What’s new with Google Chat

VAMSEE JASTI: Thanks, everyone, for joining us today, especially on the last day of the conference. Being the first talk, you really are the dedicated ones.
So I really appreciate you being here. My name is Vamsee Jasti. I’m the Product Director for Google Chat and Google.
Groups. I’m joined today by Rachit and Antin, who are my friends, and colleagues, and partners
in crime for Google Chat and Google Groups. Over the next 30 minutes, we’re going
to share with you what we’ve been up to for the last year. And then, we’ll be joined on stage by our customers
to talk a little bit about Chat and their experience using the new features.
Businesses need a messaging and collaboration platform that’s designed to keep up with the pace of business today.
So when we set out to rebuild Chat about a year ago, we asked ourselves, what do businesses need?
We believe it’s four things. The first is a modern messaging platform
that can keep up with the volume of incoming communication, second, reach team collaboration for hybrid, frontline,
in-person meetings and discussions for teams of all sizes, a platform that’s
safe and secure, and finally, something that’s deeply integrated with the tools
that you already use today. Before we could be ready for the future,
we had to make sure that we could nail the basics. So the past year or so, our team has been steadily shipping
a bunch of features to keep up and catch up to all the gaps in the product, big features
like custom emojis to delighters like being able to find and mark unread your messages
so you can get back to them later. And we’ve seen a great response. Jason from Vendasta says, “We’ve evaluated
Google Chat every year for the past five years. This year, a combination of an $80k bill
from a competitor and Google shipping everything we needed in Chat motivated us to make the switch.”
We’ll talk to Jason a little bit later in the panel as well.
Today, we’re announcing more than 40 new features. That is a major step towards accomplishing
our mission, which is to take– make Chat the very best communication platform for teams to connect,
collaborate, and create. Before we jump into specific features, let me show you a 90-second clip that
shows you where chat is headed. [VIDEO PLAYBACK]
[END PLAYBACK] [APPLAUSE] VAMSEE JASTI: We can’t wait for you to try these features out.
And as you follow along today, you will see in each of the slides where the features are presented and dates associated with them.
And almost all of them are shipping later this year.
OK, so let’s start with messaging. Messaging is fundamental to teamwork for both real-time
and anywhere collaboration. Users have a lot to keep up with throughout their days.
So we are using Google’s history of deploying practical AI features and applications to help
you get things done. First up, we’re bringing Duet AI right
into your conversations in Chat as a real-time partner in collaboration. What you see here is a one-to-one collaboration
with Duet AI, where you can ask to generate document summaries, because it has access to all of your Drive information
and Gmail information. So you can even ask it about projects that you may be working on, questions you’re not clear.
Duet AI will also be available as part of all group messages and as part of every single space.
As a real-time, helpful, collaborating teammate, you might be even able to ask things
that you might want to catch up with after you’ve been away from your desk for a few minutes.
Google is a search company. And I will admit that, historically, we’ve
been missing the mark with how search works inside of Chat. So we decided to rebuild Chat from the ground up, especially
from a search lens, features that help with proactive assistance as you type autocomplete, synonyms, did-you-mean, and spell checks.
We’ve also introduced AI-based ranking in the results. So instead of just showing you results
that include the keywords, we actually also show you results based on what you actually meant.
Search Results page has also been revamped to start to serve its snippets so that we can pack
more number of results with the same amount of real estate, but also highlighting snippets to help you easily
find the thing that you’re looking for. AI-powered composition– to take the tediousness
away from typing messages, we’re using Smart Compose and Autocorrect in addition to bringing
smart replies everywhere there’s a Compose box inside of Chat.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting very tired and it’s frustrating to keep up with all the incoming messages
with all the other work that I’m doing. So we’re introducing Home.
Home is a home– a new view to help you stay on top of all of your messages,
what aggregates every single incoming message in a single place. Early next year, Home will also prioritize messages for you
based on hundreds of signals, for example, who sent the message or maybe even the space
that the message is happening within. And it keeps getting better the more you end up using it.
Next up is shortcuts. Shortcuts is a new framework to help you stay on top of your messages.
Want to be able to see all of your messages where you add mention? Simply click on the Add Mention shortcut.
It’ll start to show you every single place across Chat that you’ve been mentioned across DMs, GDMs, and spaces.
Starred is a new construct that allows you to get back to messages later. So every single message inside of Chat
now has the ability to get starred. And then when you have a few moments, you get back to your desk, go to the Starred shortcut.
