Office 365 vs. Google Apps
You may be considering making the move to one or the other, or maybe you’re expanding and need a reliable, all-in-one cloud-based system for emails and documents.
It makes sense to choose a system like Google Apps or Office 365 as it enables you to access files and emails from anywhere, and chat to other colleagues remotely. It makes perfect sense for a world where many people are increasingly working remotely and on the go.
But what system is right for you? Should you stick to the tried and tested familiar that is Microsoft, or should you opt for the trendy and simplistic offerings of Google?
The pricing structure of Google Apps and Office 365 is similar, though Microsoft offers a larger array of pricing plans, which can make things confusing.
Google Apps starts at £3.30 per month or £33 per year per user for an account that has 30GB of storage. A premium account for £6.60 per month or £79 per year per user is also available and offers unlimited storage, and the Vault, which can be great if you have legal and compliance requirements. It stores everything so even if you delete a file, it still has a backup, and it also enables you to search through all mail that the company has ever sent with ease.
Office 365 on the other hand offers a large selection of subscriptions that have been designed with the size of your business in mind. Basic subscriptions start at £3.10 per user per month for 1TB of space and an email account, going up to £7.80 per user per month for access to the Office suite of programmes and all of the other conveniences you would come to expect.
All in all, a pretty similar story: while Google is slightly cheaper, Microsoft offers extras that can be really useful.
Administration and set up
This is where Google has it slightly better: they have streamlined setting up Apps so if you have bought your domain from somewhere like GoDaddy or 123 Reg, you simply need to sign in and give authorisation to Google. It’s all part of the sign up process and is pretty straightforward.
On the other hand, Office 365 is a little harder to do yourself if you aren’t familiar with the process. As there are so many options and nuances within the sign up process it can be daunting if you aren’t sure of what you’re doing.
However, if you’re a large company, or you have a lot of data that you need transferred over from the old system to the new, it’s best that you look to IT professionals like us.
We’ve worked with companies in the past to make signing up to Office 365 a breeze, so you don’t have to let set up be the decider between Google and Microsoft. We can carry out migrations in a matter of hours, and we have also merged multiple separate international organisations into a single Office 365 session, so if you’re a large business it is easy to unite everyone from shore to shore.
Of course, the selling point of Office 365 is that you get the Office suite that everyone knows and loves (or loathes, depending on what you’re using it for!). Each user has a licence to install the suite onto as many as five machines, making it easier than ever to work on documents, spreadsheets and files wherever you are.
If you feel like your company doesn’t need all of the advanced features that the likes of Word and Excel offer, then Google Apps offers a streamlined version through Google Docs and Google Sheets. A cleaner process, and can be ideal if you don’t need to get too bogged down in spreadsheets and data files.
As Apps is all browser-based it loads scripts in the cloud, making the experience fast, and documents can easily be shared with and collaborated on not only by people in your company, but anyone you share it with, regardless of whether they have a Google account or not.
Office 365 has SkyDrive, which enables you to pick up editing a document no matter where you are. Simply log in, and it will put you back at the last point that you were active in the document.
Choosing between Google Apps and Office 365 on the basis of features really depends on what your company is doing. Some may prefer the streamlined approach that Google takes, especially if you run a company that doesn’t get too bogged down with professional Word documents and fancy Excel sheets. However, if you rely on Microsoft’s advanced features then you really can’t beat good old-fashioned Office.
Finally, it should be noted that Google makes it very clear that it will use any information you send through emails and its apps to collect data for targeted advertising towards you.
Microsoft on the other hand will not use your data in this way – ideal if you have sensitive information you need to keep that way.
While both Google Apps and Office 365 offer a similar set of services, what you choose ultimately depends on your company’s size, industry and existing data. Smaller companies may feel more comfortable with Google, while large businesses will appreciate the familiarity of Office 365. Whatever you decide, get in contact with us, and we can help you make the best choice for your company and help set you up on the system.
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