, Google’s in-house incubator Area 120 introduced a new work-tracking tool called Tables, an AirTable rival that allows tracking projects more efficiently using automation. Today, Google says Tables will officially “graduate” from Area 120 to become an official Google product by joining Google Cloud, which it expects to complete .
A long-time Google employee started the Tables project, now Tables’ GM, Tim Gleason, who spent ten years at the company and many more in the. He said he was inspired to work on Tables because he always had a complex time-tracking project, as teams shared notes and tasks across different documents, which quickly got out of date.
Instead of tracking those sorts of notes and tasks associated with a project across various documents that have to be manually updated by team members, Tables uses bots to help take on some of the administrative duties involved in guiding team members through a project — like scheduling recurring email reminders when tasks are overdue, messaging a chat room when new forms are received, moving charges to other people’s work queues, or updating jobs when schedules are changed.
The team saw Tables as a potential solution for various use cases, including project management, IT operations, customer service tracking, CRM, recruiting,, and more.
Thelast September to test product-market fit, Google says, and quickly found traction.
According to VP/GM andAmit Zavery, early customer feedback was positive. The team saw customers adopting the service for multiple projects — another strong signal for its potential growth. However, he declined to how many customers were already using the service.
The pandemic also likely played a role in Tables’ adoption, Zavery noted.
“If you saw what happened with COVID, I think work-tracking became a pretty big area of interest for many customers we’re speaking to,” he says, explaining that everyone was trying to digitize quickly.
Famous use cases included inventory management, healthcare supply tracking, and use in mortgage-lending workflows. However, the team found Tables were adopted beyond these, as hoped. On average, they found that customers would use Tables in a department with around 30 to 40 people.
Most customers were abandoning more manual processes to use Tables instead, not coming from a rival service.
“Things were very fragmented in different documents or with different people, so using technologies like this seems to have resonated very well,” Zavery trying to have 15 different sheets and figuring out how they are related because there’s no structure behind each.”. “Now you had one central place for structured information you can access and do things on top of it versus
Another factor that prompted Tables’ adoption was how quickly people could be productive, thanks to its ability to integrate with existing. Currently, Tables supports Office 365, Microsoft Access, Google Sheets, Slack, Salesforce, Box, and Dropbox.
Tables were one of only a few Area 120 projects to launch with a paid plan was supposed to cost $10 per user per month, supporting up to 1,000 tables and 10,000 rows. This plan larger attachments, more actions, advanced history, sharing, forms, automation, and views., ticket seller Fundo, conversational ads platform AdLingo and Google’s recently launched Orion WiFi. An individual could use Tables for free during its beta, supporting up to 100 tables and 1,000 rows. The paid
However, it says Google never began charging for its paid tier during the beta.
As Tables graduates into Google Cloud’s lineup, it will be integrated withapp-building platform, AppSheet, a free tier that allows the freemium model to continue. It will also be offered as a standalone product for those who want that experience. Users who want additional features can upgrade to a premium plan.
to get Tables in front of more users.
“it’s going to be delivered through Workspace integration because that’s a huge community of users who expect some similar kind of functionality,” Zavery says. “That will be a big differentiator; when you talk about the breadth of things, we can do — because of having that community of users on Sheets, the things they do with Drive, and the — we can automatically add this and augment their experience.”
The project taps into the growing interest in no-code, spreadsheet-powered database platforms — like AirTable, for example, which had closed on $185 million in Series D funding in the days before Tables’ release,post-money.
The Tables beta version will remain free as Tables transitions to Google Cloud until a fully supported Cloud product becomes available next year. At that point, users will migrate to the new service.
Over time, Tables plans to add more functionality as it ties in with AppSheet, to make using the service more seamless — so people don’t have to hop around from one product to another to accomplish tasks. It will also provide better ease of use,, and connectivity with more backend systems.
Official pricing hasn’t been finalized, but it shouldn’t differ greatly from the beta version.