And now you’ve seen all of your messages that you need to be able to get back to. In the future, we plan to add more shortcuts
to help you really stay on top of Chat. As we’ve added these incredible AI-powered features,
we’ve continued to make Chat better at the basics. The rollout of features has continued throughout this year.
And we’re really excited to finally nail all the basics that you depend on a Chat application for, things like message linking, custom hyperlinks,
or automatic decluttering, where we will automatically take any of the messages and conversations
that you haven’t been part of in the recent past and move them away from you, ensuring your message stream is
decluttered. My personal favorite is muting, where I can use it to mute a social space so that I
can pay attention to the things that are most important to me that I need to get worked on right now. But when I have a moment, I’m able to find also
the spaces that don’t always end up bumping up to the top of the message stream.
For this next section, let me invite Rachit over to tell you all about collaboration in Chat.
RACHIT AGGARWAL: Thank you, Vamsee. I’m excited to chat about team collaboration
in Chat, as Vamsee showed the video in which Chat is the place where team work gets done.
Now, when it comes to team collaboration, spaces are very effective tools of helping
users get various types of tasks done, whether it’s active collaboration in the moment or it’s project
planning, which is a little bit more long-term, sharing important news with the organization,
or even handling urgent situations, as Mitch, who is one of our customers,
you’ll hear from him a little bit later, has shared how teams at Colgate use spaces.
Spaces are used throughout the organization for teams to coordinate and share information or manage
developing situations. Today, we are upgrading spaces with a lot
of useful functionalities, which will make it a place for teams to get their best work done.
Starting with the first one, a few weeks ago, we announced that we are increasing the space membership
from 8,000 members to 50,000 members. Today, we are announcing even further increase
by 10x, which means spaces will now be able to host 500,000 members in them.
This removes any barrier of communication and collaboration across largest of our organizations.
So you could basically host the entire company in a single space and use that effectively to communicate.
Earlier this year, we also launched broadcast-only spaces.
Broadcast-only spaces are used by leaders to communicate important news, updates, or information
with their respective teams. This week, we are making broadcast-only spaces even more
useful. Now, users can respond to those updates in-line.
This will keep the space organized, but provide an opportunity to build a culture in the organization through reactions,
through inline responses for important updates. Besides that, we are also adding quick analytics
called message views. That will help you understand as a leader how many users have read that particular post.
And that’s all going to happen in real-time.
This is a big one. We are bringing huddles to Google Chat. Many times, when you are chatting with your teammates
on solving problems, building a plan, you want to switch quickly to an ad hoc get-together
over a video call. Now we are providing this ability
to start a huddle from within a space through a single click action so that you can basically have
active collaboration with your colleagues without switching out of Chat. This can also be used for all-day drop-in meetings, where
you can catch up with what’s happening right now at the time that you are comfortable.
In hybrid world, this is a superpower. Because now if two of your colleagues are working remotely while the rest of the team
is in one particular location, you can use these all-day drop-in meetings to collaborate together.
This is a feature that a lot of customers have asked us. Chat is evolving from a text-based communication app
to something that supports multimedia modalities as well. So if you have a lot to say, but you don’t have enough time,
send an audio snippet. Continuing this firepower of updates that we are bringing
to spaces for all of you, we also understand that customers use multi-environment–
multi-platform environments across their teams. So we have partnered with MEO to basically bring
message-level interoperability with other communication platforms, like Slack, Teams, et cetera.
This is available in beta as of yesterday and will be available for general usage early next year.
Now, while collaboration happens a lot in spaces,
nowadays, integration and apps are essential part of how work gets done.
So we are going to share a bunch of updates, which help not only teams make it easy to find new applications,
but also to build them with AI-powered no-code development.
This is exciting. With the new Duet AI in AppSheet, users can now use simple conversational
prompts to build an app and deploy on web and mobile seamlessly.
And guess what? No code needs to be written to build this app.
Chat is already filled with many third-party integrations, like GitHub, Jira, Asana, PagerDuty,
which basically helps through various workflows during the day. We are excited to announce that really, really useful apps,
like Workday, Zoho, LumApps are also coming to chat.
With this, we are also making it– [APPLAUSE]
With this, we are also making it easy to access these apps by introducing a dedicated app section in the message roster.
