Episode 93

Google Workspace: leading the evolution of the modern remote workforce

  • Tony Safoian


  • Rowan Manson

    Google Workspace Specialist, SADA

With the impact of COVID on remote working, Google Workspace is leading the charge on productivity and collaboration tools that are reshaping modern work culture. In this Cloud N Clear episode, we meet SADA’s newest Google Workspace evangelist Rowan Manson who shares with the host and CEO of SADA, Tony Safoian, his passion and belief in Google Workspace and why it is the leader. Rowan highlights some notable recent feature updates and a few that are on the horizon. The discussion also goes beyond the technology into more significant concepts like collaboration equity, empowering innovation, and removing remote collaboration barriers.

Host: Tony Safoian
Guest: Rowan Manson

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Tony Safoian [00:00:12] All right, welcome, everybody, to a very special Cloud N Clear episode dedicated completely to Google Workspace, and appropriately to my very special guest, Rohan Manson. Welcome.


Rowan Manson [00:00:27] Thank you, Tony. Thank you, Tony. Very excited to talk about all things Workspace.


Tony Safoian [00:00:31] We had this thing scheduled a while back, but what dropped in our lap just yesterday was a massive list of product roadmap enhancements, changes. And we’re going to get into all that because I feel like each one can be almost an episode to itself. But I first want to start with you. How’d you get here? How we met, I think that’s its own amazing story. So why don’t you give us a little high level introduction of your sort of career trajectory and what landed you at SADA?


Rowan Manson [00:01:05] Of course. Of course. I think that story could take a whole podcast on its own. So I think high level is the right way to describe it. Well, let me go way back all the way to the start when I first had a magical moment and interacted with Google for the first time, which is really the starting point for the whole thing for where we are now. So back all the way in my university days, which is not that long ago, actually, for me, maybe compared to a lot of the folks at SADA.


Tony Safoian [00:01:31] What are you saying here about my years?


Rowan Manson [00:01:34] Nothing at all. Nothing at all.


Rowan [00:01:38] But back in my not so long ago university days, I started collaborating with Google Docs for the first time and working on a project. And that was when I saw up until that point I’d really only experienced the more traditional Microsoft approach of emailing files around and collaborating in that fashion. So to see that transformational shift immediately just by using a different tool and how freeing that was and collaborative, that immediately made an impact on me. So I started using those tools. And then later on, through a consultancy project, I met with a guy called Colin Bryce who was starting a consultancy around Google Apps at the time. Yeah, not even G Suite – Google Apps for Work, all the way back in those days. So I started working with him. So even more of the benefit from an organizational perspective of moving to Workspace or Google Apps at the time. So completely changes the culture, gives everyone an inclusive opportunity to have good tech tools that they can use to have an impact and create their own projects and do their own work, improve processes. So all of that. And so over time, I graduated from university, became a full-time employee at Colbry, which was the company, and then started posting on LinkedIn probably too much. That’s a similarity I think we both have, right? You’re on LinkedIn very much so that’s how we started engaging. Actually, you were following some of my posts because I was so active on the Workspace stuff, right? I’m interested to hear actually. Was that the perspective from how you found out about me? You just saw this Scottish guy showing about Google from across the world?


Tony Safoian [00:03:24] Look, the entire population of people that have deep, multi-year expertise and passion in Workspace is an extremely small number of people.


Rowan Manson [00:03:39] Or a rare breed? Definitely.


Tony Safoian [00:03:41] Yeah, especially I mean, both parts, but it’s almost like concentric circles. You have all the populations experienced for multiple years – that’s a very small number. And then another circle of people that talk about it like that overlap is tiny. So you stood out like a sore thumb, to be honest.


Rowan Manson [00:04:00] Well, I’m glad. I’m glad. I just wanted to show people the amazing transformational power the technology could have. And I realized probably, I think, very much like you and a lot of my colleagues that impacted me, not seen very much yet. Even the organizations that had moved to were not taking advantage of the capabilities that by any means. So there was a lot of excitement, a lot of opportunity. And then on top of that, Google continuously improving and building upon their products even as recently as just yesterday before our chat today. So, yeah, yeah. That’s kind of why I’m such an advocate for Google and how it’s led us to this point.


