G Suite vs Microsoft 365: Comparing the Collaboration Tools
When it comes to cloud-based productivity software in the workplace, you generally have two choices: Google’s G Suite and Microsoft Office 365. While most people have had experience with both packages at one time or another during their career, the question often asked is, “Which one is better? G Suite? Or Office 365?”
Before you can compare, you have to look at what each one has to offer:
- Google’s G Suite: Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Keep, Hangouts, and several other Google apps.
- Microsoft’s Office 365: Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note, Skype, and other Microsoft apps.
G Suite Simplifies Pricing Options
When it comes to pricing, the answer for which one is better is not so easy to determine.
To its credit, Google’s G Suite offers three simple and straightforward plans:
- Basic – $6 / user per month and 30 GB cloud storage.
- Business – $12 /user per month and unlimited cloud storage.
- Enterprise – $25 /user per month and unlimited cloud storage.
On the other hand, Microsoft clouds things up with too many options and variables. (Clouds? No pun intended…)
Office 365 has three plans for medium and small businesses:
- Business Essentials – $6 /user per month.
- Business – $10 / user per month.
- Business Premium – $15 / user per month.
...But then adds these annual commitments to muddy the pricing waters:
- Business Essentials – $5 /user per month.
- Business – $8.25 /user per month.
- Business Premium – $12.50 /user per month.
- Enterprise E1 – $8 /user per month.
- Enterprise E3 – $20 /user per month.
- Enterprise E5 – $35 /user per month.
Although Google and Microsoft both offer competitive pricing, G Suite’s pricing structure is simpler and easier to understand. Plus, G Suite comes with unlimited cloud storage.
Gmail Offers a Familiar Email Solution
Although Microsoft Office generally can play the familiarity card when it comes to extolling the benefits of Office 365, it loses out in that area when it comes to email. G Suite includes Gmail, the most used and best free email service in the world. In addition to its popularity, Gmail enables you to create business email accounts using your own domain name and offers a variety of familiar apps.
With Office 365’s Outlook, you can also create email addresses with your own domain name. However, Microsoft’s apps are generally not as highly regarded as Google’s.
Google enhances workplace collaboration
If you’ve heard the expression “form follows function,” you understand that Google’s approach to developing their workplace collaboration software marches in lockstep with that age-old design edict.
When designing G Suite, Google focused on a basic and intuitive interface that simplified communication, collaboration and sharing. The package allows multiple users to work on a file at the same time and gives them the ability to leave comments, notes and suggestions,to review and accept edits — and to revisit previous versions.
Ease of Use
As stated earlier, most people are familiar — to one degree or another with G Suite and Office 365. But despite the familiarity, ease of use is still key during the decision-making process.
Quite simply, G Suite is easier to use and more intuitive than Office 365 because Google focuses on functionality above all else. Sure, some of the interfaces or views may not be as slick or pretty as others, but from a functionality standpoint, Google gets the job done. Where Microsoft may offer more advanced features, the Google “view” is generally clean and easier to navigate. Plus, a lot of the bells and whistles that come with Office 365 rarely get used.
In addition, other apps like Google Sheets and Google Calendar make project management easier because timelines, checklists and other files can be shared with teams to keep everyone aligned.
Word Processing Favors G Suite
When it comes to word processing, Google Docs provides a simple document creation experience that is both intuitive and highly collaborative.
First, the Google Docs autosave function is a life-saver for anyone that has ever worked on something and lost it because the zeal to get the job done overwhelmed the logic center area of the brain that tells people to save their work. When you create a new Google Doc, it’s automatically saved in your drive. You don’t have to name it first, and it constantly auto-saves your work, so your files are always up to date.
Google Docs also allows you to engage in real-time document editing and sharing. This means that you can be working on a document and a member of your team can be working on the same exact document simultaneously. In addition, any changes or edits can be flagged or highlighted, and these can even trigger notifications to other members of the shared document that changes have been made. Think about it. Rather than making the changes and having to send an email to a colleague asking them to review what you just did, they will get an automatic notification.
While Microsoft Word offers users a familiar interface, it can be over-complicated and not always intuitive. Many of Word’s most advanced features aren’t used and are unnecessary in most ordinary work situations.
Google Hangouts Simplifies Video Conferencing
G Suite uses Google Hangouts for simple text chats, online meetings and video conferencing. As a result, the experience is straight-forward and functional — without a lot of bells and whistles.
Conversely for video conferencing, Office 365 uses the Skype platform, which many say has declined. Since Microsoft acquired Skype 2011 from private equity investors, many users of the video conferencing service have pointed out that it is harder to use and less intuitive because Microsoft focused on making it a business product.
In addition to its video conferencing advantage, G Suite offers users the ability to make free local calls using Google Hangouts and Google Voice.
Collaboration, Pricing and Other Features Favor G Suite
Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, it has never been easier to switch to Google from Microsoft.
In fact, Google is offering promotional pricing and deployment credits to organizations like yours that want the enhanced workplace collaboration, better pricing and endless integrations provided by G Suite.
Are you ready to make the change?