The IT Star Wars: G Suite vs Office 365
Every business executive looks for definitive solutions to increase efficiency and boost productivity in carrying out everyday business operations. For most entrepreneurs, deciding whether to use Office 365 vs G Suite can be a tough decision to make.
Both suits both provide great, cloud-based toolkits that can ensure your team collaborates and stays in sync. But which is the best choice for your startup?
Each offers distinct benefits. Here’s a breakdown of both platforms to make the decision easier.
What is a Microsoft Office Suite?
MS Office 365 is a subscription service that provides users with the basic productivity applications necessary to get work done in the modern mobile-centric enterprise.
But, what does Office 365 include?
It includes productivity apps, but aren’t limited to, a word processor, a spreadsheet, an email client, a calendar, a presentation app, and many more.
In fact, thanks to Office 365’s cloud-based structure, the suite of productivity apps is continually being updated and improved.
How Much is Office 365?
Office 365 comes in one of two main business packages – Business and Business Premium. For both kits, you receive the app in desktop form and web version, so you get the hard-copy versions to load onto the business computer to use even when you’re offline.
Office 365 Business
At $8.25 per user/month for a yearly contract, Business is ideal for teams that need collaboration and cloud storage, along with Office applications. It does not, however, involve business email. The base Business level offers the following:
- Outlook– Microsoft’s web-based all-in-one tier of email, tasks, calendar, and contacts allows you to work productively and share attachments directly from OneDrive. It also lets you schedule meetings, block out time to work on a task, or book a conference room directly from the Outlook calendar;
- Word – Microsoft’s most popular app is its word processor. Word provides you with the tools to write confidently and intelligently. Plus, you can work with a team member in real-time, collaborating on the same project;
- Excel – The best spreadsheet processor, Excelhas been refined over the years due to new charts, templates, tools, and formulas, that all enhance data organization and output;
- PowerPoint– A presentation program that enables you to create unique and powerful presentations and pitches. With 365 collaboration, you can have several colleagues working on the same PowerPoint at one time;
- OneNote – An app that helps you and your team take notes and get organized. Notes is terrific for tablets where you can write notes, scribble, highlight or underline sections;
- OneDrive– A file hosting service that enables you to save files and photos on it and then access them on any device. You’ll get 1TB of OneDrive storage and a license that covers fully-installed Office apps on 5 PCs/Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 phones. This may be an excellent option for small businesses.
Office 365 Business Premium
Business Premium costs $12.50 a month/user with an annual contract. This is ideal for businesses that need a business email, Office suite, and other Microsoft business services such as:
- Exchange– Microsoft’s business version of Outlook is more powerful and comes with tools businesses require for their email services and calendaring. With an adaptive, smart inbox and an intelligent calendar, your ability to organize and communicate and improves dramatically;
- SharePoint – A browser-based document management and collaboration platform, this content management system and information portal can run across Internet, Intranet, or Extranet;
- Microsoft Teams – Organizes chats, notes, meetings, and attachments whether in Office or via its communication platform;
- Business email hosting– Creates a custom email domain address. Each user has a 50 GB inbox;
- Video conferencing– up to 300 users;
- Support– 24/7 phone and web support.
What is G Suite?
G Suite (some call it Google office 365) is a SaaS (software as a service) that groups all the cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools developed by Google for businesses, nonprofits, and institutes.
It’s highly recommended for clients that are needing email hosting for their business. Still, G Suite is much more than just email. It also includes a variety of features and apps that can come in quite handy.
With every subscription, you have access to custom Gmail addresses, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Drive, Sites, and so on.
How Much is G Suite?
G Suite’s web-based service comes in three packages: Basic, Business, and Enterprise. The platform provides businesses with more flexibility for payment, enabling the purchase of a subscription on either a monthly/annual basis.
While the monthly may cost a few bucks more, it provides you the option to add/drop users or to discontinue services.
G Suite Basic
For $5 per month/user, G Suite Basic offers you 30 GB of storage and access to its baseline applications. Unlike Office 365, G Suite’s most basic plan gives access to a business email, via Gmail. Other google office apps are:
- Calendar – Set your schedule and organize your day with Calendar. It creates, requests, sets, or invites other team members to meetings, or simply block out time where you’re not to be disturbed. If you share your Calendar with team members, they see your agenda, and can plan accordingly;
- Docs – Allows your teammates to edit, read, comment on, or share documents. With cloud-tracking in docs, you’ll never lose a file or an edit, get increasing accountability, and letting you go back to see older versions of the document;
- Forms – Creates fun and simple polls or surveys with members of your team. Forms helps you get answers quickly and then compiles them smartly, making analysis easy;
- Gmail– The most popular and influential email service on the planet. G Suite Basic allows you to create a business email linked to your domain and powered by Gmail’s smart inbox technology;
- Google Drive Storage – Google’s cloud storage will enable you to store any file, whether it’s a doc, sheet, video, PDF, Adobe, photo, or audio file;
- Hangouts– Business Hangouts, is a powerful and consistent tool that allows up to 10 people to video conference at once;
- Sheets– It helps you organize and compile critical data. You can create a spreadsheet, collaborate with a teammate, and share with others instantly;
- Slides– Google’s PowerPoint feature allows you to design fantastic presentations.
