Microsoft 365 vs. G-Suite: Choose Your Perfect Cloud Productivity Suite
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when Microsoft Office was the undisputed champ of the business world. But now that the business environment has moved into the cloud, and Google has created its own productivity suite, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have more choices to consider.
Over time, Microsoft has migrated from its traditional licensed office software to the subscription-based Microsoft 365. At the same time, Google has gone beyond collaborative Google Docs and Sheets, offering the more extensive subscription G Suite. So which one is better?
That all depends on what you’re looking for.
Here is a look at how Microsoft 365 and G Suite compare in four critical areas — collaboration and support; cloud storage; security and compliance; and pricing — and what small businesses need to consider when making a decision.
1. Collaboration and Support
The value of collaboration tools rose to the forefront in 2020, as millions of workers suddenly found themselves working from home. Both Microsoft 365 and G Suite made it possible to collaborate across miles and time zones, changing the way many offices worked.
When it comes to working together on individual documents, G Suite has the advantage over 365, as that feature is built into its interface. G Suite users are able to collaborate in real-time and utilize features such as suggested edits, version history and customizable sharing capabilities to ensure the quality of their work. However, 365 has much more robust features when it comes to other collaboration tools such as group chat, web conferences and online meetings, thanks to Microsoft Teams. And, since Teams is part of the Office platform, it integrates naturally with such features as Outlook, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. It is agile enough to go from group chat to a video conference with the touch of a single button, and it can host teams of thousands for video, audio and web conferences.
Of course, G Suite isn’t without video chat features, and recently added Google Meet, formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet, as part of its G Suite. Its Zoom-like functionality makes it easy to use, and it is a bulked-up version of Hangouts. It supports up to 250 participants with features like real-time captions, customizable layouts, scheduling and advanced security.
Both productivity suites have a professional email client for businesses that allow you to customize using your domain name. G Suite uses Gmail for Business, while 365 uses Outlook for Business.
When it comes to support, each productivity suite offers 24/7 phone support in English. Email support is also provided for both Microsoft and G Suite, and, additionally, users can find support forums for each one.
With so many similar features, your choice may come down to pricing. These two competitors offer similar features and prices. Here’s how it breaks down for each one:
Microsoft 365 Plan Pricing
- Business Essentials: $5/user per month
- Business: $12.50/user per month
- Business Premium: $20/user per month
G Suite Plan Pricing
- Basic: $6/user per month
- Business: $12/user per month
- Enterprise: $25/user per month
3. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is an increasingly important consideration for businesses of all sizes, but every SMB should take into account its usage needs when determining whether Microsoft 365 or G Suite is a better fit.
The good news is that both provide plenty of storage, so either way you can be assured that you’ll be able to securely store your information. With a basic plan, G Suite provides 30 GB of cloud storage for each user, while business and enterprise plans get unlimited storage. Or, if you have five or fewer users, you can opt for the plan that offers 1 TB of storage for each user.
G Suite stores files in Google Drive, and you also can download the Google apps on your mobile devices, tablets or desktop for anytime, anywhere access.
Microsoft 365 also provides 1 TB of cloud storage for each user with every plan, and, independent of that storage, also provides each user with 50 GB of email storage. Microsoft stores and manages files on OneDrive, and, like the Google apps, it includes desktop, mobile and web apps and allows you to sync and share files.
Most recently, Microsoft has introduced Fluid Framework, which takes the collaboration of Google Docs even farther. Instead of being saved and shared, Fluid allows users to collaborate in real time. It will appear in Microsoft Teams this year and eventually be accessible in Office apps including Excel, Word and Powerpoint.
4. Security and Compliance
Regardless of the size of your company, security and compliance are major considerations. Both G Suite and Microsoft 365 meet the core compliance certifications that are often required by finance or healthcare organizations. This includes such certifications as HIPAA, EU Data Protection Directive and GDPR.
Both also meet stringent security requirements based on industry best practices. Encryption plays a key role in the G Suite security strategy, and customer data is encrypted when it’s on a disk, stored on backup media, is moving across the Internet or is traveling between data centers. This provides the needed level of protection for emails, chats, Google Drive files, etc.
Microsoft 365 includes threat protection and data protection as well as device management features to prevent unauthorized access and provide protection from online threats. Its cloud-based Advanced Threat Protection filtering service and ATP Safe Links protects users from malware, ransomware, harmful links, etc. in emails, Office documents and more. It also relies upon multi-factor authentication for identity confirmation before resources are made accessible.
How to Decide What’s Right for Your SMB
Both Microsoft 365 and G Suite are effective cloud productivity suites that can help your business work online, from anywhere and with multiple teams. Several factors can help determine which productivity suite is the right choice for your business, but it may simply come down to which platform you and your team are more accustomed to using.
Comparing the features and benefits of each suite can take some time but will pay off in knowing that you have the best option for your needs. And, when you need help comparing plans, Aventis Systems can help. Contact us to discuss your productivity suite needs.