Now, when a team needs a particular app,
they have to find it. And now we are bringing all chat apps to Workspace Marketplace, which will make it very easy to find
apps that work with Chat. At the same time, a user would be able to browse Workspace Marketplace from within Chat
and then, through some easy, simple clicks, would be able to install the app in the Chat app.
I’m guessing most of you, if you’re using Workspace,
already use the Google Drive app. This is very popular app amongst our users,
as it helps users to get notified about access requests, comments in their documents.
We are updating this app to bring two new powerful functionalities, in which you
can actually respond to those comments from this app itself. And at the same time, you can add
mention your teammates, whose attention is needed for that particular discussion.
This would help users get more of their work done in Chat.
We really hope that with all these updates to spaces, apps– and then my colleague, Antin, who’s
just about to come on the stage, will talk about integrations– we have really created a great place for best of the teamwork
to get done in Chat. With that, I’ll hand over to Antin. [APPLAUSE]
ANTIN HARASYMIV: Hi, everyone.
Thanks, Rachit. All right, we’ll see if I know how to drive this. I’m here to talk about Chat as the center
of the Workspace for where collaboration happens across the board. I’ll start with a quote from Rhys,
who’s going to be joining for the panel later. And he says, “One of the strengths of chat is integration with Workspace.
Being able to assign tasks to space members that appear in their Google Calendar with a deadline reminder,
launching a quick call within Google Meet, and receiving the Drive notifications in Chat
to reduce email clutter are all great examples of ways that Chat allows us to focus our energy
on being more productive.” My personal favorite is just before and just after a meeting, Chat actually prompts you with a chat message
right in the product to allow you to talk to all of the people who are going to be in that meeting.
Today, we’re excited to share many of the new features that are building in Chat and are extending
this integrated approach. Google Groups is already something
that many companies use. And it’s a real staple for how you manage teams and collaboration organization.
By popular demand, we’re going to be adding support in Google Chat. And so you can sync any space with the Google group.
And as people are added and removed from that group, they’ll automatically be added and removed for the space as well. They’ll just be one way.
This is just the first step. We’re going to add a lot more things that will link more to the space and help all the team collaboration
happen in one spot. For those of you who are heavy docs users and have been using Smart Canvas,
you’re probably really appreciating how it’s transformed docs, sheets, and slides.
We’re excited to bring the same functionality into Chat. So just like you can add mention any person,
you’ll be able to easily refer to any of your files within Workspace. And they’re going to get upgraded with a better treatment and an easier way to see them in Chat.
For admins, Workspace admins already have a unified console,
where they’re able to manage everything in one spot. Some of the things we’ve added this year are better tools to manage spaces, better ways
to have visibility into the conversations, bulk delete inactive spaces, and just generally manage how Chat
is used in their organization. As we’re continuing to support larger and larger groups,
like 500,000 people, it’s more important than ever to have the ability for community managers
to moderate where things are. We’re adding more capabilities within Chat
for users to report potentially offensive or inappropriate
content. And then, the moderators will be able to manage that themselves.
Similarly, as part of all Workspace, Chat users enjoy the same built-in protections that
keep Workspace safe and secure. Whether that’s zero trust security
model, the real-time data loss protection, or the general phishing and malware protections,
it’s automatically available in Chat. That was just a peek of some of the 40 features
that we’ve been– we launched more than that this year. But those are the ones we’ve talked about today.
And with that, we’re continuing our journey to make Chat the best place for people
to connect, collaborate, and create. With that, I’ll bring Vamsee back.
And I think he’s going to introduce the panel. [APPLAUSE]
VAMSEE JASTI: Yeah, so next, now let’s hear from our customers. Pleased to welcome Rhys, Change and Adoption
Leader for the Digital Workspace at Airbus, Mitch Cohen, Director of Collaboration at Colgate,
and Jason Coutu, Czar of IT at Vendasta. [APPLAUSE]
Thank you, Rhys, Mitch, and Jason for joining us.
We really appreciate you being here. So, Rhys, can you start us off by helping us
know where Chat has the most impact in your organization. RHYS PHILLIPS: Yeah, Chat is something
that at Airbus is something we didn’t have before we moved to Google Workspace.
We didn’t have any enterprise tool for Chat. We had a softphone tool, which had
some instant messaging capabilities, but nothing more than that. And it’s really had a huge impact
on changing the way we work at Airbus, particularly changing the way that we collaborate. So bringing some of those conversations that
used to be an email directly into Chat, that speeds things up. And there’s also some conversations which
just don’t work with email. The asynchronous approach works for some types of conversations
and not others. So those typical fast-paced conversations, where several people reply at the same time and the responses
get crossed over in email, you don’t get that issue in Chat. So this is a big help for us, I think.
