Your business needs productivity tools that treat your customers' information with the highest level of professionalism. Your customers should be confident that you are sharing their information securely. Your solutions should include a streamlined process for emailing, editing documents, analyzing data, marketing, and organizing. When discussing cloud productivity solutions that work best for small business, there are two primary solutions to keep in mind: Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work.
Here, we'll cover some information to help you decide which solution fits your business's everyday needs.
Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 both start at $5 per month per user. Google Apps has one additional tier - offering unlimited storage and Vault for $10 per user per month. Google also offers a yearly discounted plan for $50 a year, plus tax
A comparison of both options finds: Office 365 offers five additional tiers beyond its basic Office 365 Business Essentials, going up to $35 per user per month for all the bells and whistles. Microsoft requires an annual commitment, while Google allows month-to-month usage. One user put it this way: "Google gives you a basic toolkit (hammer, pliers, screwdriver, wrench) Enough to get the job done, intuitive, fast, works well on multiple devices. A broad range of tools that work quite well. Microsoft gives you the 349 piece toolkit."
From an objective standpoint, your choice here should depend on the depth of functionality and customization, each user in your enterprise needs. If every user in your organization is fully trained and your business is equipped with the proper IT support to install and troubleshoot the software on up to 5 devices, Microsoft Office 365 may be feasible for you. If, however, you are looking for ease of use and simplicity in your products, Google Apps is the clear winner here.
Each Microsoft Office 365 user gets at least 1TB of cloud storage, while Google's entry-level plan provides considerably less space: 30GB of online storage per user. However, Google provides unlimited storage for accounts with at least five users on its $10 per month or $120 per year (plus tax) plans.
To add collaboration features, you can also use Google Sites or Microsoft SharePoint. While Sites will give you basic features, SharePoint will allow you to integrate other apps into your intranet site so that you can use it as your central business dashboard.
Google Apps' strong suit is real-time collaboration. While Microsoft has improved real-time collaboration in its products, it hasn't matched the simplicity of Apps, as this Wall Street Journal video demonstrates.
As far as coexistence between the two platforms is concerned (especially for calendar and contacts), efforts are still being made to develop technology to allow both options to "play well together" on a single domain.
Gmail may be enough to tip the scale toward Google Apps. Gmail is far simpler to manage than Outlook, OWA, and Exchange. Search works better with Gmail than it does with Outlook. On the other hand, Outlook handles calendars better. But Microsoft's productivity apps have far more capabilities than Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Ultimately, both Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 are quality products. If you approach them with an open mind, you can probably be happy with either. Sources
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