A variety of companies rely on productivity and collaboration tools to ensure maximum efficiency and output for smooth business operations. Especially those that provide Software as a Service (SaaS) products.
Around the world, G Suite is one of the best collaboration tools for leading business management. It comes loaded with a ton of features, offering unmatched benefits when compared to other options on the market. In China, G Suite is not available, so we’ll look at other options for the Middle Kingdom.
As a China digital marketing agency, and remote company, Tenba Group also works with G Suite. We are therefore excited to share with you a little bit about how we organize ourselves as a company. And we also reveal how the highly recommended features and benefits of G Suite are set up to be your best business collaboration tool. Plus, which equivalent tools to use in the Chinese market.
What is G Suite?
Originally known as Google Apps before rebranding in 2016, G Suite (Google Suite) is a cloud-based productivity “suite” or collection of smart apps. This collection of apps by Google focuses on facilitating collaboration and increasing productivity. The areas are business, education, personal tasks, and leisure ventures. As most online users already find these apps handy, many of you have probably interacted with some of them before.
Over 4 million businesses today, including Verizon, HP, Whirlpool, and Salesforce, use this collaboration tool. They use it to help individuals stay connected to their teams and complete work on any device from anywhere in the world.
Microsoft Office 365 is still more widely used in terms of overall business numbers (over 120 million businesses use Office Suite). But Google is constantly enhancing its G Suite enterprise appeal with updates on their established tools. At the same time, Google is introducing cutting edge productivity and collaboration platforms to compete with Microsoft, Slack, Zoho, and similar market tools.
The 8 Key Features of G Suite
G Suite has built different tiers for user plans. And each plan comes with specific features at a fixed price. There are three plans available to clients:
- the Basic G Suite plan which is available at 6 USD per user per month
- the Business G Suite at 12 USD per user per month
- the Enterprise G Suite plan at 25 USD per user per month
The higher tiers come packaged with more features. Thus, customers have the power to carefully analyze and consider the features that fit their business goals and budgets. Even the features of the basic plan are plenty enough to cover most business needs. Now, here are the 8 best G Suite features in detail, which make it the best collaboration tool:
Gmail is Google’s email software tool. It allows users to create their own Gmail accounts using email addresses specific to their business domain names. For example, user Alice may run a business named “My Business”. So, her unique Gmail address for the business could be [email protected]
Gmail was first introduced in 2004 and since then has gained over 1.2 billion clients in the market. This makes Gmail the most popular and widely used email client.
2. Google Drive
Google Drive is a secure cloud-based storage tool where users can store and manage their files. The amount of storage space provided depends on the subscription plan. The Basic plan offers 30GB of storage for every user, while the Business and Enterprise plans allow unlimited storage.
Once you sign up on the Drive, you can access your personal storage and share your files from any device. It is very organized and easy-to-use. Users can also search for any file without hassle as well as co-manage Team Drives under the Business and Enterprise plans.
Google Calendar is a scheduling tool that allows users to set reminders, schedule events, fix deadlines, and better manage time for tasks. Additionally, it is set up for calendar creation with options to make these accessible to everyone on the team.
This way, scheduling meetings, setting project deadlines, assigning tasks, and viewing the long-term and short-term outlooks become less stressful as everyone can easily access the calendars.
4. Google Keep
Google Keep is Google’s note app. It comes with a lot of features to help organize notes in one convenient place. You can make a to-do list, set reminders, categorize tasks, and much more. Further, it is user-driven.
If a note is deleted mistakenly, Keep offers a handy recycle bin. All deleted documents are stored there, either to be retrieved or permanently deleted. Keep also syncs notes across several devices and archives them when finished.
5. Google Docs and Google Sheets
Google Docs and Google Sheets allow users to create and edit documents and spreadsheets respectively in a browser. You can also easily import documents and spreadsheets in a variety of formats including .docx, .doc, .pdf, .txt, .csv and .html to make them editable. When editing is complete, the programs export them to a preferred third-party format.
