Starting today, businesses that have deployed the use of Google Apps will find it easier to have video conferences with just about anyone with a Google account. This is because Google has made Hangouts a (standalone) part of its Google Apps suite meaning that one does not need a Google+ profile for Hangouts to work as it was before. With Hangouts now part of Google Apps just like Gmail or Drive, all that one needs is a Google account.
Starting today, Hangouts video meetings support any Google Apps customer account including those without a Google+ profile. Any Google Apps customer can start or join a high-definition video meeting that connects 15 participants—from a computer or Chromebox for meetings device and coming soon to mobile phone and tablet.
Google Apps is Google’s productivity package of services aimed at enterprise users and this move is huge.
Ordinary Hangouts users however are exempt from this as their usage of Hangouts is still tied to their Google+ profiles, at least on an ordinary user to ordinary user basis.
Google has over the last two years moved to tie almost all its services to its social networking service, Google+, with a lot of backlash from users of such services and in some cases, it has reversed those changes or toned down on its insistence that users switch to Google+ for everything. Getting enterprise users out of the loop is a big step. Hopefully, one of many.