Tony Safoian [00:04:43] That we definitely share that passion. I think that it’s one of those areas that it’s still ground level in a lot of ways, in my view, because I’m sure, of course, what we saw yesterday blew everybody’s mind, but there’s some secret road map somewhere.


Rowan Manson [00:05:03] Yes.


Tony Safoian [00:05:04] That’s going when it comes out, when it starts coming out, and this is exactly what Javier Soltero talked about. First time we met every every other time we talk strategy, he’s like it’s not about copying features and other things. This is about a completely different opinionated view of what makes productivity and collaboration feel like magic. And of course, we listen to customers and put like the fundamental things that they want more than ever today, but I think yesterday’s release was the first one that I was like, “Wow, we just felt the full weight of Javier Soltero’s vision and impact. A couple of years in, a lot of challenging times with all the structural things that had to happen at Google to elevate to Workspace to where it is, which Javier reports directly to Thomas Kurian. It’s a huge symbolic gesture about the priority of the product. But he’s also sort of dotted line to Sundar and everything that’s happening with like the Google messaging Android interfaces. So he has consumer Gmail Workspace messaging responsibilities and also reports to Thomas Kurian. And I think that’s a very unique position, but really tells you, like the scope comes the responsibility that is on his shoulders. And yesterday’s feature drop was like, wow! Like, nothing that we know of is doing the kinds of things that that is describing, you know.


Rowan Manson [00:06:52] Yeah. It really feels like with the updates yesterday and the announcements and we know maybe a bit more of the stuff that is not talked about publicly yet and showing. I think Google are really starting to lead the way in terms of how they think work should be done, how work can be culturally influenced, and the way that, you know, if you provide effective collaboration and communication tools to all, you see a completely different way that an organization can operate and through these unique capabilities that they’re starting to implement that don’t exist just now, they’re starting to really lay that path for organizations and set a vision for how they can work effectively. And that’s only been accelerated by the need for remote working in the future will be undoubtedly a hybrid model of work from wherever is effective and appropriate for you, with whatever device that, again, is appropriate for you.


Tony Safoian [00:07:47] Yeah, one of the first things that attracted me to the vision early on, of course, was the real time collaboration capabilities, which, you know, to be honest, nobody’s really caught up to that even yet. They have some versions of it, but the way the Google stuff works is quite remarkable. They’ve had 15 years of practice, I guess, doing it so quite far ahead. But the fact that you could use any device and have the same experience was quite remarkable. The fact that it could be a Chromebook or a Macbook, or it could be Windows machine or it could be an iPad or it could be an Android phone, like everybody generally gets the same experience. I thought that was liberating. But now we’re extending that to like the devices in the house – your Google home devices, your systems, your Chromecast, your… The things that infrastructure that already exists that does support a very hybrid and complex future of work from anywhere and have the same experience.


Rowan Manson [00:08:53] Totally agree. Totally agree. That’s always, as you say, been Google’s priority from the get go to be as much device agnostic as they can, even though they had their own Chrome hardware thing, which has done so well in the education space particularly, and also for businesses, of course. But yeah, I totally agree. And I love that they’re extending it to other sort of home based products and really making organizations give them options to provide employees with flexible solutions to their lifestyle.


Tony Safoian [00:09:21] Hey, speaking of Chrome, we can pause and celebrate for a second that Chrome books surpassed Macbooks as the second most popular operating system of any device that’s sold that’s a computer. That’s pretty cool. That’s good to see.


Rowan Manson [00:09:39] Totally agree. I think yeah, more and more people are realizing that they don’t need to deal with all of the hassles that some of the more traditional operating systems provide. Because so many things are more browser based, it becomes a question of what are you really missing out on compared to some of the costs or disadvantages that you have. So it’s great news. I love to see that.


