Tag Archives: Google Calendar

Manage meeting rooms efficiently with automatic room release and room insights

We want to help organizations make the best use of their space. To do that, we’re consolidating all features related to managing buildings and resources in a single dedicated place in the Admin console. We’re also introducing two new tools, room release and room insights, to help you understand your organization’s resource utilization and optimize occupancy.

A single destination for building and resource management
All features related to managing buildings and rooms are now united in a new and more prominent entry point in the Admin console called “Buildings and resources.” You can access this directly from the home screen or via Directory > Buildings and Resources in the navigation menu.



Room release based on event declines
According to an internal study, up to 40% of rooms are booked but go unused. To help your users reclaim those unused rooms, we’ll now automatically free up meeting rooms when all but one of the guests has declined the Google Calendar invitation. When the room is released, the event organizer will receive an email informing them of the change and suggesting that they reschedule or delete the meeting.



You can enable this feature for structured rooms in the Admin console by navigating to your resources and selecting the rooms you wish to enable for room releases. You then need to click "EDIT" and turn Calendar-based room releases on for your selection.



Please note, room release is only available for G Suite Business, Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, and Education editions and can only be enabled for structured rooms that are categorized as “CONFERENCE_ROOM.”

Room insights dashboard
We’re also adding a new dashboard in the Admin console for room insights. Here, you can see data such as:

  • The most and least frequently booked rooms
  • The usage and bookage rates of rooms across time zones and various room sizes
  • How many rooms could be freed up automatically with Calendar’s room release feature
You can filter this data by building, floor, room, room capacity, room features, or time period for more granularity.



With these reports, you can make better decisions about improvements to your workspace. They provide signals on where to investigate further. Some examples of insights include:

  • What are your most popular rooms?
  • Are your rooms under-utilized or over-utilized?
  • Which room sizes are most popular?
  • Which equipments drive room usage? Which A/V equipment should you invest more into?
  • When are the best times to schedule repairs and maintenance work?
  • At which times are rooms most booked, and can you educate members of your organization to shift the times when they schedule meetings?
You can access this dashboard in the Admin console in the “Buildings & resources” section.

With this launch, we’re also adding a new admin privilege, “room insights,” to grant other admins or your dedicated facilities managers the right to only view this dashboard and other resources.

Please note, this data is only available for structured resources.

Launch Details
Release track:
Both features launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:

  • Room insights: available to all G Suite editions
  • Room release: available to G Suite Business, Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, and Education editions only
Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins and end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Structuring resources

Room release

Room insights


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Propose a new meeting time in Google Calendar

Rescheduling in Google Calendar just got easier. We’re introducing a new feature that enables more efficient meeting scheduling. Now, each guest invited to a meeting can propose a new time and the organizer can easily review and accept time proposals. This allows for richer communication between attendees, reduces time spent on meeting practicalities, and makes meetings more productive with key stakeholders in attendance.

When a user is invited to a Calendar event, they can respond “Yes,” “No,” Maybe,” and now, “Propose a new time.” If calendar access permissions have been granted, guests can see the other attendees' availability side by side, so they can suggest a time that works for everyone.



Guests can then send their time proposal along with an optional message to the organizer, who can accept the proposed time with just one click.



This functionality works across domains and with Microsoft Exchange. Guests can send proposals to organizers using Exchange, and organizers can receive proposals from guests using Exchange. Available on the web now, this is coming to mobile on August 13th, so your users can act while on the go.

For more information, check out the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming on August 13th

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Respond to event invitations

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Let Google Calendar intelligently suggest rooms for your meetings

Earlier this year, we announced a new feature in Google Calendar that, using Google AI, can automatically suggest rooms for your meetings based on the locations of the guests. We’re now releasing this feature along with new and easier ways to update the main work locations for users in your domain.

Assign main work locations
As an admin, you can add main work location information for all users. Main work locations are the office / building location where the user spends most of their time or has their main desk or team. For users without a primary office building, the work location can be set to “Working remotely.”

