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Google Drive for Enterprise: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives

Google Drive for Enterprise, commonly referred to as Google Workspace, is Google’s enterprise version of their popular consumer facing Google Drive product. Many enterprise companies use it for their content management systems, in particular the organizations that are using Google apps for email, calendar, and other uses.

But Google Drive was built as a consumer facing product first. That means it’s based on a standard nested folder system which can be difficult to keep organized in large enterprise organizations. It also assumes all content is on Google Drive, which for large organizations may not be true as certain teams and departments may use other cloud storage systems like Dropbox, Box, or Sharepoint, causing content to be scattered in multiple places.

In this article we’ll discuss the pros and cons of Google Drive for Enterprise, commonly referred to as Google Workspace. We’ll also discuss our own enterprise content management solution, Bigtincan, and how it compares to Google Drive for Enterprise organizations looking for a content management solution.

You can request a demo of Bigtincan to learn how it can be customized for your organization.

What are the pros of Google Drive Enterprise?

  • Enterprise grade security (Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Machine Learning (ML): G Suite business allows for their customers to own their own data and not sell information to third-party companies. Google Drive Enterprise security includes a data loss prevention feature that gives managers control over which users can share information, preventing unintended exposure of sensitive information like identity numbers and credit cards. The Machine Learning feature helps users reduce the time they spend looking for information by helping users find the most relevant content based on their previous searches, most common collaborators and meeting occurrences.
  • Vault integration: This feature allows users to set retention rules and restrict the release of information from certain Google apps (i.e. docs, spreadsheets) for an entire organizational unit or domain. Information also has the option of being exported from select Google apps, this ensures that no company information is shared from specific apps while giving users the option to collect and extract data if needed.
  • Shared ownership: File sharing control gives admins full control over the access that their users have from content within both Google Cloud Enterprise and shared drives. Users can see the same files regardless of who adds them and data can be edited in real-time allowing all users to see the latest version of projects.
  • Docs, Spreadsheet, and Slides: Of course, Google Drive comes with its popular alternatives to Microsoft Office which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
  • Familiarity and Minimal Training: G Suite is extremely popular and many or most employees may have already used it in their personal life or previous jobs, making the app intuitive for many and reducing training requirements.

What are the cons of Google Drive Enterprise?

  • Content has to be migrated: Google Drive for Enterprise operates as a standalone repository meaning it doesn’t have the ability to host content from multiple repositories (e.g. Sharepoint, Dropbox, Onedrive), so if an organization has teams currently working in different repositories they’ll all have to migrate their content into Google Drive. This forces teams using other repositories to change their workflow and habits, which is tedious, wastes employee hours, and risks teams not adopting or not adopting fast enough.
  • No data on which documents are driving sales: Google Drive Enterprise doesn’t display usage data for specific documents. So organizations, like sales teams, for whom it’s important to see document usage and analytics (e.g. if a prospect is opening a specific document), can’t get that insight with Google Drive Enterprise.
  • Basic search feature: While Google Drive does have a basic search feature, employees at large organizations with thousands of office files still find it difficult to navigate through potentially hundreds of folders (depending on how many documents an organization has) due to the default “folder in a folder” organization of Google Drive. Their AI also does not recommend documents to employees based on specific data points ( i.e. position, region, department) so they don’t have to continuously dig through folders to quickly access needed documents.
  • Lack of customization: One user mentioned that the enterprise edition of Google Drive lacked customization according to this review from IT Central Station. While this reviewer did not specifically define what customization meant to them, after working with hundreds of large enterprise customers, we’ve learned that different organizations need different interfaces to their document management platforms. As we explain below, Bigtincan’s interface and layout can be completely customized.

How Bigtincan differs from Google Drive for Enterprise

Differentiator #1: Aggregate content from multiple repositories so your organization can find everything in one intuitive and interactive platform

It’s common for organizations to use multiple repositories to maximize storage capacity. For example, the marketing department may use Dropbox for storing presentations while the sales department uses Sharepoint for contracts.

This usually means that teams are already accustomed to using their current repository, and changing it can cause confusion for employees and make it more difficult for them to quickly access the content they need.

In an attempt to solve this issue, organizations usually have asset managers that are fully dedicated to managing and organizing files. But this still doesn’t solve the problem of employees having to look in multiple platforms to search for files.

Google Drive, like most content repositories, only deals with documents stored on it’s own platform. That means if you want a consistent experience for your entire department or organization, and a single place for employees to find all file types and assets, everyone needs to store every file on Google Drive. If one team or department has processes and workflows that use Sharepoint, or Dropbox, or Box, for example, either those files on other cloud storage platforms won’t be accessible via Google Drive or that department needs to migrate their files and processes to Google Drive. These sorts of process changes for large organizations with thousands of employees are difficult. They require lots of people to collectively change their habits. It’s common to see that take a long time or face pushback.