Tony Safoian [00:10:01] I used to be Mac user for a long time and I’ve been on Chromebooks of various types for a long time. Right now I’m using Samsung Galaxy i5, tenth generation, which is amazing. Of course I use the Chromebooks on the go and their pixel books. And I was trying to, Rowan, configure a MacBook that I thought would be performant as this six hundred ninety nine dollars device, yeah, it was going to be like twenty seven hundred dollars and I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t pull the trigger. I was like, this makes no sense.


Rowan Manson [00:10:35] I totally agree. I totally agree. You can’t get better than an operating system that is fully configured and built on the browser that you’re going to be operating in all the time and completely wipes out any of the nonsense that you don’t need. It’s fantastic.


Tony Safoian [00:10:49] It’s fast, it’s reliable. It’s instant on. Not only I mean, we don’t only use workspaces, but all of our tools. We’re using this application to record this podcast like everything works that you generally would use unless you’re like doing some graphical intense video editing work. I get why you need something else. But, you know, with the whole work from home paradigm shift and then learn from home, you could see why chrome books have accelerated, you know, in the way that they have. So definitely a symbol of that the pandemic and the lockdown and work from anywhere paradigm has to has to have impacted those numbers.


Rowan Manson [00:11:33] I totally agree. Totally agree. And truly, it’s only a matter of time before those more intense activities like video editing, eventually migrate themselves up to the cloud. And we can enjoy the benefits of that, too, for those types of applications. We’re maybe not quite there yet, but once we do, then, you know, the Chrome solution is really becoming a powerful solution for all types of work, which is great fun.


Tony Safoian [00:11:55] Hey, let’s talk about your role a little bit, because it’s the first of its kind at SADA. It is a role that is aligned completely with just Google workspace. And we’ve never had that kind of role. And I think it’s a role that will become a team and that will grow over time. So, first of all, thank you for agreeing to take on something that doesn’t exist where I don’t I can’t give you a playbook. You really have to write one. It’s always a special type of person wants to take those on, and it’s those people are hard to find. So thank you for for for that. And I think it definitely Mary’s like time timing wise with what Google’s approach is to workspace in that now it’s a solution that’s front and center for the Google Field. They all carry the number, all the Google Field leadership Kurian no debt. And they have a specialist team that they go to, much like folks like like yourself who are resource poor region to help identify opportunities and help the field sales organization have meaningful conversations and helping customers sort of make the make the right decision with their productivity tools. So how hard the last couple of months been like how’s this experiment going? Because, I mean, literally, it’s something we’ve never done before.


Rowan Manson [00:13:21] Yes. Well, I’m very, very delighted to be involved in the experiment. It’s been an extremely fun , right? there’s lots of work to be done, which I love. There’s there’s so much opportunity, I think, to so many organizations, even using workspaces that I haven’t realized the value of it even more so ones I haven’t even heard of Google workspace can offer. And coming from more of a delivery type role where I’m involved in directly showing the customer how they’re going to implement and use the technology to actually showing them what it’s about and how it can completely transform their organization. It’s definitely a shift, but very exciting one for me. I’ve always been at the second stage where they already have seen some of the magic and they’re implementing it. I get to show them the magic, which is always been up and I’ve maybe missed out on. So I’ve been loving that. And yeah, you guys are keeping me extremely busy. There’s lots, lots of workspaces, opportunity. And I’ll be loving talking to customers, showing them all the different features. And then of course, they always laugh and again impressed with my Scottish accent. Good hand when I get that passionate about the tools.


Tony & Rowan [00:14:24] You know, when you get super passionate, you mean you can’t understand Arone anymore when he gets really passionate. Is exactly that. That’s okay. We’ll take it. You’ll sound like a Canadian probably soon enough, because even though it’s the environments, we’re going to be influential pretty soon.


