Google Workspace Vs Microsoft Office 365

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Google Workspace and Office 365 are both titans of business productivity software – but which one is right for your business? When it comes to Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace (G Suite), there are pros and cons to each, and which comes out on top is completely dependent on your business needs. We compare Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 in the post to help you decide which is most suited to your company.

Comparing Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365

We can guarantee every week that the topic of ‘best value’ comes up in conversation. For example, last week, Jonathan spoke to a prospect who told him they had 15 users and they use Google Workplace because the CEO loves Google, but nobody else in the business did. Or, the week before, he spoke to another company who used a mix of Microsoft, Google, Dropbox and Zoom to run their business – that’s a lot of different technology. To begin with, both products have recently had a name change. Microsoft 365 was formerly known as Office 365, and Google Workplace was formerly known as G Suite. Just to avoid confusion, we are talking about the same products here. Remember, collaboration is key, and you want to use productivity software that includes email, cloud file storage for files/folders, and modern collaboration tools.
  1. Email
Email, we all love it. Or do we? Well, the days we all rely on it for the core communication in our business. Look back a few years ago, and many SMEs used to need a server in their office to run their email system. Fortunately, now you don’t, and both Microsoft and Google’s email system is robust and feature-rich. The email system that is part of the Microsoft 365 eco-system is called Exchange Online – the name derives from the software ‘Exchange’ that used to be installed on a physical server. With exchange online, you have massive mailboxes ranging from 50GB to over 100GB in size. You also have all the sharing capabilities with calendars and contacts. Although the email system is based in the cloud, most people still use Microsoft Outlook to use it. On the other hand, Google has their Gmail email system, which is part of their Google Workplace product. As with Microsoft, you can have huge mailboxes and all of the sharing capabilities. The key difference is how you access it; with Microsoft 365, you use Outlook, whereas Google promotes access via a web browser. Although you can actually configure Outlook for Google email… but why would you want to?
  1. Cloud Storage
We all need to create, share and manage files and folders and both Microsoft and Google platforms have this built into their products. Microsoft: The product here is called OneDrive. With most of the Microsoft plans, you get 1TB storage per user (18,000,000-word documents). As with email, you can install the OneDrive software on your computer and sync files and folders to the cloud. The majority of businesses work this way. Although, you can also log into the portal and access your documents in the cloud. In our experience, the cloud version of OneDrive has been a little bit clunky. If you run a business and you need an area where you can all see files and folders, then you can set up a SharePoint document library that still uses the OneDrive software – all nice and simple. Google: Google’s files storage system is Google Drive. Google does offer much more storage with their plans. With the Business Plus package, you get a massive 5TB of space per user. Lots of people, if you’re still a general IT user, won’t ever go near this. But if you store video files or photos, then you might…. in time. As with the email product, the Google Drive product is designed to live in the web browser. Rather than have the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), Google has it’s own called Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The product is very intuitive, and you can do all of the sharing bits you can do with Microsoft. Good if you’re doing basic things…… we do know lots of Google Workplace users who also have Microsoft Office installed. Why? Who knows!  
  1. Chat + Collaboration
Chat and collaboration have become a huge requirement since Covid. People work remotely from each other but still need to talk to each other over video and chat. For example, Zoom, the video conferencing software, saw sales jump 320% during 2020 when the pandemic hit and now has approx. 300 million active users. Zoom is still the most popular solution. The problem we see with Zoom is that all it does is video conferencing, so you would still need a Microsoft 365 or Google Workplace product for email and cloud storage. And Microsoft and Google both have products in their platforms that have video conferencing. So why do you need additional software? Microsoft 365 has Microsoft Teams which has grown from 32 million daily users to a whopping 145 million daily uses since the pandemic. Teams is a comprehensive app that can be used for chat, dedicated communication in Teams channels and a fully functional telephone system. We use Teams in our business, and it has reduced internal email to nearly zero. All of our company collaboration happens within Microsoft Teams. Google rebranded its Google Hangouts product to Google Meets in 2020, and it’s now part of their Google Workplace product. So, you’ll find that every feature that Microsoft 365 has, Google Workplace also has.  
  1. Pricing & Packaging
A discussion on Google Workspace vs Office 365 wouldn’t be possible without discussing both price and packaging. Google Workplace: There are four packages when it comes to Google Workplace, and they’re laid out very easily. You can understand the differences at a glance, with different storage limits and enhanced security and basic security. If you’re a business, we recommend looking at the package that gives you the most enhanced security – in Google Workplaces case; the Business Plus would be at £13.80 per user/per month. Microsoft 365: Now onto Microsoft; unfortunately, their pricing plans aren’t as straightforward as Google’s. You could even say that they’re very confusing. They have four packages available that are aimed at small – medium-sized businesses. They’ve then got another three packages that are aimed at larger organisations. Plus, they still have two packages that have yet to be rebranded and still carry the Office 365 name (now Microsoft 365). So, all in all, that is nine packages. This is where Google beats them on their simplicity. The Microsoft package that is most similar to the Google Business Plus package would be the Microsoft 365 Business Premium package – it has all the collaboration features and robust security. This package is £15.10 per user/per month. Head-to-head, Google works out cheaper. But there are reasons for this (don’t worry, we’ll get to those).
  1. Philosophy/Approach
One of the key differences between the two companies is their approach and the design of the system. The Google Workplace focuses on using the software over a web browser. Whereas the Microsoft package is designed to run with the applications that we’re all used to – Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint – although web versions are available. Now coming back to the pricing, the reason the Microsoft package is more expensive is because it includes the jewel in the Microsoft crown – Microsoft Office software. We’re all used to this software, and we’re comfortable with it!

Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace (G Suite) Recommendations

So, with all this in mind, what do we recommend using in business? Look at the following three factors:
  1. What devices are you using?
Are you all using Microsoft Windows PC’s and Desktops? If you are, we recommend going with Microsoft 365. We’re big believers in standardisation and integration. Microsoft 365 is designed to work seamlessly with Windows 10 – yes, you can use Microsoft Windows devices with Google, but why would you? If you like the look of Google Workplace, then why wouldn’t you look to use Chromebooks instead? Because again, the integration is there.
  1. What are your customers and partners using?
This is a big one for us. All of our customers and partners use Microsoft 365. This is the world that the business lives in. So, we can easily send them Teams meetings and even integrate them into our Teams chats. If we wanted a meeting with a client who used Teams and then sent them a Google Meeting request …
  1. What is your desire for change?
Google Workplace is different to what most people at a certain age are used to. As we mentioned above, most of us grew up with Microsoft Office; it’s what I know. It’s what most people in our business know. So, if we looked to make the move to Google, it would be a huge change in the way we worked. If you have a business with dozens of employees and they’re all used to working with Microsoft, what is the true motive to change, knowing that you would need to train people on the new system completely. But we accept that the younger generation and people working in certain industries are Google people. So, the opposite works! To find out more about the comparison between Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 and what software works best for your business, please get in touch with us today to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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