How do you and your colleagues share and discuss important information with one another? Face-to-face, email, Skype, newsletters, or a combination of different methods? Here at Webics, we use a messaging app, as we find this is the most efficient way to communicate instantly to those working both in the office and remotely. We’ve noticed that chat-based collaboration is becoming more widespread, an observation confirmed this week with the launch of Google’s Hangouts Chat app.

Google Hangouts Chat Features

Business Communication is an expanding market. There are already at least 20 team communication apps available with names like Slack, Microsoft Teams and HipChat well established in the market. Hangouts Chat works in the same way as these leading apps, allowing users to create groups or engage in private chats. What makes Hangout Chat unique is its ability to integrate with the G Suite platform – Docs, Drive and Calendar, for example – and its artificial intelligence features.

“No longer are chat rooms just for conversations…With feature-rich, intelligent bots, users can automate tasks, get critical information or do other heavy-lifting with a simple message.”

– Mike Sorvillo, product manager, Hangouts Chat and Wesley Chun, developer advocate for G Suite

For example, the bot @meet integrates directly with Google Calendar, scheduling meetings, events and appointments. Hangouts Chat can also hook into third-party applications. Currently, there are currently 25 such bots, including Jira, Zero and Trello, the challenge being for Google to encourage other businesses to create similar add-ons.

What Impact Will Hangouts Chat Have?

There’s no doubt that Google is late to the game when it comes to the business communication arena. We expect to see Google push the G Suite integration features to convince businesses that Hangouts Chat can help them streamline their workflow. Most other features are on par with existing apps. In fact, it’s hard to differentiate between the leading messaging apps on the market. Could the rate at which businesses adopt Hangouts Chat then depend on a clearly defined strategy and market knowledge? Vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, Alan Lepofsky, believes so. He stated that the challenge for Google to encourage adoption of its app is a cultural one, rather than a technical one.

“Similar to Google+, it’s not features that will drive adoption, but rather establishing a large and loyal customer base, then being able to get those customers to push usage to their external partners.”

So will Webics switch to Google Hangouts Chat? We’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, you can checkout all the features of Google Hangouts Chat here or get in touch with Webics to start you G Suite account.

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