Something else that I really appreciate about Chat is the way that you can use it from any device.
We could do that via email as well, of course. But I think we’ve got a culture of people being used
to using Chat and instant messaging apps in their personal life. And therefore, more and more, they’re
comfortable doing this in their professional life. So this is changing things. And a big benefit for us is the way
that it’s actually allowing us to bring people together. So Airbus is a company that makes
pretty innovative products. We make things that fly, planes, helicopters, satellites, rockets. And that means we’ve got a lot of smart people.
And the thing with smart people is that they often have lots of other skills, and talents, and interests outside of what we’ve employed them to do.
And so you might have a community at Airbus of, say, Python coders. But that might be people in finance, in HR, in engineering.
They might not be in a team together. And they might not be able to find each other. But they benefit from finding each other.
So what Google Chat is allowing us to do now, particularly with the ability to browse public spaces and just
self-join a space, it’s empowering our users to build communities, find each other, and come together for the greater good of Airbus.
And just to give some statistics, we’ve got more than seven million chat conversations at Airbus.
That’s a mix of one-to-one messages, group chats, and spaces created over the last five years,
around 200,000 people. So we can really see that it’s being adopted quite heavily.
VAMSEE JASTI: Mitch, what about at Colgate? MITCH COHEN: So Chat’s really become a critical one on– tool
for us. It’s used one-on-one. It’s used in groups. We have a very long history of actually having a chat application and people chatting one-on-one.
But I think it’s really the groups and the spaces that is really taking Chat and making it even more impactful for us.
We see a lot of teams have built spaces for themselves. A lot of hybrid groups, like Rhys mentioned,
have created spaces for themselves. The ease and ability to say, I’m chatting,
we’re not getting through, let’s jump into a meeting, just one click right into Meet from there. And then, we’re starting to see other use
cases for Chat emerge. So we have a group that had a big offsite meeting. They used to develop an application separate
for– to run the meeting. They said, oh, with Chat, with Drive integration, file integration, Chat, tasks, we
can do that all right in Chat. So they built a space and managed their meeting right there. And then the broadcast spaces, we’re starting to use them now.
And we think that will be a big part of our communication strategy. And then, I think beyond all the work that gets done,
we see a lot of team building. We see a lot of celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries,
accomplishments, families being shared in Chat spaces that just get people to know each other better and be friends.
And it helps get work done as well. VAMSEE JASTI: Jason? JASON COUTU: Yeah, for us, the big thing
is that rich integration we have between Chat and our calendars. As Rhys mentioned, and I think Antin mentioned,
that dynamic chat that starts up just before a meeting is
scheduled, or even right in calendar, the ability to click on your calendar event and say,
I need to do a chat with everybody who’s coming up to this calendar event. It’s meant that the discussions before and after the meetings
don’t miss important people from the meeting. Sharing documents, all of that intense collaboration,
we’re not missing anybody. And there’s none of those, oh, we forgot you when
we did the distribution list. Here’s all the stuff. You’re just not missing anybody.
It’s amazing. Yeah, it’s– VAMSEE JASTI: Yep. JASON COUTU: That integration, it’s been excellent.
VAMSEE JASTI: Yep. Thanks for sharing that, Jason. So we really love to hear how chat can bring the best of Workspace together to our users
with such seamless integration. So we’ve announced over 40 plus features today.
Which one of these are your favorites? Jason, why don’t we start with you? JASON COUTU: Well, it’s been an amazing week.
And I think my answer is going to change since the last time you asked me this. VAMSEE JASTI: [LAUGHS]
JASON COUTU: The Duet integration, the no-code apps, the ability to build custom apps for our individual business
cases right into Chat, where we already have everybody interacting, that has inspired our development
groups. That’s what they’re really excited about right now. But for me, I’m an administrator at heart.
The two-way sync with Google Groups, it’s really going to be powerful for us. VAMSEE JASTI: That’s great to hear.
Mitch? MITCH COHEN: So pick up right where Jason left off. And the group sync, everything’s in groups.
Every team has a group. We have distribution lists. That’s going to be a huge help in getting people in and being
able to spin up spaces more easily for targeted audience. Love the idea of how you’re redesigning the Chat app.
