Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace: The Best Option for Your Business
Choosing the right productivity platform for your business is no easy feat, especially when it comes to Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace. Unlike personal use, there are many aspects to consider beyond user-preference and comfortability. You want a platform that can not only meet your needs of today but grow with you as your company expands. There’s also the matter of efficiency, compatibility, pricing and more to weigh out.
Between Google and Microsoft, there is truly no obvious answer. There are, however, some key unique differences that may help you decide which option is ultimately best for your business.
As an MSP, Managed solution has worked with hundreds of businesses and helped them navigate the world of digital workspaces to find the right fit for them. In this article we’ll walk you through the two suites and clarify the differences so that you can move forward with the best option for you.
Let’s start with the basics. Below is a concise list of some of the more prominent products from both Google and Microsoft offices:
Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, etc…
Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, Planner, Viva, etc…
Of these products and applications, the work-based apps tend to be the first things businesses look at when faced with the great Microsoft v. Google dilemma. Between Docs and Word, Sheets and Excel, or Slides and PowerPoint – the general understanding is that Google’s offerings are more collaborative and user-friendly, while Microsoft tends to be the best choice for users needing powerful and robust solutions. For a more in-depth comparison of these applications, see what the experts at computerworld.com have to say!
Something else to consider here is that Microsoft’s Office Packages have the advantage of longevity. Therefore, if you utilize Google workplace, you will still likely work with other companies who utilize Microsoft Office Applications – to solve for this many companies on Google Workplace make separate local purchases of non-cloud-based Microsoft applications to be able to share and convert files with other Microsoft users.
To further consider which option will work better for you, consider your company-size and level of B2B communications. Do you need a more powerful, streamlined process provided by Microsoft 365 applications? Or will your team be able to work better with the more collaborative and accessible Google Workplace browser-based apps?
Both Outlook and Gmail are renowned email applications. Here, the distinguishing factors boil down to simplicity vs. utility.
Gmail is the simpler option. To begin, it has much less tools on its interface compared to Outlook’s which some users prefer for easier navigation. However, with its new simplified Ribbon, Outlook has certainly made headway in becoming more user-friendly.
Outlook has all the email, contact and calendar features you can imagine. Microsoft has built-in capabilities you’ve likely never even thought of into this program. Whatever you need to accomplish within your email system, you can do it with Outlook.
The choice therefore mainly depends on how you and your team use email, and how much time you’re willing to spend learning new features. If you don’t have extensive or complex needs for your emailing service, Gmail will suit you just fine. Alternatively, if you and your team need more tools and utility for email, or if people in your organization have varying needs, consider opting for Outlook.
Data Security and Management
A key decision-making aspect that is often missed is the management and protection of your data. With the global increase in remote workers, cyber security is more important than ever. In fact, we have seen unprecedented increases in phishing attacks since 2020[link to data].
Security should therefore be top-of-mind in your decision-making process. Even the best user-features can’t make up for insufficient security. The golden rule here is that finding the right security resources for your business means finding the best security resources.
Here's what the experts at Computerworld.com had to say on the topic of security:
“…The simplified view in the Microsoft 365 admin center beats anything in Google Workspace because of how easily it lets you accomplish the most common tasks, including and editing new and existing users, changing licenses, paying bills, and installing Office on devices.
Interfaces aside, Microsoft 365 offers better admin account security, superior mobile administration, and more management controls. Both suites protect your data with enterprise-grade security and offer a central security center for managing user permissions and protections…”.
Because security is such a critical feature, we’ve got to stick with the experts here and agree that Microsoft is the reigning champion of security and safety. However, we have plenty of resources to help you take a deeper look at security between google and Microsoft.
Collaboration and Productivity
Another huge factor for many businesses is collaboration, especially in today’s digital age where so many employees are working from home. Both Google and Microsoft offer popular solutions, so the question here really boils down to your team's needs and preferences.
Microsoft Teams offers a virtually all-in-one solution that combines chats, digital meetings, and custom workspaces, while also offering seamless integration with other products like Outlook, SharePoint, and OneDrive. This makes Microsoft the best choice for users who prefer a more robust chat-centered solution to focus their collaborative efforts around.
Google, on the other hand, their communication applications focus on intuitive functionality and real-time collaboration. Because of the simplicity and user-friendly quality behind the interface, many people feel that Google ranks higher for collaboration.
Although Google is initially more effective for collaboration, productivity is ultimately hindered businesses begin to scale and find themselves needing more detailed work practices. Not to mention, storage of data and information becomes one of the key issues Google users face. Collaboration and productivity become hard to maintain when you can’t access lost or disorganized information.
Although so much of the great Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace debate boils down to personal preference of functionality – there are also certain aspects from each solution that cater better to certain demographics. Typically, many start-up/small businesses find that Google is an easier and cheaper fit for their needs due to its accessibility and collaborative capabilities.
However, as these businesses scale to more mid-market and even enterprise-level sizes – Microsoft’s robust solution packages streamline storage and communication processes better – while also providing a higher level of security and support.
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