Google has added social collaboration features for business to Google Apps - the online document, calendar and spreadsheet service that Google sells to corporations.
The features (taken from its social network Google+) include:
Private sharing – allowing businesses to share posts exclusively with people in their company or share with specific partners and colleagues outside the organisation.
Hangouts – providing a video chat service with integrated Gmail and Calendar support for business video conferences of up to 10 users.
Admin controls – allowing companies to control permissions on posts and Hangouts shared and initiated by their users.
‘Pilot customers such as Kaplan and Banshee Wines have been using Google+ to help employees engage and connect with each other over the past few months,’ said Clay Bavor, product management director, Google Apps, ‘We’ve worked hard to incorporate early feedback from pilot customers into our plans, and we’re thrilled to begin offering Google+ features tailored to organisations.’
The new social workplace collaboration features will initially be available in preview mode to Google Apps customers, and free until 2013. Google said it will be announcing more features in coming months, including mobile services and more administrative controls.