Tony Safoian [00:14:43] But no, I love your accent and it wasn’t purposeful. Look, but I’m telling you. Yeah, we didn’t seek out to import somebody from Glasgow, North America, but that’s truly how rare that combination of skills and talent are that we’re just going to go in. And I’m so happy you’re willing and able to move to Toronto. And, yeah, we just got to we got to get the best talent wherever wherever they may reside.


Rowan Manson [00:15:08] It definitely it definitely feels like I’m totally perfect for what I should be doing and that like this is my mission in life to to convince as many organizations as possible that they need to use workspace. Yeah.


Tony Safoian [00:15:19] Yeah, I know that. And that team is growing on the delivery side. To Nikki Kelley, moronic are all hiring, sales, engineering, leadership, change management, adoption leadership, because you’re right, we are experiencing a groundswell of new opportunities. And I think it’s, again, testament to not only the roadmap, but, you know, when Diane Green arrived at Google Cloud, her main priority was getting GCP up to a level where it could go toe to toe with us and azure. And I think she largely accomplished the foundation of that. And of course, Turkey and Rob have taken it further, but. But there was a little bit of a pause, and I think we all felt the pause, there was a roadmap pause and evolution pause, a sales focused pause, but now it’s totally coming back around and it makes our lives easier, because if we have the full support of Google’s, you know, just power behind us, it’s it’s much easier to go out and execute. And I’m glad, as I expected and as I know that you’re feeling really, really busy. And I love for you having lots of conversations, which is so helpful to have lots of conversations. And in your in your engagements, what stands out as sort of what are people resistant to? Like if you get objections? Of even doing an evaluation, what are those objections sound like?


Rowan Manson [00:16:48] Sure, I think the majority, the vast majority of organization I’ve spoken to are feeling a little lost in the in the sea of different tools they can use and the different demands that are being placed on them by their employees, their teams. That needs I mean, after the work from home shift, the vast majority of organizations were not ready for that. And so they had to sort of go into emergency mode to an extent. I mean, the ones that aren’t using workspaces, of course, they had to go into an emergency mode, find tools immediately, like zoom back and you know, about unless you call this the luxury seismologically, which I love. So you’re going to be proud of me for being tough on you. So what I see very often is organizations not really knowing what their strategy is, not really understanding tools. So I think there’s a big lack of education. And as a result, there’s this massive sassed, luxury tools that are being used to really make sense from a security standpoint, cost standpoint or strategic, as much better to go with a provider like workspace which can cover a full breadth of tools they need. So this is one of the biggest things that we see.


Tony Safoian [00:17:57] That’s an important one I want to dig into and I want to talk about a couple other objections or ask you about them. But I definitely have seen this actually even leading up to the pandemic. But but it’s definitely accelerated, which has been this sprawl. It was just a buying spree of like, oh, my God, I have to send hundreds or thousands of people home. I don’t have anything. I need VPNs and this and that. None of that’s going to work. I’m going to buy everything. I’m going to buy a digital whiteboard app. I’m going to buy a tat. I’m going to buy a video conferencing. I’m going to buy file management sharing app. And it was like not not only a logistical nightmare, but I think a security risk and all these other things that we talk about. So I do sort of press the Google leadership on this topic of – where are we going to lean, in our view, are we going to say, yes, workspace is the best for integrating with all those tools, which it’s very good at, arguably better than the alternatives, at integrating with other SaaS solutions? Or are we going to say workspace can replace a bunch of those SaaS solutions? So what what is what is the what is a company like that that’s gone through that? What do they resonate with more?


Rowan Manson [00:19:26] Well, I think once we explain the strategy of Google and Workspace and they try and build the core tools and capabilities that every organization is going to need, and then they allow for and encourage and promote an ecosystem of third party tools that are more specific. And we can, of course, debate what falls into the category of third party and what falls into core. I understand that, but I think the strategy in general there is solid and I think Google has delivered on that. They offer, you know, the portals of of email through Gmail chat, instant messaging meet. I agree that perhaps these tools before the big development wave last year were maybe a little more primitive than some of the other offerings. But know once they’ve developed and broadened the features for me and I think these tools are the core tools and functions that an organization needs. And so I would suggest that they can be a replacement for all of the the core capabilities. And then you can look at third party tools to integrate within for more specific types of needs. And I think that’s a strategy that makes a lot of sense security wise, cost wise ease of management. It makes a ton of sense.


