Google Workspace is partnering with Miro, an online whiteboard platform, to enhance its productivity and collaboration tools and help distributed teams work together in hybrid environments.
New integrations are designed to enable employees to engage and create together, virtually or in-person, in real-time or otherwise, within Google Meet and while using Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
The partnership came to fruition through Miro whiteboard strategy sessions with both companies brainstorming how the collaboration would work, according to Adrienne McCallister, Google’s vice president of global partnerships.
“Strategic partnerships like the one with Miro allow us to provide even more advanced product experiences in areas that are really important for our customers and, in this case, hybrid working collaboration equity,” McAllister told CRN.
“By expanding this integration with Miro and bringing all these new capabilities from Miro’s intuitive whiteboard experience into Google Workspace, we’re really looking to help teams ideate and innovate more immersively, regardless of their location or the backdrop of their Meet call.”
Miro likens its digital whiteboards to an “infinite canvas” that its more than 20 million users – up from 5 million this time last year – can employ to lead workshops and meetings, design products and brainstorm ideas.
“You can actually put the content in Miro, and bringing all those tools together allows you to read, lay out and map how the whole project connects together, so you don’t have to switch between tabs,” said Kev Chung, Miro’s head of global partnerships.
Miro also has integrations with collaboration tools including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Jira and Notion.
“We have over 100 integrations,” Chung said. “What’s unique about the Google and Miro relationship is we’ve really gone deep into the conversations with each other on how to build the experience.
"We’re going many steps deeper in terms of how can we make the experience more seamless and frictionless and be able to make it so that it feels like you’re working across the same set of tools.”
The Miro app for Workspace is available in the Google Workspace Marketplace for all of Google Workspace’s consumer, enterprise and education users, which number more than 3 billion, up from 2.6 billion in October of 2020 and 2 billion in March of 2020, in addition to Miro users.
All Google Workspace and Miro users currently can use Google Docs, Sheets and Slides directly in Miro.
A two-way editing feature allows them to co-edit and co-create Google content, either in Miro or on Docs, Sheets and Slides, and everything stays in sync.
“To alleviate time wasted on context switching and catch-up time across work hours, the integration will automatically sync users’ documents between Miro and Google Drive,” McCallister said.
New features coming in 2022
Starting in early 2022, teams will be able to attach and share Miro boards to a Google Calendar invite to allow meeting attendees to prep beforehand.
“The benefit of that is it gives the participants this full visual picture of the meeting, the agenda and content ahead of time,” Chung said.
“It’s great because Google actually already does that with the existing Workspace suite. Now, adding Miro on top of that gives it this additional visual layer … so everybody comes to the meeting fully informed from the start.”
Teams also will be able to launch integrated Miro boards in Google Meet for video meetings beginning early next year, allowing participants to see the boards side by side with all other Meet participants.
“What that actually does is create this … richer engagement of conversation,” Chung said. “Because the Miro board is side by side, actually all participants can navigate the board and comment on the board. It’s just a very dynamic way of meeting. And people can actually create comments together, co-create content together during a live meeting, which is basically trying to replicate what people would do in office. We’re empowering everybody to have the same access to information and equally contribute regardless of where they are.”
Users also will be able to draw, diagram and add text and shapes to “connect the dots” between Google Docs, Sheets and Slides on a Miro board, so they can visualise connection points between work, according to the companies.