When it comes to business platforms, there are really only two main contenders: Google Workplace vs Microsoft 365. So which should you choose? The answer is…it depends on the size of your business and its needs.
Both Google Workplace and Microsoft 365 are great programs. They are both cloud based and scalable but there are differences in the type of cloud and the scalability cost. This article will help you understand differences so you can choose which will work best for your company. The good thing is that managed IT services from Aeko Technologies can support either.
File Sync and Collaboration
Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are both cloud-based platforms. They both support common business tasks that allow teams to collaborate, including:
- Video and voice conferencing
- File sharing and management
- Creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations
The biggest difference is that Microsoft has desktop applications that can also be installed on individual computers as well as in the cloud. Google Workspace does not.
Microsoft’s desktop applications sync with its OneDrive cloud. You can choose which apps you wish to sync, making them available locally on your computer or other smart device. There’s no need to save them all on your computer taking up space if you prefer not. They (Word docs, Excel docs, Images, PowerPoint and Publisher files, etc.) are all easily available to download fairly quickly to work on. When you close them they will automatically be updated to the cloud.
Google Drive needs the internet. Every application is strictly online. The files are only downloaded to your computer once you open them and then they are updated to the cloud in real time. But without internet service your staff will not be able to access them. Of course, you can download files in a variety of formats to work on offline, but that work won’t be in sync with your online files as it would be with Microsoft 365.
Scalability and Price
Here’s where the decisions get more complicated. Both platforms have a reasonable base price of $6 per user per month. But what you get for that price varies significantly.
First in terms of storage: Google’s basic Workspace only allows 30 GB (which includes apps and email) whereas Microsoft 365’s basic plan gives each user 1T of storage plus a dedicated email storage of another 500GB. Google docs, slides, sheets, forms, etc. count toward that 30 GB of storage. It’s important to note that Microsoft’s desktop apps are not available at this baseline price. You’d need to be on their MS 365 Apps for Business plan at $8.25 per user per month — and that has no email, calendar or Teams. To get full collaboration and desktop apps, you need to be at the $12.50 per user/per month MS 365 Business Standard plan.
To get more storage on Google, you would have to move up to Google’s Business Standard Plan which is $12 per user per month and gives you 2TB of storage.
If your business uses a lot of graphics, Microsoft’s 1T (or even Google’s 2TB Business Standard plan) will be used up quickly. Adding more storage works differently on these two platforms. Google requires you to increase the data for all your users at once whereas Microsoft allows you to increase your storage by each user if that’s what’s best for your company. So if you have a few staffers who work primarily with images rather than text, Microsoft might be the better option because you can increase storage for those few without moving the entire team up.
Google has a good search function for its emails, but it does not allow you to form groups as Microsoft does. Microsoft’s platform allows you to categorize your emails into folders, which makes it easier to find emails for a particular group. Microsoft also automatically sorts your inbox based on your usage to those email addresses into “Focused” and “Other” folders. Google allows you to organize emails (and contacts) with tags, but for users who are used to Outlook or similar, Google mail’s lack of folders can be frustrating. That said, you can pull emails from both Google and Microsoft into a third-party email application that allows you to manage as you prefer.
Just a reminder that Google’s plan storage includes Gmail while Microsoft plans have dedicated additional storage for emails.
How many participants would you need to have in a video conference? Google’s Starter plan allows 100 participants in Meet, scaling up to 150 and 500 on Standard and Plus plans. Small to medium-sized businesses can probably do just fine with that number. Microsoft’s plans are more generous, allowing 300 participants at baseline and scaling up to 1,000.
Google’s plans include U.S. or international dial-in phone numbers while with Microsoft you can add some dial-in features for free and others for additional cost.
Reasons to Choose Google Workspace Over Microsoft 365
- Easier to deploy, maintain and support because Workspace is less complex and has fewer features than MS 365
- Built for collaboration from the ground up, whereas collaboration features have been added into Microsoft 365
- Encourages (forces) cloud-based working (offline isn’t easy or accessible)
- Allows users to edit Microsoft Office documents easily and export to Microsoft or other formats — a great addition if your team needs to work with documents from various organizations and platforms
Reasons to Choose Microsoft 365
- Desktop apps making working offline or online seamless (only in Business Standard and above)
- Feature-rich apps that are the worldwide standard
- High capacity for video conferencing and the ability to add viewers in addition to participants on the higher level plans
- Higher initial storage capacity and flexibility for scaling storage by user
Shared Responsibility Model
Whether you choose Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, don’t forget that protecting your data is your responsibility. Learn more about the shared responsibility model and download our Microsoft 365 Security Checklist.
Google Workplace vs. Microsoft 365? The Choice Is Yours
As we said in the first paragraph. It all depends on what you want and what IT you need to grow and flourish. We can help you make the decision as well as support either Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace. Reach out to us or book a quick consultation.
2022 Cyber Security Essentials Checklist
See where your business stands with these 18 critical cyber security controls established by the Center of Internet Security (CIS). Plus see the types of attacks most likely to impact your business.