Google has added a number of under-the-hood reliability features and new conference calling capabilities to its Hangouts messaging service.
On a software front, the upgrades are designed to make Hangouts more reliable and manageable at an enterprise level and the service will be covered by the same terms and support contract as Google’s other business services.
Google Apps vice president of product management Clay Bavor claimed this will guarantee customers 99.9 percent uptime using hangouts in a blog post.
“We’ve got your back with 24/7 phone support and a 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime, as well as ISO27001, SSAE 16/ISAE 4302 and SOC 2 certification. Additional enterprise integration with Google Apps Vault is coming by the end of the year.”
The upgrade will also let IT administrators manage meetings directly from the Google Apps Admin Console. The service will let them do things such as remotely start, mute and end a meeting.
The upgrades also improve cross-device video conferencing powers and make so any Google Apps customer account, including those without a Google+ profile, can start or join a high-definition video meeting with up to 15 participants from a computer or Chromebox. They said support for smartphones and tablets will be added in the very near future.
Google also announced a number of upgrades for its Chromebox for Meetings hardware. The first upgrade will add support for additional service providers so Chromebox users can connect with businesses using other systems.
Bavor explained: “Blue Jeans will allow people on traditional H.323 or SIP-based video conferencing systems to join video meetings. InterCall will let people join video meetings on their phones through an InterCall audio-conference bridge. And with new phone dialing support, you’ll be able to dial out from your Chromebox for meetings device to telephones.”
The Google VP added that “in the coming months” Chromeboxes will be able to have screens connected to them, granting them a variety of enhanced video conferencing powers.
“In larger conference rooms, you can connect two displays to one Chromebox for meetings device to see your audience and project a presentation at the same time,” read the post.
Google entered the enterprise business conference calling market in February, when it unveiled its first Asus-built Chromebox. It has scored some key contracts since unveiling the technology. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham started a major migration project to Chromebooks and Chromeboxes in April.