Google Takes On Microsoft With Voice, Video Upgrades

Google Cloud is working on major improvements to its G Suite productivity applications to bolster its appeal to businesses. These include voice and video conferencing upgrades along with a new service for managing user identity data, according to three people who have been briefed on the plans.

Central to the G Suite makeover is a new voice-over-IP service, codenamed Wolverine, to sharpen the quality of its phone service and better compete with Microsoft’s Skype for Business. Google Cloud is positioning Wolverine as a cloud-based “PBX,” or private branch exchange, software that routes calls both within a company and to calls outside. Wolverine might include upgrades to G Suite’s video conferencing tools, Hangouts and Meet, said two of the people. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

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In addition to being sold as a standalone service on Google Cloud, the new service could work with G Suite to control access to applications and data within large companies. That could potentially give Google Cloud an edge with Fortune 500 companies, where Microsoft has been using its base of Active Directory users to drive adoption of Azure cloud services.

Ryan Sommer commented on this article.
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