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  • Google's bundle of productivity tools for businesses and schools, G Suite, now has 6 million paying customers, up from the 5 million it had in February 2019.
  • The new numbers come as much of the world is working from home and schools turn to online learning, to try and mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
  • Google's Hangouts Meet video meeting tool, part of G Suite, now has 25 times more daily usage than it did in January, according to CNBC.
  • However, Google faces intense competition from Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx, especially as an increase in remote work creates more demand for these tools.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za. 

Google's bundle of productivity tools for businesses and schools, G Suite, now has 6 million paying customers, according to a report from CNBC, which Google confirmed to Business Insider. That represents an increase from the 5 million customers G Suite had in February 2019.

A customer, in this usage, generally means a company or other organisation that's using the premium version of G Suite, rather than the free version of tools like Gmail and Google Docs available for consumers.

Additionally, Google's Hangouts Meet videoconferencing tool, which is part of G Suite alongside enterprise versions of Gmail and Google Docs, has 25 times more daily usage now than it did in January, though it didn't go into specific figures. Hangouts Meet complements Hangouts, the standard chat app that's also available to consumers.

These new numbers come as much of the world is working from home and schools turn to online learning, to try and mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Due to the increased need for video conferencing tools amid the coronavirus crisis, Google is made the premium paid features in its Hangouts Meet video-conferencing features free until September 30, extended from the previous end date of July 1.

It's competitors like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made similar offers to help those in need of communication tools. The increase in remote work has also ramped up usage for those competitors. Zoom said it had 200 million daily active users at the end of March, counting free and paid users. Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams disclosed that it had 44 million daily active users in mid-March.

On the whole, G Suite faces intense competition from Microsoft's Office 365 suite of cloud based productivity tools, which dominates the market. Google hired former Microsoft executive Javier Soltero to run G Suite last October, as it sought to ramp up its enterprise business.

As Zoom faces numerous questions about the privacy and security of its product, Google is pitching Hangouts Meet as a secure alternative. When New York City schools decided to stop using Zoom for online learning, Google made Hangouts Meet and Google Classroom available for 1.3 million students, according to CNBC.

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