May 17, 2020

Google begins roll-out of Slack-competitor Hangouts Chat

Romily Broad
2 min
Google Hangouts Chat
Google has launched Hangouts Chat after 12 months or more of development.

Integrated tightly with its other G Suite apps, Hangouts Chat a direct challe...

Google has launched Hangouts Chat after 12 months or more of development.

Integrated tightly with its other G Suite apps, Hangouts Chat a direct challenge to popular workplace collaboration tools such as Slack and further reinforces Google's efforts to position its G Suite apps as an alternative to Microsoft Office.

Slack's success has seen a number of efforts to broaden existing messenger apps into collaboration tools, such as Facebook's Workplace and Microsoft Teams.

A large part of Slack's appeal has been its ability to integrate with other services - including G Suite apps - and Hangouts Chat purports to offer the same functionality. It offers integrations with Salesforce, Freshdesk, Trello, Wrike, JIRA and more. Developers will be able to create their own bots and integrate them, too.

Google Hangouts Chat in action
Google Hangouts Chat in action

Perhaps most compelling for enterprises already running with GSuite will be its easy integration with Calendar, Drive, Docs and to launch Hangout Meet video conferences from the chat interface.

Available via iOS and Android as well as a browser, Hangouts Chat supports 28 languages and a whopping 8,000 chat room participants at a time.

A key differentiator for Google, though, is the centrality of AI to the featureset. Google says "intelligent bots" will "connect workflows and speed up tasks" such as booking meeting rooms, making calendar appointments, hunting for shared files and more.

Also promised is an enterprise-grade security built from G Suite's existing security ecosystem. Admins should rest easy knowing it's compliant and via Vault can archive, search and manage Chat-related data.

While G Suite continues to develop credibility as an enterprise solution, the launch of Hangouts Chat doesn't do much to clarify Google's instant messaging proposition more generally. Allo and Duo continue to play second fiddle to their messaging and video chat competitors respectively, while also sitting alongside Chat and Meet - the former aimed at consumers, the latter at businesses. While the rationale makes sense, it's a proposition that continues to confuse on devices that make no such distinction when in consumers' pockets.

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Jun 17, 2021

Non-IT experts ‘to build majority of tech products by 2024’

2 min
Gartner has found that the majority of technology products will be built by professionals outside of IT by 2024

80% of technology products and services will be built by non-technology professions by 2024, says research firm Gartner. 

This is according to a new report from Gartner, which claims a new category of buyers outside the traditional IT organisation is now responsible for a growing share of the overall IT market.

“Digital business is treated as a team sport by CEOs and no longer the sole domain of the IT department,” said Rajesh Kandaswamy, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “Growth in digital data, low-code development tools and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted development are among the many factors that enable the democratistion of technology development beyond IT professionals.”

COVID-19 Accelerating Technology


Technology has started expanding into all areas of business, creating demand for products and services outside IT departments. In 2023, Gartner anticipates that US$30 billion in revenue will be generated by products and services that did not exist pre-pandemic. Gartner analysts said the rapid expansion of cloud services, digital business initiatives, and remote services opened the door for new possibilities in integrations and optimisation.

The research found that COVID-19 also reduced barriers for those outside of IT to create technology-based solutions by providing an entry point for anyone who was able to serve pandemic-induced needs. Gartner said technology providers are now finding themselves increasingly entering markets related to, or in competition with, nontechnology providers, including innovative firms in financial services and retail. 

Gartner expects high-profile announcements of technology launches from nontech companies to proliferate over the next 12 months.

“The availability of business technologists provides new sources of innovation and the ability to get work done. Thus, technology and service providers will need to extend their sourcing of ideas and technology development into new communities, whether they are based on citizen development, their own customer communities or other sources,” said Kandaswamy

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