Google Apps vs Office 365 – Which One is Better?

With Office 365 and Google Apps undergoing major developments and with new features being added to each service, deciding on which “office cloud” will best suit or cater to your small business often gets tough. More so, the choice also comes with great risk. When it comes to making the choice, enterprises should take into consideration a number of factors to ensure avoiding any affect on the organization’s productivity. Additionally, there are also several other keys to picking one service over the other, which reaches well beyond the standard set of productivity tools offered by each service with respect to application support and SLAs along with user adoption and culture.

Determining Which One is Better – The Catch with Productivity Applications and Document Management

To begin with, it is always advisable to draw out a comparison with respect to the standard office application; here is a look –

 

  • Productivity Applications

 

Productivity suite apps is one application that is familiar to both Office 365 and Google apps. This particular suite includes presentation, spreadsheet, and word processing software. These are known as Google Docs and Office Web Apps respectively under Google Apps and Office 365. Both these suites also come equipped with key supplementary tools to support these core applications that have been especially designed to encourage the idea of improved office productivity. While Office 365 presents an online version of the OneNote software, Google Apps offers Drawing and Form applications.

Small business enterprises should note that both productivity suites help accomplishing almost 99 per cent of the work done by most enterprises. However, Office 365 cuts the edge when it comes to completing the remaining 1 per cent job that has been left unattended. This is because, Office 365 facilitates the users to integrate smoothly with the desktop equivalent of OneNote, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. This advantage further helps the organization to take care of advanced tasks like creating VBA programs, when required.

 

  • Document Management

 

Creating documents with the help of productivity applications like spreadsheets and word processors involve a lot more aspects than actually visible. Being a small business, you need to undertake several obligations and take care of certain factors to ensure a proper management of documents and the information or data contained within them. So, what is available or what can you expect getting on Office 365 and Google Apps document management service? From collaboration and sharing of documents with peers to editing documents offline owing to the loss or unavailability of Internet connection, you can be sure of taking care of it all.

Moreover, document search and navigation, document versioning/revisions, document exporting and importing, to striking a synchronization between desktop and cloud derived documents, the applications help with it all. Usually, most enterprise divide the work within teams that need to not only share documents, but also strike a real-time collaboration between them ensuring better teamwork. Both Google Apps and Office 365 comes with the ability to collaborate and share in both real-time and pseudo real-time respectively. While Google Docs are known to offer an easy approach to sharing and collaboration, Office 365 features some mechanism that restricts two authors from working on the same document simultaneously.

Importing/exporting of documents, offline editing, and document syncing are closely related features and are offered via both office 365 and Google Apps. However, both comes with own set of concerns when it comes to using the same for large enterprises. Document revision is another key feature offered by both the applications. In fact, both Office 365 and Google Apps come equipped with certain methods that help keeping a track of long revision history, but strict versioning feature is missing on both. While this might not prove useful for advanced users, the possibility cannot entirely be ruled out.

With Office 365 and Google Apps offering different kinds of benefits with respect to productivity applications and document management, taking a call is tough. In fact, a lot of it is dependent on user value and business interest. However, there are also certain other factors that tend to play an important role in determining a decision between Office 365 and Google Apps. Here is a look –

 

  • Email

 

Both application suites tend to hold a lot in common, especially when it comes to email. With Gmail and Exchange Online offering similar kinds of functionalities, deciding which one is better is tricky. With Gmail offering a more flexible interface and platform, it probably cuts the edge when compared against the Outlook’s web option, which also offers a nicely designed interface.

 

  • Cloud Storage

 

With respect to emailing features, Microsoft offers 50 GB storage for each user against Google’s modest offering of 30 GB. Though the dynamics of comparison involve a lot more than the storage space, the costs play an important role here. In fact, the comparison between the entry level offering of Google and Microsoft’s Office 365 Enterprise reveals a lot more. While the Office 365 service is charged at $8 each month for each user, Google’s service is charged $5 each month for each user. It is also to be remembered that expensive packages hardly add any more storage according to per-user count. Therefore, the ration deteriorates quickly.

Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps – The Big Fight in Terms of Businesses

If your business is considering a move to a cloud based productivity app suite then, you must take a careful call. Finding it tough to decide between Google Apps and Office 365 for businesses? Here’s a look at some key aspects that will surely make your choice simpler

– Familiarity –
Microsoft Office 365 – Requires little or no training as the look and feel resembles Microsoft office software
Google Apps – Developed on a proprietary platform that is mostly unfamiliar to users. Therefore, formal training is very much required.

– Browser Compatibility –
Google Chrome – Both system perform as per expectation
Mozilla Firefox – Microsoft Office 365 performs better as against Google Apps
Internet Explorer – Microsoft 365 performs effortlessly; All features of Google Apps not supported

– Security –
Microsoft Office 365 – Manage rights at several levels via Active Directory. You also get to know where information is stored.
Google Apps – Restricted support for group management, but without robust capability for identity management. Access to IT administration is everything or nothing. Tiered access facility not offered.

The Final Call – Taking the Decision

Traditionally, it all depends on your business interest. While Google Apps ease of use, simplicity, hassle-free operation guarantees an increased number of loyalists among both small and big organization. Though it is not rich in features as Office 365, it does offer maximum functionalities especially at low cost range. On the contrary, Office 365 affords a more extensive and polished experience with respect to capabilities. Organizations looking forward to a bit more robust set of features can rely upon Office 365 without a doubt. However, the viability of Google Apps cannot be also ruled out completely. To conclude, it can be said that while Google Apps is designed for the mass, Office 365 is largely dedicated towards niche users. For enterprises looking forward to move to Cloud, Google Apps cuts the edge significantly.