By Amee Kent

2018-04-11

Microsoft

Setting up your IT means making hundreds of decisions that go unseen within your organization. But one of the most highly visible choices you’ll make is which software and productivity suite to use: Office 365 or G Suite.

G Suite became a consumer darling when it launched thanks to the ease of getting started with a free account. It also offered real-time collaboration capabilities that traditional versions of Microsoft Office did not. As consumers began to use it, that interest began to spill over to businesses.

But with Microsoft’s SaaS delivery method, Office 365 provides access to the Microsoft suite you know and love along with real-time collaboration. Office 365 is cloud-based, frequently updated, and accessible on any device.

Which suite is right for you? Let’s look at how each one fares on a few key measures.

Familiarity - Winner: Office 365

Microsoft Office has been a standard in companies for decades, making it the more familiar suite for most of your employees. Where G Suite has 3 million users, Office has 1.2 billion, 60 million of whom are on Office 365.

This not only makes employee training easier, it makes day-to-day collaboration with outside parties easier as well. Because of its market saturation, Office will be the most common choice for the vendors and contractors you work with.

While there is some compatibility between suites, if you’re on G Suite while the other parties are on Office, you’ll need to convert documents back and forth to edit and store in your suite of choice. This can lead to formatting errors and other challenges that slow down productivity.

Features and Functionality - Winner: Office 365

G Suite mimics some of the basic features of Office, including word processing and rudimentary spreadsheets. But Office 365 has much more robust features and functionality for professional users.

Word offers more templates and design functionality to enable employees to create professional reports. Perhaps even more importantly, accounting and marketing teams who are used to Microsoft Excel may not be happy with the reduced functionality of Google Sheets when it comes to working with formulas, filtering, tables, macros, and charts.

Collaboration - Winner: Tie

Both suites do a great job of enabling real-time coauthoring, collaboration, and communication. Team members can work simultaneously in the same document and see each other’s changes in real time, whether they’re using Google Docs or Microsoft Word.

They can also leverage chat tools, video conferencing, and email with either suite. Both support the ability to easily create an intranet site for announcements and important communications across the organization. So when it comes to collaboration, you can’t go wrong with either suite.

Storage - Winner: Office 365

Both tools offer unlimited storage at higher tiers, but Office 365 has a slight edge for smaller businesses. For $5/month per user on Office 365, you can get 1TB of storage for each user, where for that price on G Suite you only get 32GB per user. However, both offer unlimited storage and other features if you’re willing to pay $10/month per user.

Security - Winner: Office 365

There are many ways to approach security, which makes this category less of an apples-to-apples comparison. Google uses a proprietary operating system for its servers and full data encryption to protect user data. It also maintains several compliance certificates, including HIPAA, FERPA, GDPR, and others.

Office 365 is also protected by robust security features, including advanced threat protection, data encryption, and major compliance certifications. If there’s something that gives Microsoft an edge over G Suite, it’s the companies’ track records when it comes to user privacy. While Google earns its revenue from advertising and has a history of selling consumer data, Microsoft has maintained more of a solid privacy record.

Getting Started with Office 365

The bottom line is that Office 365 on the Azure cloud will be the best fit for the majority of organizations. But just because you’re using Azure for your business suite doesn’t mean you have to put all your eggs in one cloud. Using a hybrid multi-cloud model can ensure you run every task and application in the right environment.

Talk to us about getting the best deal on optimized IT architecture, implementation, and management, from Office 365 to the tools you need to run the rest of your business.

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