Asia-Pacific has been the epicenter of global growth and ICT spending over the past decade, and it is not surprising that Google has invested heavily in the region by setting up several cloud regions over the past few years, including in Mumbai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tokyo, Osaka, and Sydney, with Jakarta and Seoul expected to go live soon. Along with the growth of Google's cloud regions, G Suite has gained significant traction in Asia, and there was no shortage of marquees on display at its recent Google Cloud Summit in Singapore. Below are some of the G Suite highlights discussed at the summit, and Ovum's views.
Earlier this year, Google raised the price of G Suite Basic from $5 to $6 per user/month, and G Suite Business Edition from $10 to $12 per user/month, which were the first rises in a decade and perhaps reflected a renewed enterprise focus. Yet, the modified packaging and prices do not seem to have lessoned adoption. G Suite now has 1.5 billion users across the world, passing 5 million paying business customers, up from 4 million one year ago. Despite strong growth momentum, Google did not reveal its subscriber numbers by region. What is clear, however, is that Google is making a big effort in the region to empower teams "to work faster, smarter, and more collaboratively." These are also the three pillars that Google advises are guiding its product strategy for G Suite.
Initially a popular choice for smaller businesses, G Suite is now increasingly being deployed at large enterprises in Asia such as AirAsia, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Globe, MyRepublic, Woolworths, GoJeK, Zalora, Shopee, and Tokopedia. Office workers' staple tools that originated as consumer variants are all here: Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive, complemented by Hangouts, Cloud Search, Drive Enterprise, and App Maker.
There were no major product announcements at the summit, but with a series of enhancements centered around AI, security, and integration features, it is clear that Google wants to have an impact on the user experience, especially on how individuals and teams get work done. Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), an innovative company that has expanded its portfolio beyond newspaper roots to include magazines, radio stations, and online portals, demonstrated its transformation at the Google Cloud Summit. The company successfully migrated 4,000 users to G Suite over six months, and has substantially increased their efficiency and collaboration, and optimized their working culture. By integrating Google Analytics 360 via BigQuery, SPH has managed to optimize content and ad strategy with data-informed decisions by tracking reader behavior such as page views on trending stories, engagement metrics including return visits and time spent, and conversion rates. In the meantime, G Suite enables SPH's mobile staff to get secure remote access to email and company data, and set up face-to-face interactions with staff elsewhere and overseas partners.
With the range of G Suite capability enhancements, Ovum believes G Suite has made good progress with its plans in the region and is now in the game in terms of improving the way that people work, particularly those powered by AI functionality. G Suite's simplicity and competitive pricing will continue to appeal to many businesses.
"Google announces a range of G Suite enhancements introduced to help employees work smarter," ENS001-000035 (August 2018)
Putting Google's Technology to Work in Large Enterprises, ENS002-000080 (June 2019)
Hwee-Xian Tan, Senior Analyst, Workspace Services