Before cloud computing services, businesses relied on run-of-the-mill word processors and spreadsheets.
Then, Microsoft and Google reinvented the workspace — and these days, organizations expect productivity software to include document creation, email, video-conferencing, and cloud storage as a minimum.
An Office 365 plan comes with collaboration tools and productivity apps like Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Google Workspace offers much the same, only under names like Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides so, given the similarities…
— ‘How do you choose the right platform for your business?’
We can think of four reasons to pick an Office 365 plan over Google Workspace; allow us to explain.
1. More Powerful Productivity Apps
Both cloud computing services have a powerful productivity suite covering word documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoints. And each one includes browser-based versions alongside iOS and Android apps.
However, there are several subtle yet significant differences.
Microsoft 365 has the ever-popular Word, Excel, and PowerPoint under its belt. And most people know how they work. Given Microsoft’s history creating the software, each app is also jam-packed with power features, like suggestion tools and templates — while it’s super simple to create a document offline, then sync it to the cloud.
Docs, Sheets, and Slides are reliable browser-based apps that work best on Google Chrome (that said, you can access them on iOS and Android devices). And the apps’ online nature means anyone, anywhere, can collaborate in a secure environment. However, a lack of desktop versions is a shortcoming as, when you’re offline, there’s a noticeable absence of functionality.
Microsoft 365 is a better overall productivity suite.
It offers more powerful features that you can access offline. The range of templates across apps is another distinct benefit. And, while Google boasts a better browser-based experience, Microsoft wins overall.
2. More Reliable Collaboration Tools
This year will see many of us continue to work from home. As a result, voice and video conferencing will be integral to our day-to-day. Google and Microsoft have reliable communications tools.
But Microsoft Teams is a clear favorite in the business world.
Depending on which office 365 plan you choose, you’ll get access to Microsoft Teams: a chat and video-based collaboration tool. You can use Teams to talk one-to-one or one-to-many, hosting a meeting with up to 250 people inside or outside your organization. Teams also syncs with the Microsoft suite. It works on mobile.
Plus, features like business phone line access, file sharing, and calendar integrations make it ideal for work.
Google Meet is Google’s version of Teams. Integrations with ‘Workspace’ apps and ‘YouTube’ make it a convenient tool, hosting up to 250 people in a video conference with screen sharing, call recording, and real-time captions. It syncs with Google Calendar, making it easy to arrange meetings and share dial-in numbers.
And Google Voice also offers free calls and messages in the US and Canada.
You may not see much difference on the surface.
But dig a little deeper, and you’ll realize Microsoft Teams has more rounded chat and message-based features. File sharing, video calls, and a business phone line integration make it perfect for collaboration.
3. More Seamless Email Experience
Both Google and Microsoft have impressive email clients, offering on-brand addresses, anti-malware protection, multi-factor authentication, and spam filters.
However, Microsoft’s solution reflects an employee’s needs.
Microsoft’s email client works on desktop, online, and mobile, letting users send up to 5,000 messages-a-day while offering 50GB of storage.
Built-in inbox features, such as promoting important emails and cleaning lengthy threads, make productivity soar. Customization tools let employees choose how they work. And rules can organize your inbound emails — while ’email-to-calendar’ syncing is a godsend.
Another Chrome-optimized tool that works on iOS and Android: Gmail has no desktop client, but it works offline via a browser extension.
There’s a daily send-limit of 2,000 emails (although you can receive over 86,000), but the interface is very intuitive: smart sorting assigns a priority to emails, flagging anything that needs your attention, while tags help with organization. But a lack of rule-setting means your inbox can quickly get cluttered.
The sheer volume of customization options puts Outlook leaps ahead of Gmail as a work-based client, as does its generous email allowance and desktop option.
Gmail may feel easy to use, but its simplicity will soon feel like a shortcoming.
4. Heightened Security
But there are subtle differences you should note.
Microsoft designed its platform with security top-of-mind. Over 900 built-in controls ensure ongoing compliance with ever-evolving standards, while multi-layered encryption protects data from the ground up. A data-loss prevention feature safeguards against theft and leaks.
And an AI tool tracks worker habits, using insights to spot suspicious activity and alert you to cyber-threats.
Google Workspace has the same security infrastructure that Google uses, including auto-detection of suspicious activity, potential hacks, and phishing attempts. Data-leak protections even use keywords to block outgoing comms. And Google Workspace has spam, virus, and malware protection, scanning documents, emails, and attachments to eliminate threats at the source.
Both platforms measure up on security with dynamic infrastructures that protect businesses and their data. That said, Microsoft edges the battle with multi-factor authentication (where Google only offers 2FA).
When To Choose An Office 365 Plan?
Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are very similar.
You could choose either and be delighted with your choice. But as a rule of thumb: Microsoft 365 suits teams that collaborate both internally and with users outside their organization. On the other hand, Google Workspace is better for remote-first employees who typically only work with their teammates.
That said, Microsoft 365 has functionality that Google Workspace lacks (and vice versa), so it’s best to double-check the feature-set before you commit.
Need Office 365 support or have a general IT services question? Give Mid-coast Tech a call at 207-223-7594 today.