Gone are the days of worrying about not being able to save your memo draft after an outage. Manual backups using a flash drive and/or external hard drive is also on its way out. The latest and greatest productivity suites available to business owners right now are more accessible than ever — and supercharged with cloud capabilities.
Two products from the biggest providers come to mind: Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. While the Office brand’s reputation precedes it, with trailblazing programs like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, G Suite may have more to offer.
The Email Client
While Microsoft Outlook has been a staple for emailing in Windows computers since 1992, Gmail, launched in 2004, has taken its seat as the essential email client. First, let’s talk about its interface. Since its inception, Gmail has always aimed to give a clutter-free experience.
It improved on the organization features that Outlook has, allowing users to move emails from specific people or categories to a single folder with just a few clicks. This is compared to the series of windows and wizards you have to go through just to organize your messages on Outlook.
Another feature that Gmail has that Outlook can’t seem to get quite right is the “conversation view” of email threads. When you open a message in Gmail, you see a clean timeline of your back and forth with other users, similar to what you’d see in your social media chatboxes. It has the subject at the top of the thread, with replies that you can open and collapse as you please.
Outlook’s email threads will take some getting used to, as it shows the full timeline without the option to collapse messages. It also unnecessarily repeats the subject with every reply, further adding to the visual clutter.
Gmail also has the edge when it comes to integration with its other productivity apps. When you look at your inbox, you immediately see the kind of files attached to each message at the bottom of its preview. You can even view an attachment using G Suite’s productivity tools (as long as it’s a word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, or PDF file) by clicking on them.
Outlook, on the other hand, only shows that there’s an attachment on the upper right hand of each preview. You can open files using Office 365’s online programs, but you still have to open each email to view them.
Ease of Collaboration
G Suite sets the standard for document collaboration when it launched in 2009. Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, Sites and Slides all allowed commenting and real-time document tracking off the bat. It also featured seamless integration with its Calendar and Gmail apps. Hangouts was added to the ecosystem in 2013 to provide instant messaging within the platform. It wasn’t much of a hot ticket for business owners at its time of release, as they still preferred offline programs like Microsoft Office’s Word, Excel, and Powerpoint to edit their files.
However, the rise of cloud storage around 2010, together with the steady; increase of internet speeds worldwide, made using online apps like Docs and Slides easier for those who want to have easy storage and collaboration for their output. This is because it eliminates the cumbersome back and forth of files through email. A writer can easily submit their output to their editors, and the latter can make comments and revisions all on the same document. In the event of a power or internet connection outage, they’ll be confident knowing that their files are backed up online.
Microsoft released its Office 365 platform in 2011, featuring a complete product line as before, but with collaboration and cloud storage capabilities. Its apps are also easy for longtime users to access, as they can be used offline. Stripped versions of its programs like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and even Outlook can be accessed online as well. It uses Skype for instant messaging and Teams for collaboration.
While Office 365 enables collaboration between users, G Suites still trumps it because the latterwas created as a set of collaborative tools. G Suite is less feature-packed and was developed with a decisive slant towards digital collaboration. On the other hand, Office 365 began as desktop applications, which were then reconfigured to be collaborative tools. As such, G Suites are easier to use and master.
This is especially true if a business has remote teams. G Suite is designed to run online, and it’s easy to work with on different devices. It can run smoothly on Macs, PCs, Linux-based machines, and more.
Pricing and Storage
Both Google and Microsoft offer competent cloud storage solutions with their Google Drive and OneDrive platforms. The former has a much simpler approach when it comes to pricing and storage space — especially if you’re getting your plan from a G Suite reseller. G Suite basic is $6 per user monthly, with complete Google apps and 30 GB of cloud storage. For some small businesses, this is a cost-effective choice because it contains all the essentials for communication and digital collaboration, like instant messaging, a 25-participant limit for voice calls, and shared online calendars.
Its “Business” and “Enterprise” packages, on the other hand, have unlimited storage for $12 and $25 per user monthly.
The “Business” Plan includes everything businesses need for frictionless communication:
- A 50-participant limit for video/voice calls
- Advanced search functionality, which makes it easier to locate files within G Suite
- Email archiving and message retention policies
- Audit and insight reports for the contents of your Drive
Meanwhile, the “Enterprise” Plan extends all functionalities to accommodate companies with a larger workforce and data banks:
- A 100-participant limit for video/voice calls
- Advanced security controls
- Data loss prevention measures for confidential files and sensitive data
- Integration with third-party archiving tools
- Better email encryption
Office 365’s ProPlus offers 1 TB of storage, along with Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher for $12 per user monthly. Going up a tier, its Office 365 E3 and E5 packages offer the complete Office Applications suite plus collaboration tools like Sharepoint and Teams with unlimited storage for $20 and $35 per user monthly.
How is G Suite Better?
There’s a common theme that makes G Suite better than Office 365: simplicity.
- Gmail is easier to use than Outlook, with a cleaner conversation view and easier access to attachments.
- It has fuss-free pricing plans. Its applications, Although G Suite’s basic package has lower storage space compared to Office 365 ProPlus, it still wins out in terms of seamless integration between all of its apps. Plus, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms already offer collaboration tools from the get go.
- People have to upgrade their subscription if they want to access that on Office 365. Plus, an upgrade to Google’s “Business” plan offers cheaper unlimited storage ($12) than Microsoft’s ($20).
- It’s also easier for people who opt for G Suite’s Basic and Business plans to scale up, as it can accommodate an unlimited number of users. Office 365’s Business plans are capped at 300 users. You’ll have to get the much more expensive enterprise option to get unlimited users on your suite.
- It’s easy for both internal and external file sharing as users don’t need to have extra software installed. As long as they have the latest browser, they can edit, comment, track changes, and more. This is compared to Office 365, where each party needs to have its line of products installed locally, taking up precious storage space.
If your business is just starting out or you just want simple productivity tools with straightforward pricing, G Suite is for you. It’s built with collaboration and cloud usage at its core, so you’re sure to have an easy experience working with your employees wherever they are.
Get the Best Deals for Your Productivity Suite
Productivity suites aren’t cheap, especially if your business is expanding and more employees are coming in. Here at Business Cloud Deals, we give our customers honest evaluations about business cloud services and offer the best deals possible for Amazon CloudFront and Google G Suite platforms. We do this through partnering up with official cloud service providers so you’re not only getting affordable pricing, but you’re also getting legitimate products.
Contact us today to get the best business cloud platform deal for you.