G Suite Essentials tier bundles Google Meet and Drive for businesses that don’t need Gmail

In addition to last month’s announcement that Meet is now “free for everyone,” Google also quietly announced a new G Suite Essentials tier. More details about that offering, which bundles Google Meet and Drive, are now available.

In 2018, G Suite gained a standalone “Google Drive Enterprise” tier for companies that want to use Drive file storage, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more, but already have a third-party email and calendar service.

Google is now adding Meet to Drive Enterprise and calling it G Suite Essentials. In terms of productivity apps, it also includes Forms, Sites, and Keep, with Google Drive offering storage for each individual user, as well as shared team drives. There is also access to the Drive File Stream app for desktops.

Like the broader G Suite service, Essentials has an entry-level tier that includes Meet features like up to 150 participants and the ability to schedule/join meetings from Outlook’s calendar.

This tier is free until September 30, but will later cost $10 for every user per month. For comparison, G Suite Basic — with Gmail, Calendar, and Chat — is $6 and Business is $12.

G Suite Enterprise Essentials also exists with more pro-level features like recording Meet calls and saving them to Drive, as well as streaming meetings to your internal domain. Drive storage gets bumped up to 1TB (from 100GB) per user, and pooled storage to 25TB (from 2TB). Google Vault is also available to retain, archive, and search employee data, while Drive gets data loss prevention (DLP) functionality. Pricing here is unique to every organization.

This G Suite offering features third-party integrations with Microsoft Office, Slack, and Salesforce, with Essentials reflecting how “many organizations and businesses aren’t looking to make big changes to the way they work at this time.”

For example, if you send a link to a Drive file from Outlook, Drive automatically checks to ensure that the recipient has access to that file. It will let you know if a coworker is about to make conflicting changes to a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file. And an integration with the Outlook calendar makes scheduling Meet video conferences a breeze.

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