Voice assistants are moving into the office, prompting Google to integrate its Google Assistant technology with G Suite customer calendars.
That’s just one of several updates to G Suite, Google’s office productivity software suite, that the company plans to announce Wednesday during the second day of Google Cloud Next 2019. A beta version of that integration will go live later today, allowing employees stuck in a meeting that’s running long to schedule a follow-up meeting to the current meeting using a voice command.
More than 5 million businesses are using G Suite, Google announced earlier this year, and the company thinks the email, calendar, and document software can be a gateway drug to other Google Cloud services. It’s staring up at Microsoft and its Office 365 juggernaut in this world, but has added a million paying businesses since last year.
Other G Suite enhancements planned for Wednesday’s rollout include:
- New add-ons from companies like Box and Workfront that let G Suite users toggle between those third-party business apps from within G Suite, another example of why integration is so important to modern business software.
- Live captions are coming to Hangouts Meet, the G Suite video conferencing system, and a live streaming feature that can support up to 100,000 viewers is becoming generally available.
- Support for voice calls is now generally available for those times when picking up the phone and hashing out a problem is the only sensible way to communicate.
- And G Suite now works more closely with Microsoft Office files, which is important for companies that might have standardized on G Suite but share files externally with clients or partners.