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Office 365 vs Google Apps

Date: Feb 11, 2015

Category: Blog

Guest Post: Barry Collins, Cloud Pro.

Microsoft and Google’s productivity suites go head-to-head.

The choice of productivity suite is a critical decision for ITDMs because these are apps used by employees for core office work on a daily basis.

There are two titans of the tech industry vying for your business: Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google Apps for Work. These two companies have different philosophies for their productivity suites. Microsoft combines traditional desktop Office applications with browser-based versions of software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as offering a host of other services to Office 365 subscribers; Google Apps is almost a pure online play, offering the vast majority of its services via the web browser or net-connected apps.

The article examines the features and functionality of the apps in both packages, allowing your business to make an informed decision about which best meets your requirements.

The full article reviews:

*  Email/Calendar
*  Word processing
*  Spreadsheets
*  Presentations
*  Other apps and services
*  Pricing

Verdict

If the above review all seems fairly damning of Google Apps for Work, that wasn’t our intention. We know of plenty of businesses that operate on Google Apps and have done for some years. The online suite is not as powerful as Microsoft Office on the desktop, but then many businesses only ever used a tiny fraction of Office’s features anyway. Google Apps is a low-maintenance, lightweight productivity suite that requires companies to pay barely any thought to issues such as installation, maintenance and backup, a combination that will appeal to many.

Yet, for business that want an online-only suite, the similarly priced Office 365 Business Essentials must also come into the reckoning. Microsoft’s web apps have improved enormously in recent years and, in our tests, performance was better when dealing with large Word and Excel files. Its collaboration features might not be as strong as Google’s, but we suspect few businesses often require employees to be working on documents simultaneously.

Neither Google’s nor Microsoft’s own online apps come close to touching the power of Office 2013. It may not be that everyone in the company needs the full power of the desktop apps, and businesses could make a significant saving by migrating staff with limited needs to the online apps (especially in a hot-desking environment), but staff who spend significant time dealing with large documents, complex spreadsheets or delivering presentations will still find the full-blown apps more of a necessity than a luxury.

We feel most businesses will be best served by the combination of desktop software and online services that the more expensive Office 365 subscriptions offer.

Whichever path you choose, both offer 30-day trials to businesses, and we suggest that you at least participate in a trial deployment to check whether your chosen provider meets your company’s needs.

For the best UK prices for Office 365 – with free migration and ongoing support – CLICK HERE >>

 

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