It’s the age of the Cloud. Everyone is either using it or is moving into it as it increases productivity by providing various advantages to your business like flexibility, scalability and access to your information anywhere on the go. There are multiple cloud based business productivity tools available in the market for documents, email, calendar and file sharing but the two big names that have emerged as leaders are –Microsoft, the most popular provider of Office solutions and Google, the familiar search engine and online advertising services provider.
To increase the IT efficiency of your business, Microsoft is providing our good, old office applications that we have been using since long and much more in the cloud in its ‘Office365’ solution and Google is providing ‘Google Apps for Work’ that includes Google Docs, Hangout and some other applications.
Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Whereas, Office 365 – Business Productivity Suite offers a broad range of features and provides capabilities that let businesses perform the simplest to the most complicated tasks with ease, Google Apps, on the other hand, following Google’s minimalistic policy prefer simplicity over resourcefulness and thus provides limited but useful features.
Let’s compare them in depth so that you can easily find out which one is the best solution for you.
1. Email & Cloud Storage
With Office 365, you get professional business email IDs on your domain name with a large 50 GB inbox, allows sending attachments as big as 25 MB and provides easy synchronization between multiple devices. Office 365, with its each plan provides 1TB of cloud storage space for each employee of your organization and allows for seamless storing and sharing of files and documents.
Google Apps also provides an email ID on your own domain name that you have to purchase from Google or from any other domain registrar, and uses its Gmail platform to power the email. Google Apps provide only 30 GB of cloud storage space with its basic plan and 1TB for up to 5 users in its unlimited plan.
2. Online Meetings
Office 365 provides for unlimited audio and video conferencing or online meetings with up to 300 users using Skype for business, and allows sharing of screens and documents during the meeting. It also lets you drop IM or instant messages to your employees or colleagues and monitor their status in real time, i.e. if they are busy, available, off-work, etc.
Google Apps provide Google Hangout for online video meetings but it’s limited to 15 users and there’s a restriction on the number of meetings that you can hold in a month. It lacks functionalities offered by Office 365 like no real-time monitoring and screen sharing.
Office 365 is compatible with most popular software and applications and makes it easy to import and export data from other applications. It easily syncs with multiple devices like desktops, tablets, mobiles, etc. and lets you start work on one device and continue it on another.
Compatibility is a major issue with Google Apps and it’s compatible only with few Google powered applications. It lacks perfect synchronization between devices and requires installation of Chrome browser in all.
The biggest advantage to using Office 365 is that your staff is already familiar with it and needs no retraining. It also proves to be more productive by providing more flexibility and ability to handle enterprise workloads with perfect interconnection between Office Apps, Outlook, OneDrive, Calendar and other applications. It provides almost same capabilities whether you are working online or offline.
With Google Apps, you need to train your staff so that they can use everything properly. It still largely remains a web based application as it has very limited offline capabilities, and provides almost zero collaboration with other applications.
5. Privacy and Security
Office 365 is an upgrade of Microsoft Office and comes from a trusted provider – Microsoft, which has a proven track record of providing reliable office solutions for decades. It comes with built-in safeguards, security capabilities and privacy features.
Google Apps is very new in the market as compared to Office 365 and yet to prove its reliability. On comparison, its security capabilities are missing, provides a very limited support and puts the security and privacy of your data at risk.
Office 365 has devised different plans for different category of users – business, home, personal, students, etc. and each plan has been designed keeping in mind the needs of different users.
Google Apps only offers two plans, a basic plan and an unlimited plan. These are designed keeping in mind the one-size-fits-all approach. Additionally, there may be hidden costs that can incur when you purchase third-party apps for added functionalities.
I found Office 365 to be a far better option as a complete business productivity suite that has the ability to boost your business productivity with a perfect bundle of business essential solutions.
New Case Study About Office 365 Winning Over Google Apps
Here is a case study about how shifting from Google apps to Microsoft Office 365 enabled Johari Digital Healthcare Ltd., a renowned name in healthcare industry, to boost communications and fulfill security needs within a limited budget.
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Pavan takes care of clients’ communication at ZNetLive. He has a deep understanding of email techniques and best practices and keeps looking for new and innovative approaches to interact with clients as per their needs. An avid reader with an interest in writing, he can be found researching latest technologies when free. Meet him on Google+.