Google Workspace launch from a partner’s perspective: What we learned

Matt Wursta

Matt Wursta

November 1, 2020

On October 6, Google launched Google Workspace: a simple, flexible, and helpful way for businesses to be productive.

Google Workspace announcement day: internal communication is key

The launch was kept a secret even to most of Google’s staff. As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, we work hand in hand with Google every day. This alignment put us in a position to be at the forefront of the launch. Once the rebrand was announced, we were equipped with the messaging and collateral we needed from Google to educate our team and clients. We’ve been consulting clients on the Google productivity apps found in Google Workspace for years, so our team was amply prepared for a change like this.

That morning, I called a meeting with our team for a quick sync to confirm alignment on messaging and next steps. This announcement was a big deal and a lot of clients were going to have questions. It was an all-hands-on-deck day; account managers prepared to ameliorate current client’s worries; sales teams dove deep into the new offerings to learn what to advise prospective clients on; marketing compiled messaging deliverables and created an inventory to align all systems and collateral to the new Google Workspace brand.

That afternoon we had an all-team meeting and several department-specific meetings to talk about what this means for Wursta and for specific teams. (Shoutout to Google Meet for seamlessly connecting everyone so we can have multiple touchpoints throughout the day as if we were all working together in person.)

Our marketing team moved quickly to set up two webinars: one for current G Suite customers and another for those who are not current G Suite customers but are interested in hearing more about Google Workspace. Both had quite a bit of content overlap, since the main point of discussion was “What is Google Workspace?”

To answer this question more generally, we wrote a blog post, which we shared the following day after receiving approval from Google. Because of the importance and suddenness of this rebrand, all partner announcement blog posts needed to be pre-approved. The process was simple: submissions and company information was submitted to Google and approved within 24 hours. Overall, it was a quick process for how many partners and requests Google was receiving at that time.

Outreach: what do G Suite customers need to know about Google Workspace?

Later that week, Google held an hour-long meeting to walk partners through the changes to Google Workspace and why these changes were made. The new branding and the name change more closely aligns with the Google brand as a whole, using “Google” in the name and the usage of the four main colors.

The central themes of simplicity, helpfulness, and flexibility are present throughout this brand launch. Everything about Google Workspace embodies a simple, helpful, and flexible mindset. Our goal was to embody these themes in how we transition current and new clients to Google Workspace. Our philosophy in how to do that centered on two audiences: current G Suite customers and those not on G Suite. Our webinars were well underway and we wrote two more pieces of content to explain how these audiences are affected by this change.

Writing good content is one thing, but it doesn’t mean much if no one is reading it. Outreach is important. Our client services and marketing teams partnered to deliver a newsletter to clients. We explained how this rebrand creates a more collaborative, integrated system and offers pricing options that best fit clients’ needs. In addition to the excitement, we knew the launch raised a lot of questions for our G Suite clients and their employees.

The big question on everyone’s mind was “What do I need to do?” The simple answer is nothing. Existing G Suite licenses will not be interrupted. Clients will maintain current features, functionality, and pricing. The longer, more complicated answer is specific to each client, current plan, and future use case. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for transitioning from the G Suite offerings to Google Workspace. That’s why Google looks to its partners to guide clients through this process. It’s one thing to go online and compare options, but with a partner like Wursta, you’ll be able to see the detailed differentiation between the options available for you. And being a partner, we’re able to negotiate on your behalf, allotting you the best overall offering for your team.

Takeaways from the Google Workspace launch

Overall our communication on our website and social media, our newsletter outreach, and our webinars reached a wide range of people, both current and potential Google users. Of the two, we noticed a much higher rate of engagement for the webinar for current G Suite customers.

A key takeaway from the webinar was people are starting to pay attention to Google’s apps, like Meet and Chat, and see them as contenders for enterprise business tools. Wursta has been advocating that Chat can compete with Slack, Tables can be used in place of Trello, and Meet is on par with Zoom, but now with the rebrand, people are really paying attention. These collaborative tools prove that having everything in one place makes work simple, helpful, and flexible. Innovative apps like these are why Google Workspace harnesses the best tools for the future of work.

On a final note, we’ve learned that rebrands can present challenges, especially when it comes to pricing. Google has transitioned from three product offerings to over five. Pricing questions came up quite a bit during our webinars and while we wanted to dive deep into each attendee’s questions, our sessions were created to discuss the rebrand, not cost. Because of this, we’ve held another webinar session with our executive team and dove deeper into what the new Google Workspace SKUS mean. If you didn’t make it, contact us to discuss Google Workspace pricing.

As a partner, we’re navigating this rebrand hand-in-hand with our clients and with Google. We’re learning a lot, and we’ll learn how to better manage a rebrand through successes and failures. Being agile is all part of the process.

Matt Wursta

Matt Wursta

November 1, 2020

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