One of the most outstanding features of these tools is that users can comment in real-time. This makes sharing documents with other people super easy. Especially with functions like commenting and tracking changes. Note that the files in these tools do not count towards the allocated personal storage limit.
Hangouts Chat is a tool created to facilitate communication between users, either one-to-one or in group settings. Hangouts Meet can be used for video calls, useful for holding a meeting when other members of the team are perhaps without an internet connection or are away from the office.
This tool provides the space for the creation of smaller teams within a larger business community. One notable feature of Google Groups is the ability to create email aliases for free. And you can assign these to specific team members. You can also register additional emails for a business domain. This way, emails for the business can be managed and sent to the assigned employee or department.
As businesses grow, having the ability to create personalized email aliases ensures that important messages can be handled quickly and more directly, maximizing efficiency in daily business operations and creating smoother client-company communication.
The G Suite Admin Console was conceptualized to allow business owners an efficient way to manage their tasks and teams from one central place. The administrator can add new users, create groups, configure the security settings, and enable certain features for particular users in the group.
What makes G Suite the Best Collaboration Tool?
With all its premium features, there are a lot of benefits to enjoy when integrating G Suite into business operations. We at Tenba Group love working with G Suite, and these are our 5 favorite benefits:
1. Easy Usage
G Suite is one of the most popular collaboration tools in the world simply because it is incredibly easy to use. The features do not require users to be tech-savvy to integrate Gmail, Google Calendar, or Google Keep into their business routines. The features are easy to master. And most employees need little-to-no training to utilize these tools, already familiar with many of the base functions through private use on the free versions.
2. Compatibility across Devices
The G Suite collaboration tools are compatible with both mobile phones and PCs. They sync data in the apps across many devices and accounts, in order to streamline work productivity. It also keeps team members connected throughout the various stages of business operations.
Google is perhaps one of the most reliable companies in the modern tech world. With G Suite, users do not have to worry about maintenance windows or scheduled downtimes as Google’s data centers continue to maintain superb infrastructure, ensuring that their features run smoothly at all times.
Although G Suite is not the cheapest collaboration tool in the market, it is definitely on the affordable side. Especially considering its feature-rich product packages. With the three different pricing plans, businesses can better manage their budgets and select the plan that suits their business needs more directly. Businesses are also able to cut back or expand as their business requirements change over time, making G Suite flexible and affordable.
The Google Cloud platform provides the highest and tightest level of security in the market, extending its secure network to all G Suite tools. Investing in research and expertise in security measures, G Suite provides peace of mind for all types and levels of business operations. Regardless of how many team members work across various platforms and share sensitive operational data.
G Suite Equivalent in China
As you know, the Chinese government rigorously censors all information in the Middle Kingdom both online and offline. As Google is censored, this is also true for G Suite. For online searches, people in China use Baidu, which also offers features like Maps, and community spaces.
A few years ago, there were rumors that the Chinese tech giant Tencent, who is behind WeChat and QQ, will bring G Suite to China. But to date, this hasn’t happened.
Another great tool you can use in China is WeChat Work (read all about this WeChat Enterprise Account in this blog article here). As it has fewer features compared to G Suite, you can use WeChat Work in combination with Microsoft Office.
If you are desperate to access your Gmail account in China, you may have to rely on a VPN (Virtual Private Network) as a work-around. Although China has cracked down on the use of VPNs over the last years, VPNs were never officially labeled “illegal”.
In general, G Suite is without a doubt one of the best collaboration tools available for businesses. The plans are feature-rich and every tier provides various apps. These allow businesses to maximize efficiency and thrive without having to compromise on security, reliability, or affordability. We at Tenba Group have been successfully working with G Suite for several years now.
Having a collaboration tool that you can rely on may just be the best thing you can do to boost your business. What are you waiting for? Join us in the use of G Suite!