In the world of cloud productivity suites, Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 are always the most popular choices, and many businesses find themselves weighing up which one would benefit their business more. Dove have put together a comparison of all aspects of both suites from a business point of view, and weighing up how each performs.
Microsoft Office 365 v Google Apps comparison
Familiarity and Training Requirements
Whether you are a small business with less than 10 employees, or a medium to large size business with into the hundreds on your books, staff training when it comes to new software can be time consuming and costly, taking up precious budget and work time to familiarise all your employees with a new system.
With Google Apps, retraining would be a necessity; this is built on a propriety platform that will to most users be alien. Microsoft Office 365 on the other hand is designed to imitate the look and feel of the age old favourite Office Suite, something most if not all your employees will be completely comfortable with, and only minimal if any retraining will be required.
The internet browser you use is down to personal preference, and you don’t want to have to start switching browsers to enable your new cloud suite to perform at its best.
Microsoft Office 365 is ideal for use with any browser and has performed seamlessly on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer alike.
Google Apps however works perfectly on Google Chrome (go figure), but not all features are supported on Internet Explorer, and Firefox 5 users are forced to clear their history and cache before each log in if they want things to run smoother, but still not entirely as they should.
With Microsoft Office being the suite of choice of both business and personal users worldwide, it is important to take into account that integration will be a necessity.
Google Apps does not automatically convert, and in fact makes life a lot harder if you want files to be viewable in Microsoft Office programs. Employees will have to spend valuable time and efforts changing the documents themselves.
Microsoft Office 365 obviously has no problems in this department as it is built to mirror its own Office suites. An added bonus is the Word Web app (Office 365’s version of Microsoft Word) allows documents to be viewed without the need for download.
Real Time Collaboration
Google Apps does have some great features when it comes to real time collaboration. Google Docs can be shared and accessed by anyone with a Google account, and allows for similtanious work on one document, with unique colour coding to identify who makes what changes. The multiple chat functions also allow people to chat with their co-authors in real time.
Like the sound of all that Google Docs can offer? How would you like that and then some. Yes, Microsoft Office 365 has excelled again, offering all Google Apps’ real time collaboration capabilities, with the addition of the Lync Online component, which allows for audio/video conferencing and instant messaging with added whiteboard capabilities and real time presence indicators, letting you know who is online and when.
Multiple licensing options and tailoring capabilities are a must, as businesses come in all varieties of shapes and sizes, each with their own needs.
Google Apps is very limited in this aspect. They only offer one licensing option with no tailoring capabilities, and due to Google Apps being solely online, clients are forced to move to the cloud immediately.
Microsoft Office 365 on the other hand offers multiple licensing options with tailoring available, helping your business use only what you need, and control the cost by adding/removing features. What’s more, there is no need for everyone to move to the cloud straight away. It allows for sharing both in the cloud and on premise using hybrid solutions, so if not everyone is ready to embrace the cloud, there is no pressure.
Security is vital for a business, and may be one of your key reasons for considering a cloud suite in the first place, as offsite cloud services are one of the safest back up and sharing options available.
Google Apps offer limited support when it comes to group management, and that is all. No more robust identity management options. Another huge downfall is the fact that there are no options for tiered access to the cloud. Administrators either get all access or nothing.
Microsoft Office 365 on the other hand offer set role-based security models, allowing for tiered access to allow workers access to only the information they need.
Google Apps offers one business plan that will require additional add ons for customisation, meaning the original advertised price is often only a fraction of the overall cost.
Microsoft Office 365 offer many plans to choose from as they understand different business sizes need different features, and you also have the choice of removing and adding different features so you don’t pay for what you need, which can reduce the overall cost.
Decided Microsoft Office 365 is the cloud suite for you? Or just want to know more? Contact Dove on 0845 22 605 22 or visit www.dovecomputers.com for more details!
Google+ Author Link