Tony Safoian [00:20:34] You articulated that really, really well, actually, probably better than I’ve heard Googler’s articulate the strategy. It’s yeah, that is very well put. That is very well put. And look, I think there is going to be a little bit of a reckoning and we start to have seen already, which is like the sprawl was great. But boy, is it really it’s expensive. Like, why am I spending more on one tool than what all of workspace costs per user per month like? That doesn’t sound sustainable from an IT budget management standpoint.


Rowan Manson [00:21:16] Totally agree, totally agree. And Workspace has much more capabilities and I think the general business population believes it has all of those core tools I mentioned for communication and collaboration. But there’s all sorts of other tools and capabilities, like the admin console, having parts of mobile device management, roam device management windows, my device management. They have things like beyond corp that they’re working on ways that you can integrate your entire security set up, even tools that aren’t included in workspace or Google cloud.


Tony Safoian [00:21:48] Part of the process that we like to go through with customers is doing that sort of a capability, but also cost comparison and analysis, because, you know, the buyers and the decision makers of a workspace project are many parts of the executive team. It’s not literally just the CIO decisions, not a just the CEO decision. It’s not the CFO likely needs to be on board. So I think when you stack all those reasons together, I think it becomes clear, like just the financial impact of not only the core tools, but the ability then to use Chrome, for example, right?, which cuts down not only the initial purchase price of hardware. Let’s assume that that’s maybe let’s assume that that’s the same, which is not to say that, but the ongoing management of Chrome becomes nothing. So it has like a domino effect of like, OK, now our security posture can be like this. Now our device strategy can be like this has these downstream effects that I think, again, unless we educate the market, they’re not clearly fully aware of.


Rowan Manson [00:23:02] Yeah, totally agree. There’s so many hidden costs that aren’t necessarily, you know, the direct license comparison or hardware comparison, the initial cost, far hidden benefits that you don’t realize, like the fact that security is so much stronger means that you have less risk of being hacked. And that’s a costly activity to have to to resolve. Yeah, yeah. It’s just not a thing in Google Drive, the Docs, Sheets. It’s not possible to get all of these capabilities like mobile management, device management, context aware access where you can set different rules and policies based on behavior and the context of heavy users trying to access data. All of these capabilities on one admin console under one package. And this is I think people are definitely not game, which is a great opportunity for us to educate them on how we can find great success.


Tony Safoian [00:23:53] On that on the security front. Now, I can talk about it because the story is finally public. But I also love that our Sony Imageworks story came out and then Javier had Sony Imageworks in his product announcement. Again, that was like SADA customer for the win. But the story goes that during, you know, Sony Imageworks, been a customer for a long time, during the Sony hack, Imageworks was the only part of Sony that was still running. And the only reason that we’re still running is because they were on Google Workspace. I mean, this is a story that we haven’t been able to tell. But I mean, in Sony, larger Sony, they were like everything was down and they had to replace machines. And all the stuff in Imageworks is like. Do you want us to set you up with accounts here? Yes, we’re not affected and that is like such a big deal because those threats are just accelerating. They’re not slowing down , right?. They’re getting more sophisticated. They’re not slowing down. So I think the overall security posture of an integrated set up like this that’s so thin on the on the on the endpoint is just undervalued in some cases.


Rowan Manson [00:25:05] Totally agree. Totally agree. And Google have always been a leader in this. I think they’re being even more so now in terms of the protections they offer, like safety features within Gmail that warn you for all kinds of suspicious messages. So some layer between the spam filter that already catches 99.9% Of the emails which are malicious, to then warn the user enough visually that they should check and be careful of an email, these kind of things that no one else is doing that the individual and I think are fantastic.


