Google is expanding its Hangout video conferencing feature in order to reach into the corporate market and increase its already strong presence in the world of business productivity tools.
Google VP of product development Clay Bavor announced in a blog post that Hangouts will be open to users without Google+ accounts. Hangouts will be added to the existing portfolio within Google Apps for business. This means that Hangout will be covered around the clock with support and a 99.9% guaranteed uptime.
Google Apps is already lauded throughout the industry for their productivity tools for business. Between Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Talk, enterprises can already complete a majority of their daily functions through the Google Apps.
Until now, Google’s Hangout video conference feature was thought of as much more casual — for personal use between friends and family on Google+ to stay in touch. In addition, Google will improve Chromebox, a hardware tool that can be used to hold meetings on almost any device, to make meetings at home much easier.
As far as the industry is concerned, Google’s recent announcements send a strong message to other major players involved in videoconferencing and business tools. Google is looking to take their own slice of profits from the enterprise market. Rajen Seth, Google’s director of product management for Chrome for business, says that Google is expanding their focus from messaging and email to the enterprise as a whole by improving every part of their suite of apps.
Now, companies that are using Google’s productivity tools, but have gone elsewhere for videoconferencing solutions, may be making a switch in the near future.