In an official blog post, Clay Bavor, Google Apps Product Management Director, introduced a host of Google+ features designed specifically for businesses. In a full preview mode of the features for the customers now, those organisations using Google will be able to avail the business features of Google+ for free through the end of next year. The official post adds that Google will continue to add more features and administrative controls that have been designed for organisations.
Bavor writes further, “On the Google Apps team, we wake up every day excited to work on products that are powering a fundamental shift in business technologies. Whole companies are moving into the cloud, where they rely on the same web-based applications their employees use at home: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Drive. We call this trend 'going Google'.
Adding Hangouts to a Calendar event
As part of this trend, we’re witnessing how web-based collaboration and social tools have dramatically changed the way people connect. Whether you’re across the street or across the world, you can hold face-to-face meetings, share updates with colleagues and friends and work on a presentation together in real time. Like Google Apps, we think Google+ can help colleagues collaborate more easily and get things done—and get to know each other along the way.”
Elaborating further, Bavor writes that Google Apps users will have more control now over what they post on the social networking site. To begin with, when a users create a post, they can mark it as restricted. These posts (Restricted posts) remain private to one's organisation and can never be re-shared with anyone outside the organisation. They can share it with specific partners or colleagues outside the organisation, only if they choose to.
Contributing to a Google document on a Hangout
Meetings are integral to businesses and Bavor in his post adds that on Google Apps, when users are having a meeting face-to-face with colleagues and clients situated globally, they just need a device with a camera and an Internet connection. With Google+ Hangouts, Bavor adds that up to 10 people can join a video meeting using either their laptop, phone or tablet. He adds further that users can now join, what is a multi-way video chat, direct from Gmail and it is powered by Hangouts. Interestingly, users also have the option of opening a Google doc during the Hangout meeting. This way, it is possible for those in the meeting to write and edit a document together. As part of the update, users can add a hangout to a Calendar event – this way, those who need to be a part of the meeting can join it directly from the invite or Calendar entry.
Importantly, to ensure that users share information with only those with whom they intend to, administrators can set company-wide defaults for post restrictions. They also have the option of enabling restricted Hangouts to allow private meetings within the company.