Google's annual conference, Google Cloud Next, unveiled many valuable tools for businesses this year. The standout feature is Generative AI, a game-changer that Google has seamlessly integrated to boost productivity across its entire product lineup. Explore the latest innovations showcased at Google Cloud Next that are specifically tailored for businesses.


Data Analysis: Looker Studio Gets Easier to Use with AI 

Looker Studio is a fantastic data analytics tool for any business. It is most frequently used by the marketing team to tie together analytics from multiple sources in one, easy to understand dashboard, but it can be used for any Business Intelligence data. Since the implementation of GA4 for Google Analytics, it is almost a necessity to use a third-party tool for website analytics, and there's none better than the one Google created. 

Up until now, Looker has required a certain amount of tech-savvy to implement that the average in-house team may not have. The announced features and updates effectively remove this barrier to entry. 

Google has made moves to greatly simplify Looker with AI and better feature availability for all users. The goal is to ensure it is the choice for Business Intelligence data analysis for more businesses. In particular, integration of its Gemini AI offering will make reports far easier to create. 

1) Gemini for Looker Studio will enable better Business Intelligence (BI) data analytics and visualization. 

gemini looker - UpCurve Cloud

Status: In Private Preview only 


2) Looker Studio Pro is now free for all paid Looker users, excluding Embed. This gives Looker users access to a more fully-featured and useful product. 

looker studio pro - UpCurve Cloud

Status: Immediate 



Google bakes more AI power and security into Google Workspace 

While Google has been rolling out Gemini's AI power to Google Workspace since last year, its integration has become more fully baked and more secure. We've provided a larger breakdown here, but the following are the highlights. 

1) AI Security Add-On 

This new add-on is available now, allowing you to protect specific files and folders on Google Drive. The add-on also identifies new files that may need to be protected, ensuring that sensitive data never leaves your organization unless you want it to. 

Status: Immediate 

Cost: $10 per user per month 


2) Enhanced Data Loss Prevention (DLP) controls and classification labels for Gmail

With DLP, you can choose to stop or limit the data that is being transmitted through your company email. 

Up until now, if you wanted enhanced DLP controls on your company's Gmail, you had to use a third-party solution. While these solutions are very secure, removing a degree of separation and having these DLP controls available natively within Gmail is the most secure way to handle DLP. These enhanced controls are coming and are currently in beta. It remains to be seen if they are better than third-party solutions, but they are an excellent boost to the security of any company's Gmail. 

Status: Beta


3) Protection coming from quantum computer attacks in client-side encryption

Google says "we're adding experimental support for post-quantum cryptography (PQC) in client-side encryption together with our partners, including Thales and Fortanixin order to protect against quantum hacks. We're making an assumption based on the wording that this is in the works rather than an immediate rollout. 

You can learn more about Google Workspace client-side encryption here

Status: Experimental 


4) Write an email with voice prompts in Gmail

You will soon be able to use voice prompts to write emails in Gmail, allowing you to send a polished email using just rough notes with the power of AI. 

Status: Coming soon


5) New tables feature in Google Sheets

tables google sheets - UpCurve Cloud

The basic tables tool in Google Sheets is getting a facelift to make your data visualizations better. You'll be able to go beyond basic to make your data truly shine with tight visuals, templated with what Google is calling "building blocks." 

Status: Coming soon


6) Tabs in Google Docs

tabs docs - UpCurve Cloud
This feature will allow you to create tabs in a doc instead of linking to or searching for 
a number of files in Google Drive. 

Status: Coming soon


While it wasn't part of the Google Cloud Next avalanche of products and was rolled out earlier in the year, Gemini for Workspace is an excellent option for any SMB. Chances are good that your staff are using other AI products to assist with their everyday tasks. While this isn't a bad thing, it is inherently more secure and far more efficient for them to use a similar tool that is native to Workspace. We suggest that you use it to optimize your workflow and increase productivity. 


Security beefed up in tandem with AI offerings 

Security is one of the basic pain points in every business, and AI adoption heavily depends on the security of the solution. Google recognizes this and has significantly ramped up its security offerings alongside the development of its AI solutions. 

The biggest announcement in this area was Gemini in Security Operations, which is meant for cybersecurity teams and investigations. A number of security features were also launched for Google Cloud. 

The most useful news for SMBs is the Google Workspace AI Security Add-On, detailed above in the Google Workspace section, which is available immediately. 

With its Google Cloud Next offerings, Google has proved once again that it is at the bleeding edge of development, this year most notably with AI. They've done it without sacrificing ease of use for the everyday worker. Nearly every product we've listed here can be installed and configured by tech-savvy staff. If you want us to install and configure anything for you, or if you even just have some questions, we're here to help as your Google Partner. 



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