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Updated: April 25, 2019
Google has made significant inroads into the small business market with Google Workspace. For business owners and employees who have been using consumer Gmail, moving to Google Workspace is an easy transition.
However, Google has faced several barriers to widespread Google Workspace enterprise adoption. Here are some of those blockers and what Google has been doing to address them.
1. Missing management tools that enterprise IT managers demand
Google has taken steps to address this issue through continuous improvement to the suite of products. The release of security center for Google Workspace is an example. Security improvements are near and dear to CIOs.
If Google can demonstrate superiority across the multiple email vulnerability threats, including the self inflicted user wounds of clicking a link in a phishing email, that will go a long way.
2. The preeminence of the Microsoft brand in the minds of IT management
This issue runs deep. Brand familiarity is generally a very strong factor in the minds of both consumer and business buyers. The Microsoft brand is seared in the frontal cortices of many IT managers who are over a certain age.
For a substantial swing of enterprise adoption toward Google to occur at the enterprise level, it may take the flow-through of millennials into IT management positions.
This challenge is being addressed by Google’s long game. The long game has involved providing free versions of Google Workspace to colleges and universities. Many millennials have grown up with Gmail and Google Workspace.
3. The desktop is still alive and well in many enterprises
Google Workspace is a cloud-first solution with several desktop options, including Gmail Offline and new offline mode (2019) for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. Microsoft Office is a hybrid of desktop and cloud.
For many enterprises, Microsoft Office 365 aligns better with the practice of building and supporting a Windows machine for each employee.
Google has been trying to turn this tide through the promotion of Chromebook Enterprise, a solution that means centralized management of a fleet of relatively low maintenance computers.
Despite Google’s efforts, Fortune 500 companies are not yet lining up for Google Workspace. However, there are a number of early adopters.
Here are examples of larger companies that have adopted Google Workspace:
“Verizon recognized the power of cloud-based collaboration and productivity tools early. This foresight put us ahead of the curve going into the pandemic. Now, we are in the final part of our migration from our older Microsoft system to Google Workspace—we will soon have approximately 200,000 employees and contractors using these tools.”
Greg Sly, Senior Vice President of Infrastructure & Platform Services at Verizon
Google provides a detailed listing of its Google Workspace customers.
Salesforce, which competes against Microsoft in the CRM space and which has many enterprise customers, could be a valuable strategic account for Google. Salesforce and Google announced a multifaceted strategic alliance in 2017.
Airbus said that the company is moving 130,000 workers from on-premise Microsoft Office to Google Workspace.
Facebook is reportedly considering the adoption of Google Workspace.