I think so much traffic goes into Chat these days, giving people the ability to more quickly see,
what needs their attention? Who’s waiting on a response? Where have they been mentioned? I think that’s really just going to help people come in,
focus, and keep things moving at work. I think I mentioned this earlier already,
but the large moderated Chat spaces and all the improvements there, I think that really just becomes part of our communication strategy.
And my personal favorite, the Drive app. Love that you’re updating it. It is great for–
until now, being able to use it. People ask for access to a document, you could be walking down the streets of San Francisco
and, one click, give them that access and not have to be at your desk. And extending that into commenting
and into other features is just going to make it that much more powerful. And I love it.
VAMSEE JASTI: I use the Drive app every minute, pretty much, literally. What about you, Rhys? What do you think people at Airbus
are going to love about the new update? RHYS PHILLIPS: Well, just as a side, I don’t have any emails coming from Google Drive anymore.
I mean, I only use the Drive app. And I’m someone who– I’m not someone who is able to control my inbox.
So having the Drive app is super useful. Yeah, well, let’s complete the holy trinity.
I’m going to also talk about Google Groups synchronization. VAMSEE JASTI: [LAUGHS] RHYS PHILLIPS: And I promise we weren’t paid to say that.
But I know that– oh, you were? VAMSEE JASTI: [LAUGHS] RHYS PHILLIPS: I’ll follow up on that. VAMSEE JASTI: [LAUGHS] We’ll take care of it.
RHYS PHILLIPS: But I know that those are your two products family. So you have some stake there.
But honestly, it’s been a bit painful for us. We heavily rely on Google Groups for managing access to shared
drives and shared calendars. And it’s had so much potential to just say, oh, a new team member joins.
You add them to the group. They have everything. But they still had an extra step to join the Chat space. And when they left the team, you had to manually remove them
from the Chat space. So having this fixed finally is something I think we’re very happy about.
The admin space also, but I’m not a system administrator. So actually, my interest there for the Admin Console part
is actually around KPIs. So I’m responsible for change and adoption. And so I’m interested in actually
being able to pull data about the adoption of our Chat spaces. And at the moment, we can do that
by pulling some information out of the BigQuery logs. Having something a bit more centralized in the Admin Console is going to make that a lot easier for us.
The Smart Home feed, many of us at Airbus fully embrace Chat.
And there are some of us who would quite happily ditch email and just use Chat. But there are some people who struggle a bit
and find that there’s too many messages, too many notifications, too many spaces. They don’t know where to start.
Someone came to me the other day. And they had 12 spaces and said, I’ve got so many spaces. And 12 is too many?
So not everyone sees it in the same way. VAMSEE JASTI: [LAUGHS] RHYS PHILLIPS: And I think having the Smart Home feed that you’ve announced this morning
is going to really help that, having an inbox for Chat, which is a parallel to what they’re more used to
in the email world. I think that’s really going to help. And I guess I have to finish by mentioning huddles,
which I think is something that’s going to be super useful. We already see that the Meet Calling feature has been very
useful since it was launched. And it’s an equivalent in a group environment, having that option to just jump into a meeting
without having to leave the Chat space. I can really see that our users are going to find this really helpful
in their day-to-day work. VAMSEE JASTI: Rhys, Mitch, and Jason, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate you being here.
It’s a pleasure talking to you here. [APPLAUSE]
So as we’re getting closer to the end, if we– I think we have a couple of minutes. So please do line up and see if you have any questions.
If you don’t, we’re going to be hanging around here after the session. Please come talk to us as well.
So how can teams get started with Chat? We’ve been hearing from customers how painful it
is to be able to use a number of different point solutions to get their work done. So we’re thrilled to be able to offer
Chat at no additional cost to Workspace customers and save some meaningful costs, especially in this economy.
If you have Workspace, you have Google Chat. Head over on to Gmail to check out Chat.
Or you can also use it stand alone at chat.google.com. Or you can also download the application
to have it used directly inside of your desktop. If you don’t have Chat turned on for your Workspace,
please talk to your administrator. [LAUGHTER] If you’re– it’s in the minority.
If you’re not a Workspace customer yet, visit workspace.google.com for a 14-day trial.
We’re partnering with partnering with CloudFuze to help customers migrate their data from other chat
applications to Google Chat. And finally, thanks a lot again for coming here.
We hope you’ve had a great time at Next. [MUSIC PLAYING]

5/5 - (2 votes)