Google is running its playbook again of releasing big new products (or redesigns) to its average users and then moving what works over to its enterprise services, G Suite, today by making the Gmail redesign generally available to G Suite customers.
Gmail’s redesign launched for consumers in April earlier this year, including new features like self-destructing messages, email snoozing and other new features in addition to a little bit of a new look for the service that has more than 1 billion users. All those services are useful for consumers, but they might actually have more palatable use cases within larger companies that have to have constant communication with anywhere from a few to thousands of employees. Email hell is a common complaint for, well, basically every single user on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or anywhere else people can speak publicly to any kind of network, and any attempts to tackle that — that work, at least — could have pretty substantial ramifications.
Google is directly competing with other enterprise mail services, especially as it looks to make G Suite a go-to set of enterprise tools for larger companies. It’s a nice, consistent business that can grow methodically, which is a kind of revenue stream that Wall Street loves and can cover the potential trip-ups in other divisions. Google has also made a big push in its cloud efforts, especially on the server front with its competitors for Microsoft and Azure — which doesn’t make it that surprising that Google is announcing this at what is effectively its cloud conference, Google Cloud Next 2018 in San Francisco.
The new Gmail uses machine learning to find threat indicators across a huge bucket of messages to tackle some of the lowest-hanging fruit, like potential phishing attacks, that could compromise a company’s security and potentially cost millions of dollars. Google says those tools protect users from almost 10 million spam and malicious emails every minute, and the new update also gives G Suite users access to those security features, as well as offline access and the redesigned security warnings that Google included in its consumer-focused redesign.
Whether companies will adopt this redesign — or at least what rate they will — remains to be seen, as even small tweaks to any kind of software that has a massive amount of engagement can potentially interrupt the workflow of users. We’ve seen that happen before with Facebook users losing it over small changes to News Feed, and while enterprise Gmail is definitely a different category, Google has to take care to ensure that those small changes don’t interrupt the everyday use cases for enterprise users. If companies are going to pay Google for something like this, they have to get it right.