Unified Communications

Long-term Coexistence: Bridging Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 for Sustainable Collaboration

Learn about the challenges of hybrid communication environments and dive into sustainable solutions for the modern enterprise
Coexistence between Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams

Next up in our series on transformative trends in workspace collaborations is the long-term coexistence of Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 in a single organization. 

With 85% of enterprises using at least two platforms to communicate, this trend is one we have seen repeatedly. 

Today, we’ll dive into the challenges of accommodating multiple platforms in the same organization and what Mio is doing to solve it. 

Why coexistence? 

Let’s begin by exploring the reasons why enterprises maintain multiple platforms in the first place. 

Wouldn’t it just be easier to force everyone to be on the same chat platform? 

The answer, unfortunately, is not always. 

Different teams, different needs 

Oftentimes, different departments require integrations or functionalities that only a specific chat platform offers. 

An engineering team may have specific protocols in OneNote that commit them to Microsoft Teams. 

Similarly, a marketing team may need Google Chat’s integration with Google Drive to collaborate on one pagers and onboarding guides. 

These pre-existing workflows enhance each platform’s stickiness. 

By forcing a migration, the productivity of the company is at risk. It requires users to learn a new interface, resulting in a learning curve that detracts from other tasks. 

As employees adapt to new tools, a period of broken communication is likely.  

The challenges of shadow IT 

In some cases, users continue to use their preferred platform despite executive mandates to migrate.

This is known as shadow IT, where employees use tools and softwares that are not company approved. This creates security issues and an inability to maintain an organized collaboration landscape. 

Paige Owens, Account Executive, Mio, shares

As an AE at Mio, I often hear from enterprises grappling with the decision of maintaining multiple chat platforms. The reality is that diverse departments have unique needs and workflows tied to specific chat clients. The challenge is not just about technology; it's about preserving the efficiency of each department

Now that we’ve explored what prompts long-term coexistence of different collaboration platforms, let’s dive into the resulting challenges. 

Siloed workplace communications 

With the rise of the remote and hybrid workforce, smooth communication across departments is crucial. 

But with certain departments or regions on different chat clients, siloed collaboration is an unfortunate reality. 

Jake Bailey, CCO, Mio, says,

Imagine if an organization’s UK team uses Google and their US team uses Microsoft. Both countries don't monitor their second platform. If a colleague sends them a message on Teams, it might be three, four days before they see it.

Missed messages and lengthy response times contribute to miscommunication. 

This damages relationships between departments or regions, further enforcing a company culture of broken collaboration. 

Lengthy project timelines 

Delayed responses also elongate project timelines. Time zone differences and asynchronous schedules are challenges that international enterprises must overcome.  

The challenge of cross-platform teams creates an additional barrier to task completion. 

Say an organization’s marketing and sales teams are collaborating on a deal. Sales lives on Microsoft Teams, while marketing lives on Google Chat. 

To push a deal along, the sales team needs a specific piece of collateral from marketing. They make the request on Microsoft Teams. The marketing team is working on multiple other projects and is only able to check Teams at the end of the day. They take note of the request, but the day is now over.  

The task is now pushed off to another day. And when the marketing team sends it back to sales, there is a revision that needs to be made. 

The customer is now getting impatient. Sales logs on to Google Chat to ask for the edit. Now, multiple versions of the same conversation are happening on different apps, between different members of the team. Different versions of the document are also floating around. 

Finally, someone resorts to an email chain to figure it all out. 

A task that could have been completed in a day or two has now taken a week, and the deal is at risk. 

Paige Owens, Account Executive, Mio, says,

I often hear from admins that the inability to collaborate over multiple platforms is negatively affecting the whole enterprise.

Long-term coexistence = long-term solution  

A long-term problem needs a long-term solution. 

While this may seem obvious, it’s worthwhile to take a closer look into why a viable solution needs to stand the test of time. 

Bailey continues,

We’ve seen so many organizations struggle with long-term coexistence. They are forever going to have Google and Microsoft in the organization, and each country or department is allowed to select their primary chat client. 

The concept of “forever” is not typically applicable to the modern communications landscape. With the rise of new technologies, things are constantly changing. 

But considering the stickiness of chat clients and the complicated tangle of migration, constant accommodation of two different platforms is the reality. 

Organizations need a solution that can keep up with “forever.” 

Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 will continue to evolve, releasing new features, integrations, and APIs. 

Similarly, the company’s employee roster will continue to grow and shrink over time. 

A collaboration solution that can’t keep up with features and APIs updates would become defunct. 

Similarly, one that requires constant upkeep for employee turnover would be unsustainable. 

Given these specifications, how can enterprises handle long-term coexistence? 

Interoperability: the missing piece

Interoperability is the “the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information.” 

It is the key piece to solving the issue of long-term coexistence. 

Interoperability is not a new concept. In fact, enterprises have been using it for years.   

Take email, for example. 

Users can send a message from Gmail to Outlook with ease. They don’t need to log into their Outlook account to respond to an Outlook message, or their Gmail account to respond to a Gmail message. 

Regardless of where the message is sent to or received from, emails being delivered to the right person at the right place feels second nature.  

What if the same concept applied to chat? 

A sustainable solution 

Mio has teamed up with Google to provide a long-term, sustainable solution to the coexistence problem. 

By federating APIs to bridge collaboration features between Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, users remain on the platform of their choice while communicating with colleagues on the opposite app. 

This means that Google Chat users stay on Google Chat. 

Microsoft Teams users stay on Microsoft Teams. 

And they can all communicate with one another without downloading additional apps or interfaces. Mio works in the background, invisible to the end user. 

This means no more missed messages or communication silos. Users maintain the workflows that make them the most productive, getting time and focus back in their day by cutting out context switching. 

As a Google partner, Mio works closely with the Google Workspace team to stay current with APIs, features, and integrations. This ensures that the user experience is on the forefront of nativeness. 

Features such as Auto Sync, where Mio subscribes to an organization’s Entra ID groups to keep chat membership updated, eliminate the need for constant admin upkeep. 

Interoperability is the future of collaboration, the key to enabling long-term coexistence for organizations who need it. 

Tom Hadfield, Mio’s CEO, shares, 

Empowering the coexistence of collaboration tools is core to Mio's mission. Our partnership with Google signifies a commitment to providing users with a seamless communication experience. As we bridge the gap between Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, we believe in a future where communication barriers are a thing of the past.

To learn more about Mio and Google’s partnership, visit our website today.

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