In contrast, Bigtincan integrates with nearly all popular cloud file storage solutions and acts as a “layer” over your current repositories by integrating and surfacing files from multiple repositories from a single interface.

Smart searchEmployees can continue to upload content using their current shared repositories and Bigtincan will index content and make it easy to find via our AI-powered search feature (more on this feature later). This allows for all of your employees to keep using the repository they’re used to. They can also edit those files or save updates or new versions right from Bigtincan.

In addition, employees no longer have to save local copies of documents on their computer and risk not having the most up-to-date version readily available because Bigtincan’s API allows for every document to be updated in real-time to the latest version no matter where it is stored. 

Differentiator #2: View data on which documents are being used, how much, and by whom

Organizations have hundreds or even thousands of documents that are being used on a daily basis and most cloud storage tools give users no insight into which documents are being used the most by whom and how often.

Specifically, Bigtincan can tell you:

  • How many times a document was viewed.
  • Which files were opened and when.
  • Which slides and presentations were viewed.
  • How long a prospect spent on each section.

This data is useful for a variety of teams and departments.

Looking at sales and marketing teams, for example, if a prospect views a particular sales presentation for longer than the others, let’s say a company case study, sales managers can make the decision to expand on their case study slides because they know the prospect spends the most time there.

Analytics page. Or, this company data can also let managers monitor what documents their top salespeople are using, letting managers make an informed decision on which sales collateral actually moves the needle (closes more deals) in their business.

Differentiator #3: AI-powered search that brings content to your team without them having to dig through folders

Employees in large organizations often have a difficult time finding the right documents they need if it requires having to dig through multiple folders and search multiple different repositories.

While Google Drive Enterprise does include an AI search feature, when searching for content it still brings up files in a folder by folder structure. Bigtincan’s AI-powered search feature makes it easy for your employees to see the content that’s right for them with personalized results based on their position, department, region. Employees also don’t have to worry about which folder or even which cloud repository a file is in, nor worry about searching for an exact filename in order to find it because our AI can detect terms that’ll suggest relevant content. For example, if an employee works for a company where there are thousands of SKUs, they can just type in a piece of the model number and files most used by employees like the searcher related to that SKU will appear without them having to know exactly where the file is.

AI-powered search.

The AI-powered search will also recommend other files that are commonly used with the one that’s being searched. For example, if a rep creates a new version of  “Sales Deck 1.0,”  the most updated version, “Sales Deck 2.0,” will also be in the “recommended” section.

In addition the AI-powered search will also surface assets based on how well they’ve performed (i.e. which documents contribute to the most closed deals) with the option of placing tags if needed. 

Differentiator #4: Fully customize your sales organization’s dashboard to offer a tailored experience and cater to your team’s current workflow

When organizations have embedded systems and processes, changing them will inevitably affect how employees work and can be a stressful learning curve depending on how long it takes for them to adopt the new workflow. The best antidote for this is to utilize a platform that allows you to keep your current workflow while giving your employees a customized experience.

While Google Drive does have dedicated workspaces for team members and simplistic functionality, it has limited customizations because Google Drive was built largely as a folder system, not as a customizable document management interface for active users.

Bigtincan’s dashboard can be completely customized to fit your department’s workflow, down to the exact colors, fonts and branding. For example, a company that services two different regions may sell certain products that another region doesn’t. Managers can customize reps dashboards to only show products that region is allowed to sell.

Customized home screen.Organizations also have the option of using pre-built templates or having their interface custom designed and coded. In fact, Bigtincan consultants audit your entire onboarding process and walk through your workflow with you so our consultants can create a dashboard that fits your company’s specific needs which doesn’t disrupt system and processes but promotes continuous teamwork amongst employees. This includes everything from building out calendars to custom structured layouts. This eliminates the need of having to hire developers to build it from scratch.

Different customized home screen. In summation, these are the main advantages of Bigtincan for enterprises:

  • Bigtincan can fully access, edit, and deal with content from multiple repositories, including Google Drive but also Box, Dropbox, Sharepoint, and more.
  • Bigtincan gives you insight into which pieces of content are being viewed, shared, and more and by whom.
  • Bigtincan has extremely powerful, personalized, AI-powered search that customizes the search results for who is searching, helping employees find the right files faster.
  • Bigtincan can be fully customized and designed to look native to your brand and have an interface that makes the most sense for your team.

If you feel that Bigtincan could be a fit, you can request a demo to learn how it can be customized for your organization.

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