DO YOU NEED TO CHALLENGE YOUR CLOUD-BASED STATUS QUO?

Published: 20 December 2021

The recent changes to Google Workspace could be the ideal prompt to review your cloud-based systems.

Whilst much of the Google platform will remain the same, if you’re on the Google Workspace standard package, you will probably have to pay for extras that were previously included.

This means that if you’re a company using both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, it can start to become costly and now may be the time to opt for just one system.

Lifeline IT’s Daniel Mitchell and Adam Woolf take a closer look at the different platforms and which one might be the better fit for your business.

THE BASICS

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) offer similar features, including cloud storage, business email, and mobile apps. The main difference between the two is that business email is available with Google Workspace’s standard basic plan, while Microsoft 365 only offers it with its mid-range plan and above.

But it’s often what a person or company is used to that determines which platform they choose.

Explained Daniel: “From a user experience perspective, there are differences and this is where personal preferences, habits and experiences often influence choice of platform significantly.

Early adopters of Google’s applications and Gmail are usually staunchly loyal to the environment which has evolved over many years. Similarly, those who have worked on desktop versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint see the learning curve of Google’s equivalent applications too steep to consider a change. Excel is often the “deal breaker”, particularly for those in financial or analysis roles. Whilst the equivalent Google app has far more functionality than in the past, it can be a challenging change.”

Added Daniel: “Where Google stands out for its fans is the ease of collaboration, with this being commonly cited by teams we work with, for whom working together on documents and presentations is part of their day-to-day work.

Microsoft’s Teams application, a core component of the 365 suite, has taken off rapidly with full integration of telephony, a function currently lacking with Google but one which is likely to be built in at a future time.”

Adam advises that now may be the time to review which system you’re using: “Basically, there’s no right or wrong – both Google and Microsoft are very good cloud-based systems. It’s all about how you and your workforce operate that will determine which is best for you. The key thing is to try and be either Google or Microsoft – if you’re running both it can get costly, especially now some features are no longer standard on Google.

In terms of pricing, there’s not much between the two so it’s really about choosing the right option for your business. If you have a very mobile workforce with a lot of document collaboration, Google is probably best. But if you’re a company with a head office and maybe a couple of branches, and you have a lot of document management, then Microsoft 365 may be more suitable.”

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Adam Woolf, Director, Lifeline IT
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