Tony Safoian [00:25:34] Yeah. And it’s just built then you don’t have to turn it on. Like those things just come by default. Let’s talk about I mean, there’s so much by the way, I feel like you can write ten different blog posts about just yesterday. So let’s try to highlight. The three or four most impactful.


Rowan Manson [00:25:57] Yeah, for sure. Well, that is a very difficult challenge, as you say, because that the amount of things that they announced and the breadth of the things that they announced across many of the different tools made different concepts, I think is amazing. One thing that I want to highlight straight away that I think they’re working on, and I think this is one of the things that we were just discussing and the way that Google are leading the path around culture and how work should be handled. I love the concept they’re working towards called, they are calling it “collaboration equity.” So the idea that all of the people across an organization have equal opportunity to contribute, collaborate, communicate with others by providing the same tools and features to everyone. And it also it’s not just everyone. It doesn’t matter what device you’re using or what location you’re in. Google are trying to work towards everyone having the same capabilities. I think this is a fantastic mission. I think Google are very well set and in place to do it. And clearly they’re showing that they are putting it in place through some of these features are there are coming into play, which is great. I love that.


Tony Safoian [00:27:05] Which features contribute to that vision the most?


Rowan Manson [00:27:09] Well, I would say the fact that even throughout there that this isn’t actually a new feature thing, but just to touch on a quickly, I think is so important, even though Google have different tiers of workspaces or different packages that they offer all of the core tools and most of the core capabilities are including all of the packages. Some of the things which are in the higher tiers are more security and admin related or higher tiers of some of the meat features are more sort of powerful capabilities. But all of the core capabilities are including all of the packages. And I love that that’s Google’s approach because I think it talks to that collaborative, collaboration equity very much. But some of the amazing tools, let’s see, I think that some of the Google Meet features that are coming in are definitely going to talk to that. So the fact that you’re able to we have hand raising in and Google meet calls, which is great. But now we’re going to have emoji reactions, which I love. Some people on my LinkedIn posts are questioning whether they would want emoji reactions, thumbs up, small parts and…


Tony Safoian [00:28:15] Rowan going to speak only in emojis moving forward.


Rowan Manson [00:28:18] Exactly. I love that. No, I think I think there’s despite the sort of lighthearted nature of it, perhaps that it’s emojis, I think the fact that it allows you to interact more and we all have the problem of the meeting that goes on too long where you’re not really able to speak on the difficulty of interrupting the verbal flow. I think having that ability is really helpful.


Tony Safoian [00:28:41] Yeah, you know what I really like? I like the accessibility features and I’m just categorizing them as such. I don’t know what it is technically, but anything around transcription, multilingual, it’s so great from an inclusiveness standpoint. And again, Google has the most powerful AI to be able to do that. Right. I love pulling in collaborators into a video conversation. Look, even without that. I don’t even imagine how we would run SADA over the last 15 years, all the documentation, all the SOWs, all the RFPs, all the things that required 20, 30 people sometimes to go through and to produce quickly. But imagine getting through a complex question or challenge or decision by being in a dock, starting a video, having the right live conversation. So you’re not just commenting back and forth. You are handling three weeks of back and forth in a 20-minute conversation. That’s just so powerful because efficiency is just so key, especially in a multimode hybrid world, right?, like, imagine that.


Rowan Manson [00:29:53] Totally agree and some of the other features that I’m very excited about are how Google are integrating these collaboration capabilities even more so we’re not even going to have to leave Gmail to be able to create a doc within a chat room and start collaborating on it. We could be in an email, see a trigger for wanting to start a project or a file or task. And we could do all that within the Gmail interface on web or on the mobile. This is amazing. Yeah, this exactly the stuff that we’re talking about. That and also the capability when you’re already working, maybe you’re on the meet call and you have a document that you’re collaborating on to be able to pull that into the cold seamlessly in one click. This is also some of these things, which is just going to make it so much easier to collaborate and encourage people to do this much more, which I love.


Tony Safoian [00:30:41] I also really like the again, the work life harmony features, let’s call them.


