Google Is Getting Serious About Interoperability & Integration
Google’s suite of business tools, which includes apps like Google Meet, Google Chat, and Google Calendar, offers a number of interoperability options that allow users to access and share data across different applications and platforms.
These options include APIs, integrations with third-party applications, and support for industry-standard formats.
Google also provides a wealth of integration options through integrations with third-party applications like Salesforce and Trello. These integrations allow you to access and share data between Google’s tools and third-party applications, making it easier to use both sets of tools together.
Google also offers its own integrations, like the ability to connect Google Calendar with Outlook or Apple Calendar.
But it’s Google’s interoperability options that make the most meaningful impact in enterprise collaboration.
In this article, we introduce the following:
- Google Chat interoperability
- Google Meet interoperability
- Google Cloud interoperability
- Google Calendar interoperability
1 – Google Chat
Today, having your team chat app open means you are at work. It is just like a worker 20 years ago sitting down at their physical office desk.
Whenever I consider myself to be “at work”, I have my team chat app open.
As a result, integrations with our team chat apps can be the greatest time savers of the modern work style. These integrations can help end the toggle tax we pay thousands of times a day.
It may seem like it only takes a millisecond to switch from our chat app to, let’s say, our calendar. But over the course of the week, your toggling adds up to hours of lost work time.
If you integrate your other work apps with your team chat, you can significantly reduce your toggle tax and your constant context switching.
This applies directly to Google Chat, which some of you may remember as Google Hangouts.
Google Hangouts was originally a consumer-facing messaging app, along the lines of WhatsApp or iMessage.
Over the years it evolved to compete in the “team chat” market along the lines of Microsoft, Zoom, and Webex.
Today, it has been completely rebranded/replaced by Google Chat as the “team chat” part of the Google Workplace office suite.
This means workers using Google Workspace will generally have Google Chat open when working. Integrations with Google Chat can be the most effective way to lower their toggle tax.
Fortunately for Google Chat users, there are plenty of integrations with a variety of business apps and services.
To start, Google Chat has inherent integrations with the rest of Google Workspace:
- Google Calendar
- Google Meet
- Google Drive
- Google Docs
These are all available within Google Chat.
In addition, many of the top productivity apps and services have integrations with Google Chat.
In the example of project management, apps like Trello, Jira, and Asana, offer integrations with Google Chat.
These integrations generally send notifications from these services directly to you in Google Chat. Some of them even allow you to create tasks or perform other actions from within Google Chat.
For sales teams, services like Salesforce and Monday.com do a lot of heavy lifting. A simple bot in Google Chat providing notifications and allowing for updates can save your team from significant toggle tax.
If your business app or service of choice does not have a direct integration with Google Chat, you might not be out of luck.
Services like Zapier, Make, and Integrately offer dozens of Google Chat integrations.
These kinds of integration services are generally not free. But if they can keep your team happily working, instead of toggling, they can be well worth the cost.
2 – Google Meet
Google Meet is the video conferencing element of the Google Workspace suite.
Of course, just like Google Chat, it has inherent integrations into the rest of Google Workspace, as well as third-party integrations.
The most interesting third-party integration with Google Meet may be its ability to interoperate with video hardware from other video service providers.
One of the most frustrating and problematic aspects of the modern video world is that video calls don’t work the same as phone calls. You can’t easily dial by a number from one video service to another, the way you can with Verizon and ATT phone services.
There is no easy way to call into a Google Meet meeting from a Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Webex video client on your desktop. If someone invites you to a Google Meet session on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device, your best (and often only) option is to just join using Google Meet.
But what if you have a meeting room with Zoom, Teams, or Webex room systems and need to join Google Meet?
We could just use our mobile devices instead of the nice room system to join Google Meet. But room systems generally provide a far superior audio and video experience. If you have a nice room system, you want to use it for all your meetings.
Fortunately, Google Meet offers a number of ways to connect to various room systems.
“Last year we launched bi-directional interoperability between Cisco Webex devices and Google Meet devices, and we continue our support of Pexip for Google Meet so users can seamlessly join Meet meetings from a wide range of third-party video conferencing solutions.”Dave Citron, Director of Product for Google Workspace
It’s clear to see why creating and supporting these integrations would be a priority for Google.
If the business world can’t call into Google Meet from their meeting room systems, then Google Meet won’t be readily adopted.
Google Meet also offers integrations with chat apps like Slack. These types of integrations allow users to create and join Google Meet meetings from within their chat app of choice.
While not necessarily integrations, it should be noted that Google offers a very long list of Chrome extensions that add functionality to Google Meet.
Finally, as with Google Chat, services like Zapier, Make, and Integrately offer many additional integrations.
3 – Google Cloud
Google Cloud is a lot more than meets the eye.
At first, I thought it was simply a bunch of computers in a data center somewhere storing massive amounts of data. Like Google Drive on steroids.
In fact, Google Cloud is a platform offering a long list of powerful products and solutions. These services range from API Management to Developer Tools, to the Internet of Things, to Healthcare and Life Sciences.
Considering the nature of Google Cloud, it isn’t surprising to see powerful integrations with data analytics services like Splunk, CDNs like Cloudflare, virtualization solutions like VMWare, and cybersecurity platforms like Palo Alto Networks.
4 – Google Calendar
Google Cloud’s integrations might only be interesting to the techies and the developers on your team, but Google Calendar is for everyone.
Our reliance on our digital calendars can not be overstated. Any integration that helps us better control our calendars and access the information within them can be a big productivity booster.
Again, like Google Chat and Google Meet, Google Calendar has deep ties to the rest of the Google Workspace.
Perhaps the most crucial integration is the ability for Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange to work together.
Many of us are using a mix of Google and Microsoft business services and need to have both calendars active and sharing information.
You may also like: How To Integrate Microsoft Teams With Google Calendar
Similarly, Google Calendar’s interoperability with Apple Calendar is essential for teams working with those suites.
One of the hottest areas of integration for calendars is meeting services. Whether you use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, or Google Meet, you want to be able to create your meetings in your own calendar.
It often makes sense to do our scheduling from within our chat apps. We have them open all day anyway, right?
Google Calendar naturally offers integrations with chat apps like Slack for just this purpose.
Deadlines and due dates are major aspects of project management. So, it’s not surprising that project management apps like Trello, Jira, and Asana, offer integrations with Google Calendar.
One personal favorite Google Calendar integration is a service called Calendly. This service lets people schedule a meeting on your Google Calendar.
I have a Calendly widget on my website. If someone wants to schedule a meeting with me they can see my availability and click a date and time of their preference.
After they confirm, the meeting is added to my Google Calendar. Getting meetings on my calendar without a bunch of back-and-forth emails to find a date is an amazing timesaver.
Once again, services like Zapier, Make, and Integrately offer plenty of integrations with Google Calendar to fill in any remaining gaps.
While Google offers an amazing array of services, it can’t do everything alone.
We need to use other services to get everything done. But if we are Google Workspace users, we are more productive if we stay within the Google environment and tag those other services on.
Using services that integrate well with Google Workspace is an effective productivity booster.