Google Drive Review

Google
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Google Drive
Google
1998
Mountain View, CA
Ownership
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Public
Over 5 million
Cloud
Yes
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Google Drive At A Glance

Good: Affordable and flexible pricing plan, accessible anytime and anywhere, strong cloud security features.
Bad: Switching between folders tends to be confusing, some formatting issues when uploading files.
Bottom Line: Easy-to-use solution that improves productivity and collaboration.

Product Overview

Google Drive is part of the rebranded G Suite, a product suite that focuses on collaboration, communication, and storage. Some of the G Suite apps include Gmail, Google+, Hangouts, and Calendar. For the purpose of this review, we will focus on Google Drive and its apps (i.e.Docs, Sheets, Slides) – but note that users need to purchase Google Apps for Work in order to use Google Drive.

Google Drive provides many benefits including enhanced collaboration and improved productivity. It is accessible anywhere through an Internet connection (i.e. desktop, tablets, or smartphones.) Users can access their work files on Google Drive without having to log onto their company’s servers or bring home a work laptop.

Another benefit is that Google Drive provides user security. Administrators can set permissions on who can access, edit, and share files. Businesses can cut costs by using a system that doesn’t require additional software purchases.

Features

Google Drive allows users to store, view, create, and edit documents, spreadsheets, slides, forms, and more. Users can choose from many different apps for their business, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, DocHub (for editing and signing PDFs), and WeVideo (for videos), to name a few. Google Drive also integrates with other apps, such as Facebook, Adobe eSignature, Dropbox, and Microsoft.

Other features include:

  • Ability to create or upload files (including documents, spreadsheets, photos, and videos)
  • Users can access their files either in “My Drive,” “Shared with Me,” or “Recent” view layouts.  Files can be sorted by date, owner, last modified or file size.
  • Files can be shared with other users based on permission settings (View only, ability to edit, etc.) Each user works with the same file – as data is added or changed, the file saves automatically to the cloud so that users don’t have to worry about manually saving it. Users can also make comments within the file.
  • Users can search and retrieve specific files by utilizing the Google Search bar. Users can also add “star” to the file to increase ease of finding it.

  • Document Storage?
  • Simultaneous User Collaboration?
  • Workflow Management?
  • Version Control?
  • On-Premise Hosting Option?
  • Imaging?
  • Mobile?

Target Market

G Suite targets organizations of all sizes and industries including manufacturing, retail, education, and government, to name a few. We’ve listed ten of its customers below:

  • All Recipes
  • Design Within Reach
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Jaguar
  • Kaplan
  • Land Rover
  • Ocado
  • Shaw Floors
  • Uber
  • The Weather Company

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Implementation/Integration

For companies that need to migrate their information from another program (i.e. Microsoft Outlook), Google has an eight-step implementation process that includes:

  • Free trial period
  • Verify company domain information
  • Adding user accounts
  • Transfer email accounts from legacy program to Gmail
  • User training
  • Set up mobile devices
  • Importing data (i.e. calendar and contacts)
  • G Suite is ready to use (users can get new features/updates automatically)

Customer Service & Support

Users can access support for Google Drive in these following ways:

  • The Help Center provides resources on common Google Drive topics. There is also a troubleshooting section for solution on common issues.
  • There is a product forum where users can receive help from other Google Drive users and Google Drive staff.
  • Users that have administrator privileges (typically a company’s IT staff) can contact Google Apps support by phone or email.

Pricing

G Suite offers a free 14-day trial period. After that, there are three pricing plans to choose from:

  • Basic ($5 per user per month) – This plan covers business email addresses, calendar, 30GB of Drive storage, video and voice conferencing, security and admin controls, and 24/7 phone, online and email support.
  • Business ($10 per user per month) – In addition to the features covered in the Basic plan, organizations will receive unlimited storage, archive and retention policies for emails and chats, eDiscovery and auditing reports.
  • Enterprise (contact Google for quote) – The Enterprise plan includes all features in the other two plans plus data loss prevention for Gmail and Drive, integration of Gmail with third-party archiving tools and enterprise-grade access controls.

Shortcomings

Switching between folders in Google Drive tends to be confusing especially if users have access to not only their own folders, but other people’s folders too.

Also, users have reported formatting issues when uploading documents or spreadsheets into Drive.

Screenshots

Google Screenshot 1
Google Screenshot 2
Google Screenshot 3

About

Google got its start as a search engine in 1998 (it initially began as a research project for two Stanford University students.) It has experienced tremendous growth in the number of employees and services offered over the years, eventually becoming a publicly-traded company in 2004. Some of its popular services include: Google News (launched in 2002), Gmail, (launched in 2004), and Google Maps (launched in 2005).

Google offers its Business Solutions for companies, such as My Business, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Google AdSense, and Google Apps for Work.

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Google has over 70 offices in 40 countries worldwide.

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