If you know the work locations of all your users, you can update this information via GCDS or the Directory API.

If you don’t have users’ locations, you can instead let employees set their own location. Simply go to the Admin console and click Apps > G Suite > Settings for Directory > Profile editing and select "Work location."


With this setting enabled:

  • Calendar will try to infer users’ locations. Based on previous room booking activity, Calendar can infer the user’s building and floor and set it automatically. It can also detect changes in room booking behavior and infer when the work location has changed (i.e. the office has moved) and suggest that the user update their location.
  • Your users can update their main work locations themselves. Users can set and update their own location in Calendar settings.

Please note, you must have already entered building and floor information for your domain to input users’ main work locations.

Automatic room suggestions
Automatic room suggestions can help meeting organizers book courtesy rooms for all guests in any location, removing friction and creating peace of mind when planning meetings. Once user locations have been added, these users will instantly start seeing the room suggestions.

This launch includes a new, enhanced room and resource booking tab that will intelligently suggest the best available room for each attendee. This suggestion is based on the individual attendee’s building and floor location, previous booking history, audio/video equipment needs, and room capacity requirements.

In this tab, users will see the criteria that was considered when suggesting a room. They can adapt this criteria to fit their needs.



To unlock this feature, admins need to add detailed meeting room information into Calendar and users must have a work location set.

For more information on automatic room suggestions, check out the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins and all end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Set up automatic room suggestion
Help Center: Set up meeting rooms and calendar resources
Help Center: Impact of adopting structured Calendar resources
Detailed Guide: Structuring Google Calendar Resources
The Keyword: New ways to help teams work faster and smarter with G Suite
G Suite Updates: Coming soon: automatic room suggestions in Google Calendar

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Better manage your work and personal time with Google Calendar

Whether you’re on vacation or just offline at the end of your workday, Google Calendar can help protect your time out of the office. We’re introducing a new out of office option and customizable working hours to further improve your digital well-being.

Indicate when you’re going out of office

When creating an event on the web, simply select the “Out of office” Calendar entry type. The Out of office object will have a different look on the Calendar grid, signalling to others that you’re unavailable.



Google Calendar will automatically decline meetings that occur during this time period. You can customize both the decline message as well as the visibility of the title of your out of office object.

Going forward, Google Calendar will try to intelligently detect, based on the title entered, when you’re creating an out of office object and change the type automatically. You can always manually change this if you’d like to opt for a different entry type.

Restrict your working hours

By setting your working hours, you protect your personal time from your work time. People who will try to schedule meetings with you outside of these hours will be informed that you are not available at that time. You can already set your working hours to one interval for all days of the week. With this launch, you can now customize your work hours for each day separately.

Based on your timezone and past scheduling patterns, Google Calendar can now infer your working hours. You may see a prompt asking you to set them, and you can further customize them as needed.



For more information on these and other settings in Google Calendar, check out the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in 2 weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Change your Calendar settings
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Know when everyone has declined a Google Calendar event

Your time at work is important—we want to help you effectively manage that time with Calendar. In addition to scheduling and joining meetings, it’s important that you know when to cancel or reschedule meetings with low attendance, so you can take back time. That’s why we’re now indicating to Calendar users when their meetings won’t be attended by anyone else and helping them take action.

Without having to go into an event’s details, or watch your inbox for RSVP responses, you can now see beforehand when everyone else declined the meeting. We’ll show an indication on the event, flagging to you that all guests have declined.

