Google enterprise customers can now use one tool to search through all of their data, regardless of where it’s stored.
The company announced on Wednesday that it’s extending its Cloud Search tool to work with third-party services like Salesforce, SAP, and SharePoint. Previously the search tool, which debuted in February 2017, only crawled data that companies stored in G Suite and on local servers.
“Alleviating the problem of finding the right information at the right moment is a place we think we’re uniquely positioned to do well,” said Julie Black, director of product management at Google. “Looking forward, it all comes down to A.I. driving competitive advantage.”
Google says it abides by a contractual commitment to its business customers that states it will not use their data for any other purpose than to deliver the service or to help with a support request. That means Google doesn’t track customer data for advertisement purposes or product improvements, Sadowski said.
“Generally all of that is considered user data,” said Rob Sadowski, Google’s trust and security marketing lead. “We have very strict rules around user data.”
In addition, to ensure security and privacy, Google also stores G Suite and customer data in isolation from each other.
To double down on its privacy promises, last year Google Cloud rolled out a product called Access Transparency, which logs when administrators access customer data, and Access Approval, which allows companies to approve or deny Google’s requests for access. Access Transparency is currently being tested on G Suite.
Google Cloud’s new search tool is designed to help the company compete with dominant rival Amazon Web Services, which released its own cloud search tool in 2012. The tool also follows a commitment Google made in 2017, when it partnered with Salesforce and promised to provide tools that work with the sales service.
The announcement was part of a series of updates Google announced in San Francisco during its annual conference Google Cloud Next, which is geared toward informing current and potential business customers, IT professionals, and developers.
Along with the extension of Cloud Search, Google announced three other G Suite updates. Google Assistant now connects with the G Suite calendar, letting business customers ask the virtual assistants for information about their day. The Hangouts chat feature is also coming to Gmail, combining all communications in one place.
Finally, Google has extended Voice to cover a customer’s entire employee base, giving them access to transcribed voicemails and the ability to block spam calls. Voice also provides text-to-speech capabilities that can be used for recorded greetings.
G Suite, which serves more than 5 million business customers, will continue to roll out products focused on improving the work environment for the mobile workforce, Black said.
“More and more data is created every day, and enterprises that make really good use of that information are well-positioned to have a competitive advantage,” she added.