Google Shifts Business Apps To Accommodate Stay-At-Home Workforce

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google has announced an overhaul of its Gmail for G Suite business application by integrating its traditional tools to better accommodate the demands of people working from home.

The new app does not resemble the traditional Gmail format and has been converted to more of a communication tool that integrates Google’s other platforms such as Chat, Gmail, Meet, and Rooms. Google stated that it will have an “Early access preview” followed by complete availability later this year to all G Suite customers. The changes were announced in conjunction with Google’s online version of its annual conference, Google Cloud Next 2020.

In a July 15 press release, Google Vice President & GM, G Suite Javier Soltero said, “We’re integrating core tools like video, chat, email, files, and tasks, and making them better together, so that you can more easily stay on top of things, from anywhere.” He added, “I’m excited to help more companies make the transition to flexible work with G Suite.” 

This news follows an announcement on July 14 from Microsoft (MSFT) that it was “improving remote-working features” for Microsoft Teams by adding features for video meetings. In March, the popular business communication platform, Slack (WORK) also updated its overall design for ease-of-use.

In light of the pandemic, many companies have begun to tailor their products to a workforce that is working from home. Google has stated that it is shifting its applications to accommodate these demands especially with its use of Google Cloud.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian highlighted the impact of the pandemic at the Google Cloud event saying, “This is a very defining moment for all of us around the world to have the hope and the optimism to reimagine your business as you recover from the pandemic.”

Monness analyst Brian White was impressed, writing, “We remain optimistic around trends at Google Cloud and yesterday’s event highlighted the growing success of this business.” He reiterated a Buy rating on Alphabet on July 15, along with a price target of $1,420 implying downside potential of 6%. 

Google’s stock is up 13% year-to-date with a Strong Buy analyst consensus that breaks down into 28 Buy ratings versus 1 Hold rating and no Sell ratings. The $1,579.31 average price target suggests 4% upside potential for the shares in the coming 12 months. (See Google’s stock analysis on TipRanks).

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