Image displaying the visual indication that everyone has declined


After clicking on one of these events within Calendar, you can take one of the following actions:

  • Cancel the meeting: If you’re the event organizer, you’ll be able to delete the event. All other invitees will be able to remove it from their own calendar.
  • Reschedule the meeting: Organizers can reschedule the event, either manually or with “Find a Time.” Guests (or organizers in domains without the “Find a time” feature available) can email other guests to suggest rescheduling.
  • Dismiss an event: Until the event is moved to a new time, users can dismiss seeing the flagged indication for the meeting.
Image of the event details when everyone has declined


We hope that this new feature helps you to make the best use of your valuable time.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

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Bring teams together with new G Suite integrations

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)



The average employee uses 36 cloud services at work to collaborate or share files. That’s more apps than hours in a day! With so many apps and services, it’s important that your business chooses modern, open tools that make it easy to work with anyone—be it inside or outside of your organization.

We want to reduce complexity for your teams, which is why we’ve built integrations in G Suite like third-party add-ons in Gmail and Google Docs and better interoperability with Microsoft. Today, we’re announcing new integrations in Hangouts Meet and Calendar to help you have even better meeting experiences regardless of the conference technology you use. We’re also bringing you new ways to collaborate in Hangouts Chat and Sheets.

Collaborate easily with new compatibility in Hangouts Meet

Nothing’s more frustrating than hosting a meeting and having trouble getting people to join because of issues with technology—it can interrupt workflows and slow down productivity. We want to make it easier for businesses to use meeting solutions, like Hangouts Meet, without worrying about compatibility with existing equipment. This is why we’re making Meet compatible with traditional video conferencing systems, like Polycom and Cisco. In partnership with Pexip, teams will be able to join a meeting on Meet from their preferred equipment in the coming weeks. We’re also making it possible for Microsoft Skype for Business users to easily join a meeting on Meet directly from their Skype app.

Spotify has benefited from using Hangouts Meet to collaborate both internally and externally. Says Martin Antonsson, AV Infrastructure Engineer at Spotify, “Interoperability between Hangouts Meet and other video conferencing systems is fundamental to enabling collaboration. Now we can focus on having productive meetings instead of worrying about the technology.”

 Build add-ons in Google Calendar, join meetings in a cinch

A big part of having productive meetings is making sure that the right folks are able to join them. That’s why we’re announcing support for third-party conferencing natively in Google Calendar. Soon conference providers can easily build add-ons to create, view and join a video conference directly from a Calendar event. Users can simply click a link in the Calendar invite to join on web or mobile.



Cisco Webex is building an add-on to help users easily schedule meetings right from Google Calendar without requiring a download or plug-in. Arkadin, GoToMeeting, LogMeIn, Dialpad, RingCentral, Vidyo and Vonage are also building add-ons to help them more easily meet with their customers. These third-party conferencing add-ons will be available in the G Suite Marketplace in the coming months with details to come for developers.

You might have seen that we made it easier to view schedule availability across Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange last year. Building on this, we’re also announcing a way for you to book resources like rooms, equipment and more in Microsoft Exchange. If you use G Suite, you’ll be able to easily view and book resources stored in Exchange and Office 365 in the coming months.

Work with teams outside of your domain in Hangouts Chat

After you get the right people in the room with the right setup, it’s important to be able to share information in real time during your meetings—even with folks who may not be in your company. In the coming months, you’ll be able to include people from outside of your organization in Chat, making it easy to stay aligned with clients, vendors, partners and others, all from one place.

Resuelve—a consumer debt management business based in Mexico—uses guest access in Chat to connect with people outside of their organization, particularly as they look to grow their presence in additional regions. "Hangouts Chat has been crucial to our company's ability to expand into other markets,” says Jordi Adame, Chief Technology Officer of Resuelve. “It’s helped our internal teams be productive and we're looking forward to connecting with people outside of our organization in a similarly efficient way.”

New SAP integrations with Google Sheets

Companies often have critical business data in their SAP systems. In an upcoming SAP release, employees will be able to discover additional insights from their ERP content by importing it directly into Google Sheets. With this new integration, you can skip manually exporting data to CSVs and uploading them to Drive. Instead, export directly to Sheets and analyze data with tools like intelligent pivot tables. You can also skip tedious formatting by recording macros in Sheets, making it easier to streamline business processes and share information across teams right away.