Rowan Manson [00:30:47] Yes.


Tony Safoian [00:30:47] Recurring out-of-office, working out or multiple sections per day like this is going to be our reality. I’m working at six to 10 and then I got to take two hours to do something with the kids and then I’ll be back for four hours and I’m going to get like this is going to be normal and it’s going to be like a productivity suite that’s ready for any predicament. That’s where any work style is going to be supported. Location and availability indicators. Is that like that’s not always a location is always something we’re able to broadcast that is important for context, time zone and other considerations. , right?, want to be polite.


Rowan Manson [00:31:30] Yeah, I think capabilities that Google are working on around the status indicator are superb. I think this is one of the biggest problems we have, being able to segment our time properly. No show people when we’re available to collaborate or communicate with them. So for example, being indicated when someone’s in a meet call or they’re doing their focus time, this is fantastic. This is groundbreaking. It’s going to help people get interrupted, less expectations better and achieve more.


Tony Safoian [00:31:59] Being chatted while you’re in a meeting. It’s not only a Pavlovian response of wanting to know, but you also just want to be, you want to seem responsive. But if someone understands like, hey. You’re trying to be attentive that I think and for that to occur automatically, so you’re not even manually changing your status, I think is so powerful, such a great way to use the data that exists in the singular, singular platform, like, of course, the system, not when you’re in a meeting.


Rowan Manson [00:32:31] Speaking of data, the user is also going to get a report of, next to their Google calendar, of their Worksace usage. And will Google are, are giving their little marker of, of culture, of how they want to lead the culture of work there is that the report is only visible to the user. It’s not like a manager has oversight. That’s I think this is a low mark of where people are saying we want to give the user information and let them make decisions, which makes sense for them. And I think that’s a very modern, good, effective approach to work.


Tony Safoian [00:33:06] For sure. I want to talk about, too, commercial and one educational things. One I love Essentials now, including Chat, Jamboard and Calendar.


Rowan Manson [00:33:17] Absolutely.


Tony Safoian [00:33:19] Nine months ago, when there was like this other idea of an Essential SKU, all of us who knew anything about the platform, were like, what do you mean you’re not going to include those things? And now it’s there, which is, again, workspace, not wall-to-wall email replacement for every organization. It’s fine. Start with a group, start with one department, whatever. And you don’t have to have a big ol IT project around mail routing and stuff like that if you want to activate that. I think it’s brilliant. Oh, one more. I have to say, having seen this demo at a Google office a while back, walking in and saying, hey, Google, start the meeting, uh, Google assistant integration, please. Look, it’s actually doing it. No, don’t do it. So I love that. Now, Google Assistant can be integrated on some devices with your work profile, not just your consumer profile.


Tony Safoian [00:34:18] Love that, science fiction, give me more. Less buttons I have to click the better and all things in life and then Google Meet, all the features for me. Rowan, tell me, why does anybody have to deploy and pay for Zoom. Why? Why, tell me!


[00:34:37] This is the thing. So Google Meet was always a fantastic product, very secure. And that’s one of the best advantages I’d say, against some of the other products and also something that doesn’t get talked about enough. ME is the simplest product for an end-user to use. There’s no extension to install, there’s no download software download required and works on any of the browsers. All you do is click the link and request to join. You even need to have a Google account to join the tool. So it was always great in that aspect. But some of the incredible stuff that’s coming, like I already mentioned, the emoji reactions, but I think there’s fantastic stuff that Google are doing around moderation and controlling what can be done. I think the education sector is going to love this stuff, like the the host from the integration with Google classroom that they’re building is fantastic. So call you generate in Classroom automatically adds teachers and hosts, teachers as hosts and students as participants. You have multiple hosts, per call, and the hosts have abilities to to control the other participants like mute all of the participants or control if they can share their screen and these abilities to sort of set the parameters of a Meet call perhaps in these more educational contexts. These are outstanding things that I think are going to be very, very helpful indeed.


