A lot of organizations are now facing a variety of choices to make among the many business-grade platforms on the market. One big choice people are thinking about is between Google Suite and Office 365.
Today I want to walk through each platform and hopefully give you some information to make an informed decision when the time comes to deciding between these two platforms.
First, what do Office 365 and G Suite do for your business?
Office 365 and G Suite in a nutshell provide your organization with a variety of productivity tools that allow you to get more out of your business—all of these tools have been put in the cloud. [Note that Office 365 also provides its applications in a form on your desktop as well—programs that you can install on your computer rather than relying on a web browser].
What are some functionalities that we see in both Office 365 and G Suite?
Both platforms allow you to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and collaborate with team members in the process. Each has video conferencing and cloud storage as part of their packages.
I’m sure by now you’ve got a decent idea of what cloud storage is, but in case you need a simple reminder, it is essentially storing your files on your computer remotely on a server instead of on your computer. Cloud storage allows you to free up storage on your hard drive and makes real time collaboration easier.
What are some features in Google Suite that people are currently excited about?
There are some relatively new functionalities in Google’s cloud technology that have made people interested in Google’s platform. Here are some of the big headliners:
Advanced search functionality—Google’s new Cloud Search technology has made locating files much easier. Google’s search functionality now makes suggestions regarding what your team is looking for or what they need to do next. This pertains to both document searching, along with email, chats and other files.
Specify storage by region—Google clients now have the capability of specifying which region they want to store their G Suite data (previously, clients had limited control over data storage).
Advanced admin and security controls—clients now are able to audit and have some ownership over security controls, and have the ability to report on security.
Data loss prevention—these features pertains to both files and emails and helps prevent leaking sensitive data (for instance, personally identifiable information or protected health information).
Integration with archiving tools—in the event you need to archive files, Google has made their applications to interface better with third party tools.
Email encryption—some business-level accounts now give you the ability to encrypt email.
One note: free versions of G Suite come with additional advertising burdens. That advertising content is not present on subscription-based accounts.
When comparing amongst your Google options, the biggest difference for most organizations will be in how much storage you have. More basic plans restrict to around 30 GB of storage, but many business plans expand storage to a Terabyte of data per user.
Now what about Office 365?
All expected desktop version software—many of our teams already have accustomed themselves with all of Microsoft Office’s products. Office 365 incorporates all of the functionality of Office into their cloud-based subscriptions (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
Desktop and cloud versions—with Microsoft Office 365, you have the functionality and comfort of using a desktop application that interfaces with the cloud, without having to work through a browser. This is probably one of the biggest advantages to using Office 365 over G Suite. Note: this desktop functionality is available in all Office 365 plans EXCEPT in ‘Business Essentials’ and ‘E1’ plans.
Outlook email accounts—most of Office 365 accounts also come with an email account. If you want Office 365 as your email service provider, make sure you avoid ‘Business’ and ‘Pro Plus’ plans.
Many more applications—there are a ton of Microsoft applications currently being used and in production that are available in Office 365 (many of which could be useful in your business work flows).
One final note: all of Microsoft’s licenses do require an annual commitment. On the other hand, G Suite can be bought on a month-to-month basis, making for easier use with contract-based workers. The choice between these two top-notch platforms boils down to preference and ease of use and your organization’s comfort level with either platform.