Looking ahead

In the coming months, you’ll be able to join conferences on Hangouts Meet from your existing meeting room hardware, book rooms from Microsoft Exchange in Google Calendar and collaborate with folks outside of your domain in Hangouts Chat. You’ll also start to see integrations with Google Sheets in an upcoming SAP release, too.

Learn more about how your business’ technology can co-exist with G Suite. Visit the Next ‘18 website to register.

Making it even easier to join meetings from more third-party clients

In August 2017, we announced a feature that made it even easier to join a Google Calendar meeting using a CalDAV-based third-party calendaring client. We’ve heard from you that this functionality is helpful and you’d like to see it expanded to more calendaring clients. That’s why now, whenever someone uses G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook, Google Sync, or a third-party Android client that relies on Calendar Provider to access an event on Google Calendar, we’ll add automatically generated text to the event’s description. This text will include instructions on how to join the event through Meet or Hangouts.



With this launch, people using Google Calendar clients that don’t display meeting instructions natively (e.g., Samsung S Planner) no longer need to go to Google Calendar on the web to join their meetings.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release with Scheduled Release coming two weeks later

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:All end users using Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook, Google Sync or a third-party Android client that relies on Calendar Provider

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

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Include a message when changing meeting details in Google Calendar

There are many reasons why you’d need to make an edit to a meeting, and we’re now making it easier to communicate those changes. Going forward, when you change or delete an existing meeting, you’ll see a dialog box where you can enter a message for other guests of the meeting.



After you send the message, other guests will see your message in the email they receive alerting them to the updated meeting details.



Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information 
Help Center: Delete an event

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Calendar Interop now uses a restricted set of IPs

We built Calendar Interop to enable user availability lookups between Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange. Last summer, we introduced a wide array of improvements to the product, such as simplified setup and troubleshooting, real time updates, and support for both web and mobile. To help our customers improve the security of their coexistence setups, Calendar Interop will now use a restricted set of known IPs to communicate with Exchange servers.

By restricting Calendar Interop to this set of known IPs, G Suite customers can now block all incoming traffic (e.g., by setting up a firewall) to their on-premise Exchange servers, except for requests originating from Calendar Interop.

To see the list of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses that belong to Calendar Interop, check out this Help Center article.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: About Calendar Interop

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Self-diagnose ICS-related issues with improved Google Calendar audit logs

When changes are made within Google Calendar, it’s important that the available audit logs in the Admin console have the information you need to understand what happened. We have made it easier to do that for changes originating from a third-party system (such as Microsoft Exchange or IBM Notes). In these instances, the third-party system sends the user an email with an attached ICS file.

To help you better investigate situations like these, we’ve added new information to the audit logs, including:

  • The address of the email sender
  • The ID of the message that you can use in Gmail audit logs for further investigation
  • The third-party system that sent the message (for example, "Microsoft Exchange Server 2013"), and
  • The email recipient.
To see all third-party-originated changes, filter activities by selecting “Gmail ICS Parser” in the API Kind field.

Below is an example of an audit log for an event invitation from Microsoft Exchange user john@exchange.altostrat.com sent to Google Calendar user jane@altostrat.com:

  • Activity Name: Event created
  • Activity Description: john@exchange.altostrat.com created a new event Weekly Team Meeting
  • User: john@exchange.altostrat.com
  • Calendar Id: jane@altostrat.com
  • Event Title: Weekly Team Meeting
  • Event Id: _60q30c1g60o30e1i60o4ac1g60rj8gpl88rj2c1h84s34h9...
  • API Kind: Gmail ICS Parser
  • User Agent: Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Recipient Email: jane@altostrat.com
  • Message Id: < 001a11474d047be4c80553f59b74 altostrat.com="">
  • Date: May 22 7:53 AM
With this information, you’ll be able to investigate the change yourself, without having to rely on G Suite Support looking into it for you.

View these reports in the Admin console under Reports > Calendar.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Calendar audit log