Google® just announced that they have rebranded their G Suite™ productivity platform into Google Workspace™.
Google’s enterprise suite of email and productivity solutions has gone through several name changes before. It started effectively as Gmail and then, when it was expanded for commercial use, it became Google Apps, then Google Apps for Work, and most recently, recently, G Suite.
Now, it’s Google Workspace.
Why Change? Where Google is Going with Workspace
All of these name changes are continuing to point to Google’s ambitions with expanding the enterprise usage of their productivity suite. As a head-to-head competitor to Microsoft 365™, Workspace is continuing to expand into a number of different areas. Beyond hosted email, storage, and a suite of productivity applications such as Docs, Sheets, and presentation software.
In light of the shift to remote work due to COVID-19, Google built out their video conferencing capabilities with Meets, as well as their Chat and Rooms communication tools. Specifically for IT organizations, they’ve added a Business Plus plan, where you can pay for premium security and compliance tools along with the core Workspace offering.
Expect to see Google continuing to compete directly with Microsoft and add more capabilities.
Workspace and the Directory
Curiously, one area that Google hasn’t shown much interest in is directory services. The native Google Workspace directory is largely a contact database and not a core, authoritative identity provider. Google has created APIs and the Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) solution to connect to legacy directory services solutions such as Microsoft® Active Directory® and OpenLDAP™. They’ve also expanded their Google native identities through their Cloud Identity product to make it easier to have one identity for Google products as well as a select group of web applications.
Often, the challenge with this approach is that IT admins need to have a local, on-prem directory service while they place their productivity platform in the cloud leaving them with one foot on-prem and one in the cloud. Another challenge for IT admins that choose to not have an on-prem directory is that lack of completeness in managing user access to IT resources from Google’s Workspace Directory. For instance, how are systems, servers at AWS, WiFi access / VPNs, on-prem storage solutions, and more managed?
There is an alternative for IT admins. The JumpCloud Directory Platform tightly integrates with Google Workspace to manage user access. The third-party cloud directory service can provision, deprovision, and modify user access on the Workspace platform centrally from a web-based console. Further, Workspace credentials can be leveraged on devices, as well as Microsoft 365 accounts, AWS® cloud servers, cloud and on-prem application, and for WiFi authentication.
In short, JumpCloud is the perfect companion to Workspace and can serve as the core, cloud identity provider for an organization.
To learn more about what the Workspace rebrand means to you, drop us a note. Or, dig into how the JumpCloud platform works with Workspace by using the product yourself. Your first 10 users and devices in the product are free, and come with our premium security and compliance features and 10 days of 24×7 live chat implementation support at no additional cost.