Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Microsoft Office was the leading and practically unrivaled business productivity suite. But in 2006, Google introduced Google Docs and Sheets, which was a collaborative online word processing and spreadsheet duo. These two services were later combined with other business software to form the Google Apps suite, rebranded as G Suite in 2016. In response to Google, Microsoft shifted away from the traditional software license to a software subscription with their release of Office 365 in 2011.
While G Suite didn’t immediately take the business world by storm, it ended 2018 with five million paying customers. Today, G Suite and Office 365 are the two leading cloud- and subscription-based productivity and collaboration suites.
At first glance, Office 365 and G Suite seem to offer pretty much the same productivity and collaboration tools. That’s why it may be challenging to decide which one to use for your small- to medium-sized business (SMB).
But upon further evaluation, our IT experts at Founders Technology Group highly recommend Office 365 for SMBs. Here’s why:
#1. Familiarity with Microsoft environment
Office 365’s online and offline platforms offer the same look and feel as the Microsoft Office apps that have dominated the business world for years. And since most people like to work with tools that they’re familiar with, your employees are likely to be in a better position to transition to Office 365 as opposed to G Suite.
What’s more, given that the vast majority of corporate America has been using and is still currently working with MS Office files, opting for Office 365 makes more sense since it uses the same file formats. Although you may produce and edit MS Office files with G Suite, this functionality is limited and wonky, especially when editing and saving complex MS Office files.
Office 365 will also be a more natural fit for SMBs that are already using MS Windows as their OS. This is especially true if you plan to use Access and Publisher, which are Office 365 apps exclusively available to Windows-based users.
#2. Availability of both cloud and desktop applications
As opposed to G Suite’s cloud-only approach, all Office 365 plans (except Office 365 Business Essentials) come with both desktop- and cloud-based versions of the Office suite. This means that aside from just using your web browser to access Office 365 apps, you can also install full versions of these apps on your computer so you can use them even when you’re offline. This ensures that you can get work done efficiently and without interruption. So if your SMB works with clients that expect you to be able to send, receive, and edit MS Office files without difficulty, Office 365 is the better choice.
While G Suite also offers offline functionality, you’ll need to use the Chrome browser and enable file syncing to activate this since there are no native desktop versions of G Suite apps. There’s also the hassle of talking with your G Suite Administrator if they have limited your account’s offline access.
#3. More robust functionality
Office 365 apps are more feature-rich than the G Suite counterparts. Below are some examples:
Word vs. Google Docs
Word has almost 50 different prebuilt report templates, while Google Docs only has five. The former also offers more chart types and styles that you can embed into documents. If you’re also looking to add SmartArt graphics, you can only do this with Word.
Excel vs. Google Sheets
Excel beats Google Sheets in handling complex calculations since the latter cannot handle as much data as the former. Not only that, it offers 60 budget templates as opposed to Google Sheets’ three budget templates. So whether you need to create a business budget or a party budget, you’ll more likely find one that fits your needs with Excel.
Excel also offers 17 chart types (e.g., column, line, pie, bar, area, radar, surface, histogram) with each type having multiple subtypes (for bar charts, there are clustered bar, stacked bar, etc.). On the other hand, Google Sheets only has seen chart types. It’s also simpler to create charts in Excel than in Google Sheets.
PowerPoint vs. Google Slides
PowerPoint’s QuickStarter feature makes it easy to start a presentation by creating an outline based on your presentation’s topic. It also walks you through selecting starter slides, templates, and themes. Google Slides does not have an equivalent for this effort-saving feature.
It’s also easier to add graphics, transitions, animations, and multimedia with PowerPoint than with Google Slides. You can even set your presentation to play at a certain speed without having to click with its Rehearse Timings feature. Google Slides has no similar feature. What’s more, PowerPoint has more chart and table types.
Microsoft Teams vs. Hangouts Meet
On most Office 365 plans, you can have 250 participants in a video call using Microsoft Teams as opposed to Hangouts Meet’s 100 participants on the “basic” plan and 150 on the “business” plan.
All in all, if powerful and sophisticated features are important to your SMB, then Office 365 is definitely for you.
Interested in moving to Office 365? Founders Technology Group has you covered. We can help you with Office 365 migration, setup, training, and ongoing support. Call us now at (860) 256 8197 to get started. We serve SMBs in New Haven, Hartford, Springfield, Eastern Connecticut, and North Carolina.