The cloud is changing how we do business everyday. Not only in how we function as companies but how we purchase our software. Think of all the many expensive versions of Microsoft Office that you had to purchase over the years! What if you could make your software upgrades a predictable monthly charge? That’s exactly what Microsoft and Google have done.
It all started when way back when Google decided they wanted to compete in the email business. They eventually added online document editing and sharing and that became Google Apps. What once started as a free service for businesses has grown into a multi-million dollar operation with hundreds of thousands if not millions of businesses, schools and non-profits across globe using Google Apps for Work.
Microsoft shortly after realized that businesses didn’t want to pay hundreds to upgrade a version of software that they had already paid for. Hmmmm, ya think! Microsoft then made the simple decision of moving all of its software to the cloud for download and purchase on a monthly subscription basis instead of an upfront cost. No more unpredictable charges for software upgrades, just one flat fee per user per month and you always have the latest update. I like that better for my home and business.
Google Apps for Work or Microsoft Office365?
This is a question many businesses executives are asking themselves. But what is the correct answer, or is there a correct answer? I’m going to give you a few key benefits of both options and let you decide Honestly they are both great options, it just depends on your business and how you run it.
Having used both Office365 and having help a great deal of companies decide on the best solution, I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible. Both solutions are great, however some may be better then others depending on your situation. I’m going to go through each of the below categories and give you a few bullet points to think with.
Google Apps for Business
Their are many benefits to using Google in the workplace. I’ve done my best to go through some of the key functions so you can make an informed decision.
This is essentially Gmail only turbo charged. You can get a customer (@YourDomain.com) email address. Setting up users is VERY simple. It takes less then 2 minutes to create a new user email and give them access to any application you want. Also Google Apps does have a HUGE app store where you can integrate your email into other 3rd party applications like CRM, Click-to-Call etc.
- Microsoft Outlook integration
- 25GB of storage per user, 50x the industry average
- Voice, video chat, IM and mail
- Spam filtering with customization
Meet face to face with co-workers and customers. Hangouts is a great video collaboration tool. Combine that with Google docs and you have a great marriage.
- Built-in Screen Sharing
- Works on any device, desktop or mobile device
- HD Video meeting
- Public platform to showcase your brand (very cool features for the marketing folks)
You can centralize your calendar schedules all in one place. Very similar to Outlook with Exchange however web based (or outlook, apple mail). Very easy to overlay other calendars to see what’s going on or when others are available.
- Group Calendars
- Microsoft Outlook integration
- Send invites and manage RSVPs
- Mobile access with text message reminders
A social network designed for business. Having a social network that’s integrated into your workflow can be a good thing, especially if your job is to promote your company. A few key features are the ability to integrate with emails, calendar and docs to help you work smarter. You can also filter your inbox using circles and get instant feedback by posting surveys.
With Google Docs you can easily share in collaborate on important spreadsheets, docs, slides (PowerPoint) and forms. You can also create an internal site for collaboration. Much like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the main difference is that is 100% online. You need a web browser to view your docs you don’t need to download ANY software to use it. My favorite part is the ability to edit a doc/spreadsheet in real-time. This feature is great as everyone can see everyone else’s edits in real-time and you will NEVER have multiple docs again.
- Works in real-time with multiple collaborators
- Supports formats including .doc, .xls, .ppt and .pdf
- Easy to upload and share files that are always backed-up
- Manage who accesses files to review or edit
The same concept of DropBox or Cubby, Google Drive gives you an online place to store all your important documents. You can easily share them with anyone even if they don’t have a Google account. Having access from your mobile device is a great feature and having access from multiple computers is also handy if you’re like me and have a desktop & laptop.
Setting up new users is very simple. It takes less then 2 minutes to ad a new use, change a password or delete a user. This feature is very useful and easy. Google also has a great App store where you can buy 3rd party apps to integrate with, like CRM or Click-to-Call apps.
One of the main benefits to using Office365 is that the software resides on the desktop. You DON’T need a web browser to do all the things you would do in Google. All the apps including Lync (soon to be Skype for Business) reside on your computer, however you only pay a per user license fee instead of a one-time upfront software purchase. This makes managing your budget much easier as you will always know your monthly cost. Below are a few of my descriptions of the useful apps Office brings to the table.
Email & Calendar
Setting up new users is very simple. It takes less then 2 minutes to ad a new user. This feature is very useful. Shared calendars are very easy to use and to see what is going on in your company.
- Calendar collaboration
- Always up to date, wherever you access it
- Office365 Secure allows you to rremotely wipe your devices if lost
- Built in Brand – bring your own @YourDomain.com email
Lync (soon to be Skype)
This is Microsoft’ss answer to Google Talk. Not only is it Instant messaging it also give you Video Collaboration and Voice a Telephone (phone services sold separately by 3rd party vendors). One of the great benefits of Lync is the ability to see who is on the phone from within Lync.
Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Access & OneNote
These are the latest and greatest programs you know and love, however you don’t have to pay for the expensive upgrades anymore and you can use it on all your devices, even iPhone & iPad.
- Collaborate on shared projects
- Works on any device Mac or PC
The way to work together. With Office 365, SharePoint give you enhanced security making it easy to manage and share access from almost anywhere.
- One place for all work files
- Simply store, sync and share
- Easily collaborate on files with office online integration
- Access to Apps for SharePoint
Microsoft Office365 is a great choice if you are used to using MS Office. If you’re sick of the sudden version update costs and want a low monthly fee then Office 365 is the way to go.
Do you have Office now? Are your staff used to using it? Then don’t change it go with Office 365. Do you have exchange now? Do you run your own exchange server? Then don’t change it. Go with Office 365.
Are your staff of the younger generation? Then guess what, they have google already. Do you want to keep everything in the cloud? Do you do a ton of document collaboration? Then google it is. I’ve found it much easier and a lot less glitchy to collaborate on Google then 365.
ITD partnered with NeoNova a leading cloud migration firm that helps companies move to Gloogle Apps and Microsoft Office365. With over 100,000 users on Office365 and Google Apps we will make sure your migration is smooth and as easy as possible.
I hope this helped you understand some of the key differences between Office 365 and Google Apps. If you want a free more in-depth consultation please reach out to me at any time.