For years, Microsoft Office was the only viable option for office productivity tools. It’s still the gold standard in this arena; however, you do have a choice. Whether you’re a small business owner or a sole proprietor working from home, evaluating the cost of Microsoft Office can be daunting. And, if you require more desktop publishing or collaboration features than Office provides, you will still need to supplement your office productivity tools with small business IT support.
Comparing Office 365 and G-Suite
The serious competition to Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office 365 comes from G-Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work). With respect to price, Office 365 is available in six packages—three for enterprise customers, and three for small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers—with prices ranging from $5 to $20 with a yearly commitment. G-Suite offers just two plans—one at $5 per month and one at $10. Users pay month to month, with Google offering a discounted yearly plan for $50.
Small Business IT Support Solutions
Both Office 365 and G-Suite offer basic office productivity tools—word processing, calendars, email, and spreadsheets. The featured apps in Office 365 are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The featured apps in G-Suite are Gmail, Hangouts, Drive, and Docs. Both plans offer cloud storage, although Microsoft offers considerably more (1 TB of storage versus Google’s 30 GB for its entry-level plan). Price, features, and storage are serious considerations, but they are not the only considerations. Many businesses need additional small business IT support to help evaluate, implement, and manage a customized solution that accounts for available features, security, and user experience.
What Makes Each Platform Unique?
Microsoft Office and its cloud-based counterpart, Office 365—for better or worse—tend to focus overwhelmingly on enterprise customers. Certainly, the MS Office offers world-class productivity tools and continuity with legacy Office applications. Moreover, given how long Office has been around and its widespread use, there’s a considerable level of familiarity with the tools and their interfaces. Office 365 prides itself on 99.9% up-time, and its users always have the most up-to-date version of the Office programs.
The hallmark of G-Suite is collaboration. Files are constantly saved and backed up, and Google can translate documents into 100 languages. In addition, G-Suite offers tools for which Microsoft Office has no equivalent, such as Google+, Forms, and Sites. The biggest failing of G-Suite is Sheets (Google’s spreadsheet program), which supports far fewer functions than Microsoft Excel and struggles in particular with more complex spreadsheets. On balance, according to Laptop magazine’s James Gaskin, “That doesn’t mean that Google matches Office or competitors in features. Google Apps have gotten better, but they still lag in the feature race.”
Making the Right Choice
Choosing the right office productivity suite can be challenging. In fact, many companies end up with a hybrid solution of Office/Office 365 and G-Suite so that they can take advantage of all the platforms have to offer. To make the choice of configuration easier for your business, contact All Phases IT and speak with an experienced managed IT services consultant. We’ll evaluate your company’s needs and help you determine the best way to keep your staff productive and safe.