Any workplace’s software backbone is the productivity suite they use, with output directly related to how effectively and efficiently the team uses their tools. Like trying to start a fire with sticks, trying to create a document with Notepad is going to be long and tedious.
A productivity suite includes tools such as email, word processing, spreadsheets, and instant messaging, and can be purchased as a package, ala Office or G Suite, or cobbled together from disperse tools, such as Slack, Dropbox Paper, and Evernote.
Each productivity suite has its own benefits and quirks, with each is geared towards a slightly different goal. If you are trying to decide whether to pick Office 365 or Google G Suite for your business, we can help steer you in the right direction.
This article is to give readers a brief overview of each of the suites, as well as superficial guidance about which one will be better for your business. For an in depth look into the features and suitability of each, make sure to stay tuned for our next article.
An introduction to Office 365 and Google G Suite
Microsoft Office has been king of productivity apps for about oh, the last thirty years, a testament to its usefulness. Office 365 is the cloud-based subscription service that is the natural extension of the traditionally installed Office suite. Office 365 allows users to download the traditional versions of tools like Word and Excel, and also offers the ability to work with a majority of tools online, through a browser or apps, as well as offering other cloud collaboration services and storage.
Google’s G Suite is the direct competitor to Office 365, and is fully cloud-based. Google’s cloud productivity suite, as opposed to Office 365, runs from the browser and on-device apps and focuses on collaboration, rather than traditionally isolated productivity.
Suite of products
|Product||Office 365||G Suite|
|Conferencing / video||Skype||Hangouts|
While these are the core products in each suite, there are plenty of extras or lesser used apps available in particularly Office 365, but also G Suite.
There are a range of different plans that you can get with both Office 365 and G Suite – all with free trials available.
For Office 365, the pick of the bunch for small to medium businesses is Office 365 Business Premium, which offers downloadable Office apps, Exchange, Teams (for collaboration), Skype for business and more. It includes a custom email domain, 1TB of storage per user, a personal intranet via SharePoint, the StaffHub scheduler and other goodies, for $12.50 a user a month (annual subscription) or $15 a user a month (monthly subscription). For bigger businesses or those concerned with security, Office 365 Enterprise E3 offers bumped up security and compliance functionality ($20/user per month annually). Office 365 Enterprise E5 takes has even more security, analytics, phone functionality and voice control – which could be ideal for the tech-forward business ($35/user per month annually).
The comparable plans for G Suite are the Business (for small businesses, running at $10/month) which includes business email, unlimited storage (with 5+ users), security controls, and the Google suite of products. The Enterprise plan is $25/user a month and includes extra like loss prevention, enhanced email encryption, heightened access control systems, and more.
Look and feel
Office 365 sticks with their tried and true look and feel across their products, albeit with the online versions of the tools being more streamlined than their desktop counterparts. This makes it a good choice for an office where employees are used to these interfaces.
G Suite has much more paired back interfaces for their suite of products, and you’ll notice many of the configurable options that you’d be used to from a desktop version are missing. However, work is easy if you don’t need a million bells and whistles or layout options and collaboration in particular is a breeze.
Microsoft’s offering, as it was designed from the beginning to be standalone products, for working on solo on your own computer, have added collaboration to tools in latter versions – which we see in Office 365. While it’s still easy to collaborate in the browser versions of the Office 365 tools, collaboration on local files is a little clunky.
On the other hand, Google has created their suite of products to focus heavily on collaboration, making it easy to share, edit, comment, and create among users. You can see when people are working on the same file as you in real time.
So which one will be best for my business?
We recommend delving into the features of both Office 365 and G Suite in the remainder of our series to make sure you know exactly how both of these products would fit into your workflow. That being said, we can say that the bigger picture version of what works for most businesses is loosely as follows:
The most important part of choosing whether to go for Office 365 or G Suite is your company environment. Most workplaces have run Office as standard since the beginning. If your organisation is used to using Office, then it’s better to stick with something tried and true to avoid the learning curve to pick up G Suite, particularly if your team isn’t particularly technology forwards. Office 365 also has the edge in terms of custom formatting and functions for files.
Businesses that are heavily reliant on cloud technology and services, operate a multi-OS workplace with a combination of PC, Apple, and Linux users, or work across desktops, laptops, mobiles, and tablets fluidly might prefer to use G Suite. If you’re a company that relies heavily on collaboration and lives mainly in other apps like PhotoShop or Visual Studio, perhaps with remote workers, then G Suite may have the edge – plus, you can always install Office locally if need be.
We can help assess your business and determine whether Office 365 or Google G Suite is the better selection, as well as advise which plan is best for you. We can also handle installation, configuration, and management services for productivity suites should you not have a dedicated team or expert on hand to do it yourself. If you’d like to know more about Office 365, G Suite, or our services, please reach out.
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