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Google readies Gemini for Workspace, adds AI 'Teammate'

Google will roll out new GenAI in Gmail and Docs first and then other apps throughout the year. In 2025, Google plans to introduce an AI-powered assistant named Teammate.

Google plans to integrate its latest generative AI model across its Workspace productivity and collaboration suite, starting with Docs and Gmail.

Google expects to roll out the Gemini 1.5 features throughout the year, executives said on Tuesday at the Google I/O developer conference. The enhancements were just a few of the many GenAI capabilities Google plans to add across its products and services, all powered by Gemini 1.5.

Within Workspace, Google will roll out AI in Gmail and Docs first, followed by Slides, Sheets, Meet and Chat throughout the year. In 2025, Google plans to introduce an AI-powered assistant named Teammate that can perform specific tasks, such as monitoring, tracking and summarizing collaborative projects within Workspace.

All enterprise providers of productivity and collaboration suites are incorporating similar AI features into products, leaving enterprises with many options. However, what organizations also want are objective measurements for return on investment from these expensive services, said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Metrigy.

Google charges $20 per user per month for the Gemini Business and $30 per user per month for the Enterprise plan. Microsoft charges $30 per user per month for Copilot for Microsoft 365. At those rates, companies with hundreds or thousands of employees can get a sizeable monthly bill.

For some companies, if AI saves each employee an hour in time each month, then it's enough for the technology to pay for itself, Lazar said. Others want more from the services.

"Other companies say if it doesn't increase revenue, cost savings or something tangible, then it doesn't really make sense to roll it out to everyone," Lazar said.

Initially, Gemini in Gmail and Docs will help employees in departments ranging from sales to human resources start emails or documents to fellow workers, customers or partners. Users click on the Help me write button and type a topic in the field to get a quick draft of an email or document. People can choose a formal or informal tone and share the drafts with others for their input.

Other features include summarizing groups of emails and analyzing PDF documents.

Google plans to add AI capabilities to the smartphone versions of Docs and Gmail as well. For example, users will be able to take a few bullet points jotted down during a recent meeting and turn them into a summary.

For enterprises, Google plans to deliver administrative controls to ensure that created content follows an organization's policies.

AI features for other Workspace apps

Later in the year, Google plans to add the option of auto-generated images, audio and video to its presentation application Slides. Within its spreadsheet application Sheets, people will be able to use raw data for formula generation and contextual categorization.

AI features planned for the Meet video conferencing service include the ability to generate additional backgrounds, capture notes and get highlights of meetings. Within Chat, users will have the option of AI-generated workflows.

Google's AI releases came a day after OpenAI launched GPT-4o, an update of its enterprise LLM. The latest iteration is faster at delivering audio, video and text within the OpenAI desktop app or when embedded in applications.

The proliferation of AI features in enterprise software has left some enterprises struggling to train employees to take advantage of the pricey capabilities.

"Users are overwhelmed," Lazar said. "This stuff is coming so quickly. How does anybody take the time to learn it?"

Google leans on partners to teach the use of AI to customers, Lazar said. "Google is really pushing the story that 'we're not going to just throw this over the wall and hope for the best.'"

Many of today's users of Google Workspace are schools, nonprofits, and small and medium-sized businesses, according to a Metrigy survey.

Antone Gonsalves is an editor at large for TechTarget Editorial, reporting on industry trends critical to enterprise tech buyers. He has worked in tech journalism for 25 years and is based in San Francisco.

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