Google has released an update to its Google Hangouts service for its enterprise Apps customers, adding business-wide Global Address Lists and better support.
Google's Hangouts chat system, which includes video conferencing, text chat in web browsers and SMS on smartphones, has continually been trying to align itself with industry-standard software such as Microsoft's Lync in order to make it more appealing for larger enterprises.
The latest Hangout update sees the addition of a Global Address List, meaning users looking for a particular staff member should be able to locate and message them even if they haven't exchanged contact details. Google says there is currently no option to add warning messages when users are messaging people outside of their organisation, so employees will have to use common sense and ensure they're talking to the person they should be.
Admins can also now customise which features employees can access from within Hangouts, such as being able to use their corporate account to chat with Google+ accounts not within their organisation. Video and audio chat can now be disabled along with message history too, if the admin sees fit.
Google has also added 24/7 phone support for Google Hangouts, matching the support it gives to Google Talk customers.
Google seems to have found a niche with Google+ in the enterprise space, with the social network gaining traction among both smaller and larger businesses using the firm's Apps suite. However, high-profile outages in recent months could dampen enthusiasm for Google's services if they continue.
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