Businesses using G Suite, Google's cloud-based toolset for workplace productivity and collaboration, will soon have access to smarter searches that work across the entire suite.
Once called Springboard, Google's enterprise search tool is being rebranded as Google Cloud Search and adding new capabilities enabled through machine learning, the company announced yesterday. In addition to supporting queries across the entire G Suite, Cloud Search will also provide users with proactive recommendations in the form of "assist cards," according to Google Cloud product manager Brent VerWeyst.
G Suite, previously known as Apps for Work, includes Google Calendar, Drive, Gmail, Hangouts, Sheets and Slides. According to a recent update from Google, more than 3 million business users currently pay for G Suite services.
A 'Unified Search Experience'
Writing yesterday in a blog post, VerWeyst said the new Google Cloud Search is designed to provide "a unified search experience across G Suite." Citing 2012 research from McKinsey & Co. that found knowledge workers spend 20 percent of their time searching for and consolidating information, VerWeyst added. "Simply put, employees are wasting a lot of time in the process of finding information they need to do their job," he said.
Google Cloud Search is aimed at making it easier for enterprise users to find relevant information quickly, VerWeyst said. In addition to enabling queries across content stored in all the different G Suite tools, the Cloud Search app highlights key bits of content via assist cards with notes about and links to the most relevant documents.
The new search capabilities also enable users to look for contacts via their companies' directories. The results -- which let users get in touch with contacts via email, phone or Hangout with a single tap -- also provide details about events and files they have in common with each contact.
VerWeyst noted that Cloud Search provides only results that comply with a user's G Suite file-sharing permissions. For example, any user can access the company's vacation policies, but documents for a particular project will appear in search results only for that project's team members.
More Third-Party Integrations To Come
Companies using G Suite include Whirlpool, PwC and Woolworths, according to an update last month from product manager Reena Nadkarni. Among the early adopters that have been using Cloud Search since the summer is QAD, a provider of enterprise resource planning software for the manufacturing industry.
According to a statement from Scott Lawrence Lawson, QAD's director of IT architecture, Google Cloud Search has enabled the company to "break down silos that exist across different content systems and unlock information with very little effort from IT."
Google will begin rolling out Cloud Search to customers on a wider basis starting with those using G Suite Business and Enterprise editions, VerWeyst said. He didn't say when the capabilities might be rolled out for users of the less expensive Basic edition of G Suite.
in the future, Google plans to introduce more Cloud Search capabilities, including integration with other third-party applications. G Suite services are already integrated with the cloud-based storage service Box, VerWeyst added.