Is Office 365 unrivalled? No, not at all. Google struggles with G Suite to gain a foothold in the collaborative environment as well. Easy operation and administration, the absence of installed software and a great focus on working in the team are the points with which Google wants to profile itself. In this blog post, we will discuss all the important factors concerning productivity, functionality and cost of these two platforms to know which one is best for your business.
Office 365 vs G Suite 2019
Where Do Both Products Come from?
It’s really exciting to take a look at the features offered by G Suite for business, especially if you’re from the Microsoft world. There are big differences in the genesis alone. While Office 365 was built from individual server products that themselves had a long history, Google’s G Suite was designed for cloud deployment right from the start. The individual server products from Office 365 Microsoft is increasingly trying to put back to strengthen the view of the ‘big picture’. But as soon as you move something in the admin interface, you immediately come to terms such as Exchange or SharePoint. This may be familiar, if not reassuring, to the veteran Microsoft Admin. For a complete newcomer, however, it is hard to understand why part of the user management runs in Office 365, one in Azure and then another in Exchange and Skype for Business.
Google offers a base version for 4 € /user/month and a business version for 8 €. The Enterprise offers then already hit with 23 € to book. As with Microsoft, users can be added or removed at any time, so scaling is not a problem. Microsoft Office 365 services also call similar monthly rates for low-cost business plans. However, there is an upper limit of 300 licenses per Office 365 tenant. The Enterprise plans do not know such an upper limit but are priced at 20 to 35 € per month.
The difference between G Suite and the free Google Apps is that they offer enterprise-class services, such as the corporate domain for mailing addresses, more mail and file space, and 24×7 phone support. Mail or online. However, this delivers, according to user reviews on the Internet, always disappointing results. Google ensures availability of 99.9% (which means a maximum downtime of about 9 hours a year).
Mails, telephony and videoconferencing, as well as a shared calendar, are already available in the basic version of G Suite. Even apps for documents, spreadsheets and presentations are already included. One important difference: we are only talking about cloud apps that run in the browser. Google does not offer an installable Office package, as known from Microsoft with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For each user, there are still 30 GB available in the cloud as storage space.
Only then the business package offers unlimited storage space and Google’s ‘Cloud Search’. Security and administration functions, such as archiving of emails and chats, as well as the definition of retention policies can only be found in the Business Package. Also included are test reports for tracking user activity (e-discovery).
The only deprives of the enterprise plan are administrative functions, such as special devices to protect against data loss in the mail application as well as Google Drive storage space, hosted S/MIME or the integration of third-party archiving tools. Google also provides enterprise-specific access control, including enforcing security keys and mail log analysis, in the Enterprise Plan.
Security & Privacy
Google is promoting compliance with standards including SOC1 ™, (SSAE-16 / ISAE-3402), SOC2 ™, SOC3 ™, ISO 27001, ISO 27018: 2014, and FedRAMP. In addition, Google, like Microsoft, offers the EU model contract clauses. These are necessary to meet EU data protection requirements. Google encrypts your data, at least with the 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption method.
The data is encrypted on several levels. Google enforces Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) for all transfers between users and G Suite services and uses Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) for all services. It also encrypts messaging with other mail servers using Transport Layer Security (TLS). During validation and during critical replacement phases, Google uses 2048-bit RSA keys. Thus, message communication is protected when customer users send and receive an e-mail to external recipients who also use TLS.
For PFS, the private keys for a connection must not be persisted. If a party breaks a single key, it can no longer decrypt connections made over months. Not even the server operator can decrypt the HTTPS sessions retroactively. Unlike Microsoft, it is not so easy to determine where my data really lies. Because the administrator can specify the data storage location when setting up an Office 365 tenant (e.g. Europe), whereas he has no influence on Google.
G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 for business actually have some tools on board that overlap. When we talk about Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the Microsoft environment, Google calls Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Slides. Google also offers “Forms” for survey forms offered by Microsoft. Instead of SharePoint Google is set to ‘Sites’, and Skype for Business and Yammer become ‘Hangout’ and ‘Google+’. OneDrive for Business is called “Google Drive”. The depth of these individual apps is often completely different. Especially in the classic Office products, Microsoft offers features and opportunities that are almost unrivalled on the market. Since the apps from the G Suite have no chance. Of course, there is the question of whether the classical user needs this depth. Or maybe he is overwhelmed at one point or another. Nevertheless, there will usually be people in every company who appreciate and do not want to miss this rich variety of features.
In 2017, a large company pushed attention to the G Suite: Airbus, with 130,000 employees, moved from Microsoft Office to G Suite. The reason is more exciting than you might suspect at first. Typically, such decisions are based on one of two major themes: money or features. Either one product is significantly more expensive than the other or it simply offers the better features. But Airbus made it clear that both are not the main reason for the change: The G Suite is simply different than Microsoft Office. Airbus wanted to fundamentally change its way of working and abandon old work habits, such as sending millions of emails. This change in working habits is much easier if you use other tools than developments from Outlook and Co.
The point is thus actually in the G Suite – because Microsoft Office remains just Microsoft Office. In addition to Airbus, Netflix and Verizon are well-known clients of G Suite. But of course there are also opposing developments, for instance, some US universities switched to Office 365 because of better data protection.
It should be noted that Google is always cloud applications that have been trimmed for collaboration. Microsoft relies on the tried and tested office package, which had to be revised first to the cooperation. Nevertheless, many of the users are based in the Microsoft world and appreciate the speed of locally installed software and the functionality of Microsoft’s Office suite. If you want to work in the browser with slimmer apps, you can also use the web apps at Microsoft.
It seems that Google has put together an interesting package especially for smaller companies, which can also be set up by non-administrators. First and foremost, the Google solution makes sense for companies whose employees are already familiar with Google products. Office 365 offers a more extensive, detailed pricing model and many detail settings. This is especially useful for experienced administrators and enterprise customers.
A clear argument for Office 365 is the offline applications of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Especially in the recent past, however, Microsoft has shown that small and medium-sized enterprises are also important to them: the administration interface is being further simplified and more intuitive, but users are also offered new, user-friendly apps. These include, for example, bookings (to coordinate appointments with customers via an Internet calendar), a small CRM system (Outlook Customer Manager), Invoicing (app to write invoices) or listings (to report the company presence on the Internet).