Maybe you are using one or the other and are curious whether the alternative might be a better option.
Choosing the right productivity suite ultimately boils down to your business needs. While both options have more or less the same useful features, the price, ease of use and additional features may be a deciding factor.
In this guide, we will focus on the key areas which are typically associated with business use; word processing, spreadsheets, communication and collaboration tools.
Let’s dive straight in.
What is G Suite?
G Suite is Google’s productivity software and comprises of a range of applications, the most widely used of which are its Slides presentation app, Sheets spreadsheet editor, Docs word processor, file storage platform Drive and Gmail with video-enabled Hangouts. It also offers excellent integration of third-party apps which can be downloaded from the Google Web Store.
What is Microsoft Office 365?
Not to be confused with its comprehensive Office suite (the on-premises office tool) which is downloaded to your hard drive, Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud version of its business productivity offerings. The usual suspects are there; Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and Skype.
Let’s take a closer look at the key features for businesses. Hopefully, the insights will steer you towards the right package. If you’re still in doubt, feel free to speak with one of our experts and we’ll help you make the right decision.
Both Office 365 and Google Docs boast capable word processing capabilities most business will find useful. Although neither is as suited to creating War And Peace length documents, you can still produce in-depth reports.
For collaboration purposes, Google has the edge. Even on the basic package, you can share documents with anyone you want providing you have the email address. Autosave within the document and backup recovery also means there is very little risk of losing work in the event of an outage.
Google Docs also has a reasonable range of useful tools – certainly a sufficient stack for the majority of business users. Office 365 boasts more tools although most people will never use most of them and finding the tools you do want can be frustrating.
Two major advantages Office 365 suite does have over G Suite are the Search and Ideas functions. Search enables users to locate company-wide files without leaving the document your working on and Ideas recommends design, images and layout in relation to the content you are creating.
Google Docs comes with the free version of Google’s tool which also includes Gmail, Sheets and Drive. For some small businesses, the free version is enough. All of Microsoft’s offering are subscription-based.
G-suite also has subscription-based packages which are only slightly more cost-effective than Office 365. However, you get more features with Microsoft – even though you won’t need them all.
Microsoft Excel boasts a superior range of standout tools capable of complex numbering crunching, statistical analysis, search functions and data imports and exports.
To generate the same results of Google Sheets, you have to do the calculations manually although it does perform basic calculations such as averages, adding, subtracting, multiplication and division.
Google sheets, however, is better for collaboration and is a more cost-effective alternative for light tasks. You can still create graphs, and calculate sums that give you meaningful insights for preparing reports.
There’s not much difference between Outlook and Gmail in terms of functionality. Both give users the ability to create labelled folders, flag up important emails and capture spam emails that clutter up your inbox.
G Suite has the edge on file storage however, a whopping 1TB of cloud storage and unlimited user access. In comparison, Office 365 gives you 1TB of file storage and limits you to 300 users for a higher cost.
Gmail is also quicker and has an unrivalled search function and offers autocomplete sentences using AI. This can significantly speed up the time it takes to fire off standard emails. Outlook has more features but they take up more memory and can slow down your computer.
Both email accounts can also be linked to the calendar to auto-update meetings, book rooms, manage your work schedule, reminders and birthdays. Gmail also enables you to protect emails that contain sensitive data.
As we’ve already mentioned, Google makes it very easy to share files whilst Hangouts is video-enabled with built-in screen sharing and instant messaging that makes it easy to conduct conferences with multiple users in remote locations.
Office 365 gives you Teams which features an instant messenger and 365 Video. You can set up groups and send files. There is also Skype which can be accessed directly from Outlook. However, it’s only operational in a sidebar and less easy to use.
The better option is to download Skype for Business as a separate application. With Skye Business you can make Skype-to-Skype calls free of charge anywhere in the world. If you phoning a landline or mobile however, you need to purchase credits.
Microsoft has added more features to its video chat function including ‘background blur’ and a search function which makes it easier to access files you want to share.
It’s also easier to join group discussions with Teams. Users can join from anywhere independently via a link. With Hangouts, groups have to be created by an organiser who is responsible for adding and removing attendees.
Teams is arguably the better option for employees that work on projects, especially if they are in remote locations such as satellite offices, working from home or overseas.
In retaliation, Google has added voice commands to make organising meetings even easier.
If cost is a decision-maker, G Suite offers better value for money for small business but Office 365 offers more tools for corporate users – although G Suite’s unlimited file storage for firms with more than five users could persuade you otherwise.
Google’s basic G Suite package starts £4.14 a month, £8.28 a month for Business and £20 for Enterprise.
In contrast, Microsoft Office 365 Essentials costs £4.56 a month, £11.28 for Business Premium and £18.12 for Enterprise level.
Every business needs a computerised productivity suite for one thing or another. Choosing the right option for your business matters, so if you’re not sure whether G Suite or Office 365 best suits your needs, feel free to contact one of our experts. We’re happy to help.