Recent years have seen a steep rise in the adoption of Cloud applications among the nascent enterprises as cloud offers advantages like ease of setting operations, low- up front expenses, high availability, access to the business on the go , immediate scalability which helps them get up and run faster and compete with other established organizations.
In the market, there are multiple cloud based business productivity solutions available, but Microsoft and Google are the two big names which have come to the forefront.
Microsoft Office 365 offers integrated office solutions like Skype for Business, OneDrive, Microsoft Email and Office Apps which simplify even the complicated tasks with ease.
Google Apps for Work offers useful web applications like Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites and Vault.
Above chart from Okta, a company managing employee passwords to corporate cloud apps, shows that both the applications are popular and growing, but online Office 365 usage is ahead of Google.
So let’s drill down more to understand which option is best for a startup-Google Apps vs Microsoft Office 365.
1. Online tools to schedule meetings and conferences –Meeting your customers or other entrepreneurs is the key requirement of any business.
Skype for Business of MS Office365 facilitates online meetings and audio/ video conferencing with up to 300 members at a time. Along with that it also allows sharing of screens, files and other documents during the meetings. It also lets you drop IM or instant messages to your employees and monitor their status in real time – busy, available, in a meeting, and more.
Similarly, Google Hangout of Google Apps is the tool for online video meetings but it is limited to 15 persons and number of meetings that you can hold in a month is also lesser. Unlike online Office365, it lacks functionalities of real-time monitoring and screen sharing.
2. Business email and cloud storage solutions- Microsoft provides Business Class Email and 1 TB cloud storage on OneDrive for each employee of the organization. Manage your Office 365 email with Outlook’s integrated features like calendaring, contact and task management. The cloud storage on OneDrive allows you to store any file or document online and share with employees, edit or access from any device.
Google Apps Email lacks integration and synchronization features like that of Office365. Also, you only get 30 GB cloud storage space with Google Apps and you need to pay extra for the additional space too.
3. Efficiency and productivity
Office365 usage does not require retraining of the staff as it is easy to use and set up and capable of handling workloads with perfect synchronization among Office Apps, OneDrive, Outlook, Calendar and other applications. Also, it provides almost same capabilities whether you work online or offline.
But with Google Apps, you need to provide training to your staff so that they can use its tools properly. It is still limited to a web based application, as it has very limited offline capabilities, and provides almost zero collaboration with other applications.
4. Device and application compatibility
MS Office365 is compatible with most of the software and applications which eases exchange of data between different applications. It syncs well with multiple devices like PCs, Tablets and Mobiles both online and offline very easily and lets you collaborate with your team over different devices from anywhere and anytime.
But compatibility is a concern with Google Apps, as it is compatible with only few applications that are powered by Google. This actually results in time wastage and inconvenience as you need to convert one file format from another for your customers who are not using Google Apps. Also, offline working of Google Apps is very limited.
Is Microsoft Office 365 really growing?
“Adoption of Office 365 has grown more than 300% in the past 12 months, from 7.7% of enterprises in 2014 to 25.2% of enterprises in 2015” –Bitglass
With time Microsoft Office 365 has emerged as a preferred choice for businesses because of its rich features, differently devised plans for different categories, resourcefulness and built-in security capabilities and privacy features.
Thus, from the above comparison it is quite clear that MS Office is the preferred option for the startups.
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