing from 1 July 2022?
As we said at the beginning, although Workspace started to be paid for companies that wanted to start using the service, it remained free for those that had been using the Suite on a regular basis.
However, earlier this year, Google announced that this benefit had a deadline. From 1 July, users of G Suite business accounts must have chosen one of the Workspace paid plans. If they have not made the switch by that date, it will be made automatically, taking into account the company’s features and needs.
In order for this process to be carried out without service interruptions, it is important to update our billing details before 1 August (when the first monthly payment will be charged). Otherwise, we will lose access to all Workspace functionalities and applications until we do so.
What are the alternatives to G Suite?
Although it has many advantages, G Suite has two major drawbacks: on the one hand, it does not allow integration with tools other than those developed by Google; and, on the other hand, we must bear in mind that it does not cover the telephony part that every company needs to communicate with each other and with customers.
By the latter, we mean that although video conferences can be held with people outside the organisation, we do not have a number that customers can call when they want to contact us. In other words, with G Suite we cannot manage all the necessary customer communications for a company. This forces us to rely on third-party software, and leads to a decrease in productivity and efficiency as we have to switch from one screen to another to handle each interaction.
So now that companies have to bear the cost per user of having this service, many have decided to look for cheaper alternatives that allow them to use their tools, communicate with the rest of the team regardless of their location, and conduct customer conversations from a single interface.
At Fonvirtual, we offer you this and much more through our virtual PBX solution. Unlike Google Suite, with it you can manage your internal and external communications from the same place and, if you wish, you can integrate with other software in your company, such as a CRM.
Most virtual PBX offers are not able to replace the services provided by G Suite, as they are designed only to serve external communications. However, in Fonvirtual we go one step further: with your virtual switchboard tariff, you will have access to a powerful internal communication system through voice, chat and video from the same interface in which you manage conversations with your customers.
Moreover, with our solution, you will obtain, at a much lower cost per user, the same functionalities offered by Workspace’s paid plans (and many more): creation of work groups and mailing lists; presence and user status management through a supervisor panel; simultaneous access on multiple devices (computer, mobile and tablet at the same time); virtual personal assistant…
If you want to know more about why Fonvirtual is the best alternative to G Suite, as well as our rates, we encourage you to contact us, our team will accompany and advise you in everything you need!