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Google+ Grows Up For Business

Google+ has new features that will allow employees to collaborate more, while making IT folks comfortable with privacy restrictions and control mechanisms.

Adding to their slate of products like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Drive, Google has beefed up its social network with business in mind. Google+ has new features, described by Clay Bavor, product management director of Google Apps, a blog post, that will help employees collaborate with each other.

Of course, collaboration within the organization may need to be private. Google+ posts can be marked as private so that they can never be re-shared outside of the organization.

Another feature lets users add Google Hangouts (a videoconferencing service) to a Calendar event. For video chat, you can add up to 10 people as long as you have a connected device.

Some IT folks tell me that moving to Google is very attractive for small businesses. It doesn't require expensive video conferencing equipment and other special software to run. All the employees need is just a camera on a smartphone or laptop and of course, an Internet connection. However, for large organizations, moving all the way on the Google cloud infrastructure may have too many moving parts as features can change on a whim.

On the upside, IT folks can reign in control via the administrative controls.

"To help make sure users are sharing only with the people they intend, administrators can now set company-wide defaults for post restrictions. They can also enable restricted Hangouts to facilitate private meetings within the company," Google's Bavor wrote.

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