When you own your own business some of the most important tools you can have are your communication tools, collaboration features, and productivity apps. For most people, Google’s G Suite (recently rebranded as Google Workspace) and Office 365 are the first two cloud productivity suites that come to mind.
But if you are just starting out it can be difficult to know which one is “better”, or which suite of products will fit your needs most effectively. It can also be hard to know if you are getting your money’s worth when comparing all of the pricing options and the services available between each cloud platform. As a small business owner, you can’t afford to waste money on expensive plans that don’t give you the functionality you desire.
Here is our breakdown of the top differences and advanced features between these two cloud applications. So, G Suite vs. Microsoft 365, which is better? We’ll help you make the best financial investment as a small business owner.
Gmail is integrated with all G Suite applications. This means that you can use one browser window to use email, chats, documents, and even video conferencing at the same time. This helps users to work with both external and internal communication from the same browser window. Gmail also has advanced search options, so you can easily find what you are looking for if you filed an email in the wrong folder.
With Microsoft 365, one of the advanced features is the ability to create a calendar event directly from email and directly invite others to join the event. You can also share files through OneDrive without having to download them into another application, making it a flexible collaboration tool.
Unlimited cloud storage is what everyone wants, right? But when looking at cloud storage capabilities, G Suite and Microsoft 365 approach these options a little differently. Microsoft 365 offers storage at 1 TB per user on OneDrive, regardless of the subscription package. While that isn’t unlimited storage, it still provides a significant amount of storage per user.
In G Suite, Google Drive file storage depends on both the subscription package and the number of users. The Basic plan provides 30GB of storage per user, whereas the Business package offers 1TB per user. But if you have more than 5 licenses/users, then you have unlimited storage within Google Drive with any subscription plan.
The great news is that both Microsoft 365 and G Suite are designed with collaboration in mind. This means that in addition to a good amount of cloud file storage (depending on your subscription plan) you have both file sharing and file syncing capabilities with both options.
Microsoft 365 includes file sharing through SharePoint Online, while G Suite allows file sharing through Google Drive. Both services allow multiple types of access control, including read-only, editable, and private, giving you a high-level of control over your collaboration. For example, if you have a document that requires different levels of collaboration, you can assign editing rights to highly involved staff and then give read-only access to a partner who just needs to provide final sign-off on the document. This added level of file-sharing security makes both options some of the best productivity tools out there.
The pricing options are similar between products, with multiple subscription offers that have specific terms of pricing per user per month.
Microsoft 365 offers four different monthly subscriptions ranging from $5 per user per month to $20 per user per month, but apps and services are only included with the three highest business plans. The lowest-entry tier, Microsoft 365 Business Basics, only supports web and mobile versions of the services.
G Suite also offers four different monthly subscriptions, the first three of which range from $6 per user per month to $18 per user per month. The highest-level tier, Enterprise, is designed for large-scale businesses with pricing available upon request.
But even the most expensive plans for Microsoft 365 and G Suite are still cost-effective when you break down the price per user per month. A subscription plan with either platform is affordable for most small businesses because it breaks down the total cost by month.
Security is a key feature for any cloud-based software. Both Microsoft 365 and G Suite products offer encryption, multi-factor authentication, and other advanced security features across their entire service, which is ideal especially if your small business requires a high level of collaboration and file-sharing between employees.
When choosing between them, consider whether you want to encrypt data stored locally on devices such as laptops and desktops versus cloud based files like those found on Google Drive and SharePoint Online. Also keep in mind that while both platforms provide strong two-factor authentication methods, Microsoft 365 allows you to add third party solutions to enhance this process further.
Both products also offer security measures to protect against attacks through malware detection tools. They both provide antivirus protection, but Microsoft 365 also protects against phishing scams by scanning emails before sending them. On the other hand, G Suite allows users to create their own passwords instead of using the default ones provided by Microsoft 365.
With either Microsoft 365 or G Suite, you’ll have a series of security features that provide advanced threat protection, such as 2-step verification, password resets, and multi-factor authentication. Neither choice is bad from a cybersecurity perspective; they both offer superior protection, so it really comes down to personal preference. You’ll just need to weigh out which of the slight differences matter most to you and your small business users, and which of the devices you currently use are best supported by Office 365 vs. G Suite.
Finally, another key difference between the two products is the access to company support provided by both services. What they offer is similar, but it will come down to your preferences and how often you think you’ll need support.
Microsoft 365 provides 24×7 phone support. This means that you can call Microsoft 365 Support anytime you want. They will answer all your questions and help you with any issues you might have. G Suite allows users to contact Google Customer Care via chat, email, online forms, and phone calls. However, you cannot call Google Customer Care directly. Instead, you need to use their online forms.
Whether you choose G Suite or Microsoft 365, your small business will have robust security, communication, and collaboration tools at the ready. And because both are cloud-based systems, you can operate with remote teams as long as you want or are required to. When you have decided which platform is best for you, TechMasters can help you with the technical side of getting your small business set up in the cloud.
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