Office 365 vs. G Suite: Which cloud based platform is best for your organization?
Our detailed comparison of Office 365 and G Suite can help you determine which platform is right for your business.
As more companies begin to move to the cloud, productivity and collaboration platforms are becoming increasingly popular among organizations looking to connect their employees and clients, regardless of location.
Two collaboration platforms that are quickly gaining traction are Office 365 and G Suite. We’ll introduce you to both of these platforms and help you determine which option is best for you and your organization.
What is the purpose of Office 365 and G Suite?
Both Office 365 and G Suite encompass a set of productivity tools that help you and your team members communicate and perform a variety of tasks in the cloud. Each platform allows teams to easily create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and collaborate via email and live communication all while in the cloud.
At first glance, the Office 365 pricing structure can seem more complex than G Suite as it offers plans for home, business, enterprise and education users. For comparison, we’ll focus on the most popular ‘Business’ and ‘Enterprise’ plans. There are three Business plan options and four Enterprise plans to consider.
There are a wide array of options that are available with the 7 plans mentioned above, but a few key things to keep in mind include:
- All Business plans are limited to 300 users.
- The Business plans allow you to pay on a per month basis, whereas the Enterprise plans require you to pay upfront for one year. This means that if you think your team will shrink or grow significantly throughout the year, the Business plan is likely your best bet.
- You’ll have access to desktop versions of the Microsoft Office applications except for with the Business Essentials and the Enterprise E1 plans. These plans only provide online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- The Business and Enterprise Pro Plus Office 365 plans do not come with calendar or email functionality.
- As mentioned above, the Business plans can be cheaper if you pay for a year in advance.
- Business Essentials – $6/user/month ($5/user/month paid up front)
- Business – $10/user/month ($8.25/user/month paid up front)
- Business Premium – $15/user/month ($12.50/user/month paid up front)
- Enterprise E1 – $8/user/month (requires one-year commitment)
- Enterprise ProPlus – $12/user/month (requires one year commitment)
- Enterprise E3 – $20/user/month (requires one year commitment)
- Enterprise E5 – $35/user/month (requires annual commitment)
There are primarily three different types of G Suite plans for organizations, which include:
- Basic – $5/user/month
- Business – $10/user/month
- Enterprise – $25/user/month
The Basic plan includes:
- Email address at your domain (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Shared cloud-based calendars
- Online documents, presentations, and spreadsheets
- A tool for building simple websites and intranets called Google Sites
- 30 GB of online storage for files and email
The Business plan includes all of the above as well as:
- Advanced search capabilities
- Unlimited file storage (or 1 TB if you have less than 5 users)
- eDiscovery capabilities for documents, emails and chat conversations
- Robust email archiving and message retention processes
- Additional reporting for cloud based file sharing and storage
The Enterprise plan offers all of the features in the Basic and Business plans plus:
- S/MIME encryption for email (improved encryption often required in highly regulated industries)
- Integration with a variety of third-party archiving tools
- Data loss prevention tools for email and files
- Additional security and administrative features
- Advanced email reporting data
Feature differences between Office 365 and G Suite
One of the key areas where Office 365 shines when compared to G Suite is when it comes to file storage, especially for the less expensive plans. G Suite’s Basic plan only comes with 30GB of storage, which must cover both document and email storage. The Office 365 Business Essentials plan comes with 1 TB of storage for documents and an additional 50 GB of storage space just for email.
Access to desktop programs
If you’re used to using Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Office 365 will likely be your best bet. All plans, with the exception of the Business Essentials and the Enterprise E1, offer access to the Microsoft Office product suite, which means that each user can install these applications on their desktop machines for added flexibility and offline capability. The Business Essentials and Enterprise E1 Office 365 plans to have access to cloud versions of Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, but they do not include the full features of the desktop versions.
Group Chat Software
While Google has Hangouts when it comes to chatting software, it hardly compares to Microsoft Teams. With Teams, employees can chat in real-time with colleagues as well as customers from any device. Teams offer threaded chat capabilities which are far superior to that of Hangouts. In addition, Teams integrates directly with Skype to allow users to make voice and video calls to anyone around the world.
Users have access to file syncing tools with Office 365 in OneDrive and G Suite with Google Drive. With both platforms, users can download a program that will sync local data with the cloud and vice versa, which can allow users to easily work on data on their local machines that is then instantly synced to the cloud. Office 365 shines a bit here as well thanks to the variety of OneDrive software. Office 365 offers two options for file syncing: OneDrive and OneDrive Files on Demand. The standard OneDrive software will download a local copy of each file that’s stored in the cloud and sync them as they are changed. OneDrive Files on Demand only downloads files as they are needed, which helps to reduce the use of precious file space on your desktop computer. While Google used to offer software that met both of these use cases, they’re currently phasing out their standard Google Drive software which allowed you to save all of your data on your machine in favor of Google Drive Stream, which keeps all of your data in the cloud and only downloads data as you need it. This is not a great option for users who want to perform a large volume of work while offline.
Why we recommend Office 365 over G Suite
As you can see both Office 365 and G Suite offer a wide array of features that could be beneficial to most organizations looking to be more productive in the cloud. If we would have to choose, we’d give an edge to Office 365 for several reasons:
- Most Office 365 plans offer desktop versions of Microsoft Office, which are great for companies who regularly modify and share MS Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
- Outlook shines when it comes to grouping and sorting email, whereas Gmail only allows you to apply labels to email messages and not actually sort your email.
- Office 365 offers more advanced communication capabilities with Skype than G Suite.
- The file storage quotas are much larger on the Office 365 entry-level plan when compared to G Suite’s entry-level plan.
- Skype allows up to 250 participants as opposed to only 25 with Google Hangouts.
Interested in Office 365 migration services?
Are you convinced that it may be time to migrate to Office 365? If so, our team at MessageOps would be happy to show you how your organization can boost your productivity and promote collaboration in the cloud with Office 365. Get in touch if your team is ready to move to the cloud.