Microsoft Office was the premier productivity solution in the business world in the last decade of the 20th century as well as the first few years of the 21st. Competitor solutions could not keep up. When Google launched Google Docs Spreadsheets, they were not seen as a threat to Microsoft. They were a solution for online collaborative document editing. Google later rebranded to service to G Suite (now Google Workspace), slowly gaining popularity to a point where they now have 5 million paying subscribers.
Microsoft Office had always licensed its software until when they launched Office 365. With the new service, Microsoft now started charging a monthly fee. Office 365 comes as software that customers install on their PCs although there is a web version with less powerful features. Therefore, their office applications are not really cloud-based but the email service (Outlook), storage (OneDrive), and SharePoint are cloud-based. In comparison, G Suite is mainly web-based but can work offline too. Both companies strive to make their Suite work on all devices. G Suite has an app for both Android and iOS. Microsoft 0ffice 365 has an app for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
Both suites offer similar applications as their main solutions. You will find word processors, spreadsheets, presentations, email, calendar, messaging, videoconferencing, contact management, and note-taking apps. Both also offer storage solutions. So, what would make users pick one service over the other? Which suite is best for your business?
It’s possible to use the basic applications of both suites online for free. However, businesses pay for the extra features and security. With G Suite, there are three price levels- Basic, Business, and Enterprise. The price per user at each price point is $6, $12, and $25 per user respectively. The allocated storage per user and management tools are more attractive at the higher price points. With Office 365, there are three plans for small businesses- $5, $8.25, and $12.50 per user. There are also 4 plans for organizations with more than 300 users starting at $12 per user. Both companies have tiered their services quite well, and it’s quite tough to pick the between the two. An app-by-app comparison would be the best approach.
Word Processing on G Suite vs Office 365
If your business relies heavily on collaboration on documents in its workflow, Google Docs would the best solution. Live document editing on Google Docs feels quite natural. However, Microsoft Word on Office 365 is still ahead in word processing features. There are tens of templates for brochures, resumes, newsletters, flyers, calendars, and more. Microsoft Word is also superior in embedding such things tables, charts, and graphs in your documents. For businesses that need to create multiple sophisticated documents, you will be more confident using Office 365.
Office 365 spreadsheets easily beats Google Spreadsheets in templates. It’s the clear favorite among data and finance professionals. There are more than 60 budget templates, and more than a dozen chart types to pick from. However, just like Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets is more powerful when it comes to collaboration. It’s easier to share Spreadsheets with colleagues and edit them in real-time. A person that works alone obviously prefers Excel. However, if collaboration is a big part of your day-to-day work, then G Suite will work better.
Email on G Suite vs Office 365
Google’s Gmail offers an easy-to-navigate and overall cleaner user interface. You are likely to get work done faster on Gmail because of the simplicity of use. Google’s Gmail has also integrated powerful AI features such as suggesting phrases as you type. The AI also reminds you of forgotten messages and nudges you to follow up on emails sent but not replied to. However, for the more sophisticated business users, Outlook offers more powerful features such as ‘Clean Up’ to make long email threads easier to follow up. Following threads on Gmail is cumbersome. Calendar functions and contacts are also more naturally embedded on Outlook and it, therefore, suits business users better.
Enterprise Level Collaboration
Collaboration is a top component of any productivity solution. Both suites have made great attempts at making their productivity solutions as immersive as possible. This is done by creating messaging and videoconferencing possible within the suite. Google offers Google Hangouts Chat and Google Meet. The former is a straightforward messaging solution available on browsers and an application on mobile devices too. Google Meet is a video conferencing solution in direct competition with Microsoft’s Skype.
Microsoft Teams is far more superior in enterprise-level collaboration. While G Suite is superior in sharing and editing documents in real-time, Teams takes it to another level. There are group chats, web and video conferencing, workspaces, file repositories for teams, and integration with Outlook and OneDrive. In fact, Microsoft’s Skype for Business is compatible with Office 365, to demonstrate how far head Microsoft Teams is.
Storage, Security and User Management tools
Both suites have web interfaces from where you can accomplish essential management tasks such as adding and removing users, defining roles and permissions and billing. The data security on both suites is also very reliable. When it comes to storage, aside from G Suite’s cheapest package, they all offer at least 1TB of storage per user, which is quite handy. Some plans on both suites offer unlimited storage, so there is no clear winner there. Both Google Drive and OneDrive allow smooth access to their office productivity suites. You can easily access documents from any device.
When it comes to tech support, both suites have 24/7 phone, email, and chat options. However, access is limited only to Office 365 or G Suite administrators respectively. Both platforms have plenty of communities for administrators to discuss emerging issues and solutions. Office 365 and G Suite also have training videos and periodic blogs to help their user communities make better use of their products. Users will hardly come across an issue that has not been addressed on forums or training videos.
Picking between Office 365 and G Suite comes down to the level of sophistication needed in the workflow of a business. Small enterprises that need basic document sharing, storage, and security can make do with G Suite. However, larger organizations that require making multiple documents, repositories for team files, powerful video conferencing and team meetings might be better served by Microsoft Office 365.