Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace (G Suite) – Which is best for your business?
Here's a look at the many different editions of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace
Both Microsoft and Google would like to be your one-stop shop for business productivity software. Their respective subscription offerings, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, tick all the top-level boxes on your company's communications and productivity checklist. Each suite includes the following features:
- Business email and shared calendaring services attached to custom domains
- Online storage, with shared space for collaboration and a large allotment of personal storage space for each user account
- Productivity apps for creating and collaborating on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Corporate communication tools, including messaging, online meetings, and video conferencing
- A management interface, with advanced features such as compliance and archiving for enterprise customers as well as security features including two-factor authentication
Both of these services are underpinned by a robust, highly reliable cloud infrastructure with data centers worldwide.
For many, the choice comes down to which of those approaches fits best with your installed base of hardware.
Microsoft's approach builds on its blockbuster Office franchise (the name change from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 was effective earlier this year). and the accompanying desktop apps, which are now available in Click-to-Run packages that update automatically. The back-end services, including Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Teams, offer an easy migration path for organisations ready to move their on-premises servers to the cloud. Employees can access those services using familiar desktop apps like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, or they can use web-based alternatives.
By contrast, Google's approach is cloud-native and browser-centric. The web-based services are identical to the personal tools your employees are already familiar with, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Sheets. When used with Google's Chrome browser, those apps support offline storage of email and documents
Both services include web-based management consoles that are designed for mid-sized business and larger. Those management tools can be intimidating in smaller businesses that don't have a full-time IT department. For those scenarios, working with a reseller who's been certified as a Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace specialist is usually the best option.
Communication and collaboration
Regardless of whether you use Google Workspace or Office 365, you have an assortment of communication and collaboration tools from which to choose.
Both services allow simultaneous editing of documents in the web browser, so that people can work as a team on shared projects; for files stored on OneDrive, you can collaborate using the Office desktop apps, as well.
Google has renamed its Google Hangouts apps to Meet (for online meetings, video conferencing, and voice calls) and Chat (which handles simple text chats). Microsoft 365 accomplishes the same goals with the Microsoft Teams app, which replaces Skype for Business and the ancient Lync.