G Suite Business
As the name implicates, Business is the model that most SMBs should utilize. The increased storage and search features make it broadly more powerful.
For $10 per month/user, G Suite Business provides you all of the capabilities mentioned above and boasts up to 1 terabyte of data storage for 5 or fewer users, or unlimited for more than 5 users. It also includes:
- 24/7 support via email, web messaging, and phone;
- Archives policies for chat and email;
- Audits reports that track user activity;
- e-Discovery for emails, emails, and other files;
- G Suite Data Regions;
- Sets retention for chat and email;
- Smart search via Cloud Search.
G Suite Enterprise
For $25 per month/user, G Suite Enterprise is intended for large businesses that need a ton of storage, extra security, and more control. Hangouts is upgraded to Google Meet, which significantly enhances video quality, and lets 30 members participate in a video conference.
This suite includes all of the capabilities above as well as the following:
- Enterprise-level; security with Google Drive;
- BigQuery Gmail log analysis;
- Hosted S/MIME encryption to increase your mail’s security;
- Data regions for G Suite;
- G Suite Security Center;
- Email traffic scanning;
- Image scanning for text;
- Third-party email archiving;
- Data loss prevention for Gmail/Drive;
- Gmail logs BigQuery analysis;
- Automatic mobile device management;
- Suspicious activity detection.
Office 365 vs. G Suite
As you can see, these services offer very similar services. Both are widely used, praised, and boast similar functionality. Choosing the right one depends on your business’ specific needs.
Let’s compare some of the critical factors that differentiate them:
No business tier would be complete without collaboration tools. Therefore, Google and Microsoft offer include reliable options.
MS Teams is an instant chat-based workspace that allows you to create group chats, send private messages, and files instantly. Teams is quite similar to Slack in that you’ll be notified if your name is directly mentioned in a chat. You’ll also notice a red flag or exclamation point next to the message you’re mentioned in to get your attention.
In September 2018, MS announced the addition of some features in Teams including a “background blur” tool for video conferencing facilitating enhanced focus on faces, and a smart transcribe function which crafts a searchable word document of Teams meetings.
Google’s Hangouts provides instant messaging, group chats, and built-in screen sharing. Still, like with most comparisons made between Google and Microsoft’s apps, Google’s minimalist approach means that Hangouts does miss some of the features that Teams has on offer.
For instance, Teams allows users to create multiple channels which anyone can join, one for sales perhaps, another for marketing, while, Hangouts can only create group chats which have to be set up by someone and only that individual can add more people.
Although their prices aren’t very different, G Suite’s basic plan is cheaper and arrives with a business email. When you reach the Business and Enterprise grades, the cost difference and services received are mostly comparable.
G Suite gives you more flexibility with the option for a monthly or annual plan, but Office 365 provides your team with desktop versions of the application.
It gives Office 365 a slight edge in what you’re paying and what you’re receiving at Business or higher grades.
Office 365’s Business package offers far more email storage than G Suite’s Basic plan. However, it maxes out at 100 GB, while Gmail’s upper-level inbox space is unlimited. When it comes to the functionality of these email services – Gmail is simple, more accessible, matches with third-party apps, and makes message discovery hands down.
On the other hand, Office 365 is likely the more powerful of the two and has better organizational tools, but a much steeper learning curve.
When you’re talking entry-level packages, Office 365 1 TB of storage far oversteps Google’s 30 GB of storage in the Basic G Suite.
Plus, G Suite counts email messages as a part of that 30 GB. But, when you move up to the Business plans, Google’s program beats out Microsoft’s plans by a large margin.
If you have more than 5 users, G Suite Business offers unlimited storage which is significantly more space than 365’s single terabyte.
When it comes to the main applications, the argument turns heavily in favor of Office 365. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are original flagship programs, and MS has perfected these apps over the years.
G Suite’s Docs, Sheets, and Slides are streamlined but lack some of the more advanced functionalities you can use with Office 365.
While G Suite’s simultaneous collaboration is a significant point in its favor, if you depend greatly on presentations, spreadsheets, or word processing, Office wins this game easily.
G Suite vs Office 365 Comparison Chart
|G Suite||Office 365|
|Pricing||$5/month – $10/month||$5/month – $15/month|
|Email Storage||30GB – Unlimited||50GB|
|Cloud Storage||30GB – Unlimited||1TB|
|Word Processing||Google Docs||MS Word|
|Spreadsheets||Google Sheets||MS Excel|
|Presentations||Google Slides||MS PowerPoint|
|Mobile App Versions||✔||✔|