Google Apps or Office 365 – Which one is right for your business?
Many organizations continue to love Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Business. Office 365 aims at being all things for all businesses, while Google Apps offers key capabilities without the complexity. Both Microsoft and Google allow simultaneous logins to multiple accounts from different browser tabs. Their platforms are very different in terms of usability and functionality. Let’s take a look.
Function & Features Both Google Apps and Office 365 offer functional counterparts that can be used by office workers every day. They also have a lot of collaborative capabilities. Here’s a breakdown:
Online Storage Office 365 offers 50GB of storage space in Outlook and 25GB for OneDrive. Google Apps offers 30GB of storage which is split between Gmail, Drive, and Picasa. Both companies will offer freebies, with Google offering 15GB and Microsoft giving 7GB. If you need more space, both vendors will sell it.
OneDrive and Drive both integrate with other products from each vendor. Each also offers online document readers that allow you to view all types of files directly in your browser without the need to download or open them. However, neither storage platform provides central control over document sharing.
Desktop Apps Some Office 365 plans include desktop apps such as Word, Excel, etc. To complete the suite, customers can choose between the browser-based and thick clients. Google Apps is completely browser-based, so there is no desktop counterpart. You can still use Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline with Chrome. However, changes must be made both in the Admin Console as well as on the user’s side. To work in Gmail offline, you can also install an extension for Chrome.
Spreadsheet Application Many people believe that Google Sheets is inferior to Microsoft Excel’s powerful formulas and features. This can be a significant consideration for companies that rely on Excel. Excel still has some useful features that companies may need. Sheets may not be able to store detailed formulas or in-depth calculations. Google also limits Sheets to 400,000 cells compared to Excel’s 17 billion.
Office 365 Business Options Office 365 comes in many, many business options, as well as the Office 365 offerings to Government, Education, and Universities. Each offer a wide range of features and services at different price points. As you can see, there are only six of the most popular Business Options. You’ll probably notice that Google offers a slightly simpler or more limited selection depending on your perspective.
Features/Familiarity Office 365 offers a number of advantages to users who are familiar with Word, Excel, and the rest of the gang over years. There is less learning curve with Google Apps if it is a new experience. It is true that Office can be confusing and complex. This is why many users will find it familiar. However, companies may pay more for advanced packages that not all employees will use. Google Apps programs, on the other hand, are intuitive and easy to use, but may feel awkward to those who have to code Office.
Email both suites are fairly similar in terms of email functionality, with Exchange Online and Gmail offering similar functionality. Although the web clients are quite different, Gmail is likely to be a better and more flexible offering overall. However, Outlook’s web option could make the transition from a traditional Microsoft setup a little easier.
App Marketplaces The beauty and appeal of cloud-based environments are their ability to be customized according to company needs, new advancements and administrator skills. Both Microsoft and Google offer add-ons through a central marketplace. The Microsoft Office 365 Marketplace is very similar to the Google Apps Marketplace. It offers professional services and applications that can be used to enhance your platform.
While Google Apps is more user-friendly than Office 365, its feature-set is much smaller. Although less robust than the desktop versions of Office Apps Word and Excel, they still have more polish than their Google counterparts and can work with Microsoft’s file types. Some Office 365 packages also include the latest desktop versions for Windows and OS X.
Tom Rizzo, Senior Director at Microsoft Online Services, says that online tools complement existing on-premise productivity suites and are a winning combination. Office 365 provides a more refined and comprehensive experience in terms of capabilities. Office 365 is a great option for organizations that need a more robust feature list and those who can’t bear to abandon the original Office apps.