Last year, we talked about doubling down on our enterprise focus for Hangouts and our commitment to building communication tools focused on the way teams work: from anywhere, at anytime. More than half of the workforce will contribute remotely by 2020, so businesses require purpose-built tools to help employees succeed. Our customers have told us it should be effortless for them to connect over video and that chat should be more collaborative, so we’re evolving Hangouts to focus on two experiences that help bring teams together and keep work moving forward: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.
Start your meetings with a quick click: meet Hangouts Meet
Hangouts Meet is a new video meeting experience with one goal: make joining meetings effortless so that people can be as productive as they are when they’re face-to-face. We've consistently heard from customers about ways we can improve Hangouts, like making it easier to work with external clients or reducing the ‘time to start’ a meeting to zero. That's why we've built Hangouts Meet to have a light, fast interface and smart participant management.
Running 30-person video conferences smoothly is easy with Meet. Simply start your meetings with a shared link — no accounts, plugins, downloads or hassles. Meet provides a place for everyone to join from Calendar, an email invite or an ad-hoc share. If you’re dialing in from a conference room, your laptop or using the dedicated mobile app, just a few clicks and you’re in.
Braintree, a PayPal service, has been using Hangouts Meet over the past three months to connect employees across board rooms, meeting rooms, breakout spaces and offices. "Based on initial use, Hangouts Meet is one of the most frictionless video conferencing systems we’ve experienced,” says Jerome Knapp, Manager of Systems Administration at Braintree. “Starting a meeting or sharing a document from the web, calendar invite or meeting room involves a single click. It’s an antidote to the VC fatigue that’s stopped my users and executives from taking full advantage of other systems.”
With Meet, native, full-screen presenting makes it easy to showcase your team’s projects. And as Meet integrates directly with G Suite, information you need about each meeting is automatically pulled from Calendar. For our G Suite Enterprise customers, each meeting comes with a dedicated dial-in phone number, so team members on the road can feel connected and productive in meetings despite wi-fi or data issues.
Hangouts Meet is one of the most frictionless video conferencing systems we’ve experienced.
Bring your teams together on projects: introducing Hangouts Chat
Hangouts Chat is an intelligent communication app for teams that takes direct messaging in Hangouts and evolves it to reflect the way modern teams talk business.
Working on a project means bringing cross-functional teams together, discussing tasks that need to get done and sharing your work. Chat is built with exactly this in mind.
Dedicated, virtual rooms create a lasting home for each project, with threaded conversations so your team’s progress is easy to follow. Chat’s deep integration with G Suite means shared content from Drive and Docs, or photos and videos can be viewed directly in conversations. And powerful, filterable search in Chat makes it easy to find all your content dating back to the start of the project.
Chat is built not only to reflect the way teams work, but to provide a platform for the enterprise tools they work with. The Hangouts Chat platform supports a wide range of capabilities — from bots to simple scripting using Google App Script — and integrates with third-party applications so teams can do more right from within the conversation. Some companies we’re teaming up with to build out the platform include: Asana, Box, Prosperworks and Zendesk. And to make workflows even easier, Chat features @meet, an intelligent bot built on top of the Hangouts platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule meetings for your team with Hangouts Meet and Google Calendar.
Hangouts Meet is generally available today and will gradually roll out to all G Suite customers over the next few weeks. G Suite customers can apply to try Hangouts Chat through the Early Adopter Program.