Google Workspace has a significant advantage, the ability to run fully functional purely in-browser. Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari are all supported with Apps supplied for Android and iOS. Security by Design is at the forefront of Google and Wipro’s process. For example, Google Workspace vigorously enforces segregation between work and personal data in BYOD environments, clearly distinguishing between the two environments made in the user experience.
The SaaS architecture makes Workspace ideal to provide ‘next to’ an existing environment, integrating only where needed.
One account, multiple configurations to choose from
Wipro has configured Google Workspace to utilize Wipro’s existing Single Sign On (SSO) solution. Users with both Workspace and Office 365 do not have to keep track of multiple user accounts and log on to either system using their corporate credentials.
Within Active Directory (AD), every user has a unique attribute used to identify a configuration. Some users keep Office 365 as their primary production environment. Others replace it partially, and some are entirely on Workspace. Even within these, Wipro has specific configurations to allow and govern compliance to the needs of particular business units. Using Google Cloud Directory Sync, users are created and placed in specific Organization Units in Workspace based on the configuration attribute to allow access to a predefined set of applications and capabilities. Unless configured otherwise, every user at Wipro also has a Wipro-managed Google ID without a workspace license to allow fundamental collaboration and signing into Google services.
Another configuration to be considered has to do with Outlook and Google Calendar. Although it is possible to give a user both, it is better to make a choice. The mail configuration drives this choice. Wipro supports dual-delivery (deliver mail to both Gmail in Workspace and Outlook in Office 365) or chooses between Outlook or Gmail, defined by spilt-delivery.
Google Workspace calendar interoperability makes it possible to see free/busy information from Office 365 and Google Calendar.
Security and Compliance:
Google Workspace builds all of the above into specific configurations. These configurations have specific settings which can limit the options available to end-users and thus meet regulatory compliance requirements. In addition, Wipro has configured Workspace and Office 365 to meet the company’s overarching policies to be compliant and secure.
Choices for a better employee experience:
Experience tells us that it is crucial to make a choice as a user. However, giving this level of granularity allows the end-user to select the environment in which they are most comfortable. We find that our newest employees, often graduating from University, have already experienced Google Workspace and do not need to learn a “new” Office 365 way of working, resulting in significant time savings and employee satisfaction.
Integration and collaboration
Although available side-by-side, many features are not compatible between Office 365 and Google Workspace. Google is making progress in delivering a more integrated solution. For example, Docs, Sheets, and Slides in Google Workspace can open Office documents without converting them. Once stored in Google Drive, these documents can be shared and accessed collaboratively, seamlessly bringing most Google features to Office documents.
Once more, the security features of Workspace allow secure sharing of information while retaining ownership of the data rather than losing control by using attachments in email.
Nevertheless, it still makes sense to identify teams or groups of users that work closely together and allow access to the same set of tools. Working with documents is one thing but communicating with team members is challenging if one group is on Microsoft Teams and the other group on Google Chat. In that sense, having access to both allows users flexibility, for instance, the ability to collaborate with Workspace while others collaborate with Office 365.
With 3 billion users worldwide, businesses perceive Google’s productivity and collaboration suite of applications as a perfectly normal way to work together. Universities and schools are increasingly using Workspace, and almost everyone already has a @gmail.com account. Because of this, it makes strategic sense for organizations to embrace multiple platforms to work from anywhere on any device. Startups choose Workspace, where millennials take its availability for granted, driven by the increasing use of mobile devices to perform work and communicate.
Giving employees a choice (or both!) is not only a nice thing to do; it is an innovative strategic play to leverage the best of both worlds.
Cloud strategy as a foundation for collaboration and productivity
The choice for cloud services influences another reason to think about having both Workspace and Office 365.
Many organizations no longer choose between Azure, AWS, and GCP - they leverage the best of them, utilizing modern solutions like Google Anthos. With this strategy, the end-users can likely harness the power of the Cloud in the application stack that they can access.
For example, users can configure Google Sheets to analyze data in BigQuery. Enterprise users have access to DataStudio to provide additional reporting solutions, combining a wide range of data sources.
Such capabilities give flexibility and insight in leveraging existing data to bring specific information to end-users directly. So, the hyper-scale choices of where to do what in the ‘backend’ will likely drive a hybrid collaborative productivity platform. Having multiple productivity platforms makes it easier to adopt and utilize a multi-cloud in the future. Workspace is often the first step into the Google Cloud Platform and is one of the most widely used applications delivered.
Google will push Workspace forward as the easy access platform of choice for anyone in the world. Whether you agree with that or not, Google’s strategy of making ‘Workspace’ services available for free to anyone has given them an advantage that is already a factor that many Digital Native companies take advantage of today.
Google’s focus on Workspace as an integrated, smart, always available, secure and user- friendly platform that is entirely independent of any operating system or device choice.
For Wipro, it made much sense. If you would like to know more about the benefits of Workspace for your organization, please reach out to the Google Workspace Practice and talk to our subject matter experts.