Tony Safoian [00:35:53] Classroom has taken off like crazy along with Chrome Education. It’s really saved huge sections of the education endeavors of school districts, like they would not be able to do, go all remote with classroom. It’s really taken off and it was this product that was used sometimes, but now it’s like everybody’s adopted it because it costs almost nothing. And now with all these sort of enterprise class integrations with Meet and other things. Again, when my kid’s school rolled up Zoome last year, it was like a dagger in my heart. But I got it at the time. I got I was like, OK, I can’t mutty can’t I get it. Yes, go for it. But now it’s like between this and Jambord in classroom it’s like. Why am I paying for this other thing, and I think that that and it’s such a more seamless experience with Chromebooks and everything else, because I’ve tried to use them with a Chromebook. It’s not that good of an experience. Sometimes I get invited to those. And of course, the audit logs in the back are really quite phenomenal as well from the enterprise security standpoint of what’s actually going on in these meetings. Boy, that’s a lot, Rowan, that is, and we haven’t even touched on everything. Data location is another one, right?


Rowan Manson [00:37:12] Yeah, there’s tons. The audit log point is really important, actually, especially for the education sector. They have so many problems, so many. We saw the big news, of course, about Zoom bombing happening. I think that’s only one extreme example of a ton of different issues that educators have been facing when they suddenly have to do all learning over a Zoom or Meet call. So I think that’s really important. And there’s a great tool or feature within the investigation tool now that allows you to end call if there’s a problem so an admin can dive into a live scenario, and and, edit that, and which is fantastic. That’s that’s a great capability. So I love that they’re working on that sort of less user-facing more more boring maybe side of things, but very important and serious.


Tony Safoian [00:37:57] Yeah, no, I’m excited about it. My mission is going to be to get more of the Google stack adopted in my kid’s school because, you know, I think that’s where it starts. And then to be really empowered to talk with our customers, many with hundreds and hundreds of Workspace customers that have over the years also amassed a set of things that plug in. In some cases it makes sense. Maybe it’s a SADA, ok, Google is not going to build that, right?. But some of these things, I think our customer success team, account management team has never been in a better position to have a meaningful conversation of not only especially right now, saving money for customers, but also enhancing their security footprint and their identity strategy. And, you know, I think it’s just a great time to be at SADA doing this with Google in North America. I’m really excited that you’re here and we have lots of work ahead. And I think for me, what success looks like is a year from now, you are not just you. You are a team that supports sales, sales, engineering. And we continue to be the leading Workspace partner in America, if not the world. And I’m really loving all the attention that Workspace is getting within Google Cloud, not just the product roadmap stuff that Javier is doing, but everything else. I mean, it’s a super exciting time.


Rowan Manson [00:39:29] Yeah, I totally agree. Totally agree. Like I said, even organizations are using workspaces, as you alluded to. I don’t think they’re using it in the best way they can gain the most of it on largely and also these new features. They’re hard enough for us to keep up with as the geeks that, you know, stay on top of it. Never mind our customers that are doing their own thing. They need us to come in and help them use those capabilities. So I, Google, are accelerating and adding more and more functionality. We need to stay on top of that and help our customers make sure that we use that in the best way we get the most from it. And that’s a really exciting thing. Of course.


Tony Safoian [00:40:02] We’re all in for that. Ron, thank you so much for being my guest. I can’t wait for this episode to to be released. And now I’ll let you get back to all the different sellers are trying to pull you into these meetings to educate our our prospects and existing customers and all the capabilities of Workspace. Hey, our job is never done because the product evolves so much. And I’m really excited about what my express.


Rowan Manson [00:40:29] My pleasure. My pleasure. I love it. I must get back to the calls. I call this overwhelmed at this point.


Tony Safoian [00:40:37] Thank you so much.

Narrator [00:40:40] Thank you for listening to Cloud N Clear check the show notes for links to this week’s topics, and don’t forget to connect with us on Twitter at Cloud N Clear and our website, SADA.com. Be sure to wait and review the show on your favorite podcast app.

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