Are you ready to go all-in with Google Workspace?

Overview

Leaving Microsoft Office behind doesn’t need to be daunting. Our CTO of Work Transformation, Stuart Cummings addresses FAQs you may have about moving away from legacy IT and into Google Workspace, to help you see if you’re ready to go all-in with Google.

Millions of organisations use Google Workspace for communication and collaboration. However, many are still keeping competing products around “just in case”, or because traditionally if you ran Windows devices you needed Microsoft AD to manage them. But is it still necessary to maintain these additional services with all the extra complexity that brings? Or could you go all-in with Google?

Spoiler: I believe Google Workspace is mature enough to allow most organisations to ditch much of the legacy IT they currently have. Let’s look in more detail though, then you can make up your own mind.

What about working with Microsoft Documents?

It’s fair to say that MS Office is still the de facto standard for documents, spreadsheets and presentations, but how many of the features in those products do most people actually use? Google has always focused on providing the essential features which for the vast majority is exactly what you need.

I’ll be the first to admit though that there have been some glaring omissions. It’s only very recently that you’ve been able to work with mixed page orientation in a Google Document. If you have detailed page layout requirements I’d argue that a word processor isn’t the right tool anyway; you should be looking at desktop publishing tools.

The good news is that you don’t have to mess about converting between MS and Google formatted documents these days. Native Office editing allows you to work on MS files just like you would Google files, with real-time collaboration, commenting and built-in version history.

 

Tip: Make sure you’re not still using the old Office Editing Chrome extension. Now Office editing is native to Google Drive you don’t need that extension, so disable it and you’ll have a much more seamless experience.

So what happens when you receive a Microsoft file as an attachment?

You may have been frustrated in the past that you had to download MS Office files from emails and then upload them into Google Drive to take advantage of that native editing capability I mentioned. Well not anymore! Now you can edit MS Office attachments with one click.

I’ve just rolled out Windows 10 so I’m stuck with Microsoft, aren’t I?

Not necessarily. There are many areas where Google Workspace can be used in place of legacy Microsoft solutions. 

For example, you may have a software you use to manage those Windows devices, pushing policies, controlling access and wiping lost devices. Well, you can do all of that directly in the Google admin console with Enhanced Security for Windows.

I still need AD to login to Windows though, don’t I?

Nope! You can use the Google Credential Provider for Windows (GCPW) to let users login to Windows devices using their Google ID. You can manage GCPW from the Google Admin Console too.

What else?

Well, I see a surprising number of organisations that have invested in Google Workspace but are still using third-party solutions like Zoom for video conferencing. The recent arms race in video conferencing means that many of the features people turned to Zoom for, like blurring or replacing the background, breakout rooms and so on, are now available in Google Meet. 

Conclusion

If you’ve been hedging your bets on moving to Workspace, or you’ve been using it a while and got stuck in some old ways of working, I’d urge you to take a fresh look at the extra value you may be overlooking. Are you ready to go all-in with Google Workspace?

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