As more of the world turns to a “work-from-home” approach, small businesses need to find ways to connect and collaborate across teams easily. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by utilizing cloud-based productivity tools. The cloud allows employees to access their email, documents, spreadsheets and more using a single sign-on.
When it comes to cloud-based productivity tools in the workplace, you’re presented with a couple of viable options: Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Microsoft 365. Both suites have their merits, so how do you choose which is suitable for your organization? In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into these productivity tools and compare how they aid in collaboration.
What do Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Include?
Microsoft and Google are competing to be your one-stop-shop for business productivity software. The two companies dominate the market for enterprise productivity software. Their respective services are supported by a robust, highly reliable cloud infrastructure with data centers worldwide.
Each suite includes the following features:
- Business email and shared calendaring services that are attached to custom domains
- Online storage, with shared space for collaboration
- A variety of productivity apps
- Communication tools (messaging, online meetings, video conferencing, etc.)
- A management interface, with features such as security and compliance
Despite the similarity in features, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace take distinctly different approaches regarding their cloud architecture and app design. When deciding between the two suites, the choice typically comes down to which approach best suits your business.
Packages and Pricing
When comparing the lineup of plans available for purchase between Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, you’ll instantly notice a massive difference between the two.
Google Workspace has four plans (an increase of one from the GSuite days): Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise.
All Google Workspace plans include:
- Gmail for business
- Video and voice conferencing
- Secure messaging
- Shared calendars
- Google docs, sheets, and slides
- Shared notes
- A survey builder
- A website builder
- Currents (the replacement for Google+)
- At least 30GB of cloud file storage
- Security and executive controls
By contrast, Microsoft has quite a few more options available. They offer three plans aimed at small businesses in particular: Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium.
They also provide a Microsoft 365 Apps package that includes only the desktop apps and cloud storage, a handful of Office 365 Enterprise plans, and three Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans targeted at larger organizations. There are separate Microsoft 365 plans for other organizations as well, including educational institutions, nonprofits, and U.S. government agencies.
Microsoft 365 cloud-based services include the following:
- Web-based versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Exchange Online email hosting with a maximum inbox size of 50-100GB
- A minimum of 1TB of OneDrive for file storage per user
- SharePoint Online team sites
- HD video conferencing
- Online meetings
- Secure messaging and collaboration via Microsoft Teams
- Security and executive controls
We personally actively choose to operate Teams due to its full suite of office tools, which increases efficiency amongst our close-knit team. Want to learn how Teams varies from the popular workspace, Slack? Read more about our breakdown of Microsoft Teams and Slack.
How Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Compare
Google has Gmail, optimized for the chrome web browser and mobile apps. Microsoft has Exchange Online, optimized for the Outlook desktop client. Aside from the fundamental architectural differences between the two, their respective feature sets include everything a corporate email administrator wants.
The most popular Microsoft 365 plans include the latest release of the desktop applications on Windows PCs and Macs, along with increasingly full-featured web versions. Google’s productivity apps are designed to work distinctly in a browser or one of its mobile apps.
For all account types, OneDrive for Business offers 1TB (plus 10GB per user) of SharePoint, whereas that limit is removed on Enterprise accounts with at least five users. Regarding Google Drive, basic accounts have 30GB of storage. Still, that limit increases to 1TB on upgraded versions and is unlimited for G Suite Business and Enterprise plans with five or more users.
Communication and Collaboration
Both Google Workspace and Office 365 allow simultaneous editing of documents in the web browser, allowing teams to work on shared projects and collaborate. Regardless of which suite you decide to utilize, you have an assortment of tools from which to choose.
Our Final Thoughts
Being part of our solution stack, our team can personally vouch for the quality of Microsoft 365. From a functionality standpoint, it completes the job with a simple, streamlined, and straightforward approach. Users can focus on getting work done rather than wasting time figuring out how to get the work done.
If you’re a small business looking to switch your workplace cloud collaboration strategy, our team has plenty of helpful insight. Find out which cloud-based productivity tool is best for your business by downloading our Google Workspace VS. Microsoft 365 white paper.