Office 365 vs. Google Apps: What’s Better for My Santa Cruz Business?

The question of what’s better for your Santa Cruz business when it comes to Office 365 vs. Google Apps depends entirely on what your business needs out of a productivity suite.

Over the past few years, productivity suites have become more and more popular with businesses of all sizes, in a wide and varied range of industries. It’s the type of solution that has something to offer everyone. Cloud-based technologies, in general, are changing the way businesses view the capabilities of their technology, and they’re something Cooper Technologies specializes in.

The ability to organize all of the tools your team already relies upon in one centralized and convenient place that’s accessible from anywhere is reason enough to adopt one for your own business, but it’s not a decision you should be making on a whim. There are a few popular choices available for your Santa Cruz business to choose from, but the two that dominate the marketplace – with good reason – are Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite (previously available as Google Apps).

At a cursory glance, both of these suites look basically the same. Both Office 365 and G suite (Google Apps) assemble the best features of their respective brands in a cloud-based environment and offer businesses new and exciting ways to make use of those features. Dig a little deeper, however, and some distinct differences start to appear.

Deciding which of these productivity suites are better for your Santa Cruz business requires taking a look at the highlights and potential shortcomings of both G Suite and Office 365. To make that a little easier for you, we’ve broken down their pros and cons for you to review.

Productivity Suite Option #1 – Office 365

In a nutshell, Office 365 takes the Microsoft programs you’ve most likely been using for many years, like Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel, and combines them with the flexibility and accessibility of the cloud. But Office 365 is much, much more than just Word in the cloud. In fact, it’s a solution we’re proud to offer Cooper Technologies clients. A few of the highlights of Office 365’s features include:

  • Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Publisher desktop and mobile apps with real-time collaboration and co-authoring
  • Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, and Skype for Business (which integrates fully with Outlook and other 365 features)
  • Custom email domain addresses
  • 1 TB file storage and sharing
  • HD video conferencing with Skype for Business

What Else You Need To Know – Office 365 is a security-hardened service with enterprise-grade security measures built directly into the platform itself, offering world-class protection for your business’ mission-critical data and applications. These built-in measures include encryption, threat management and monitoring, and exchange online protection. The program also grants you the ability to take a hands-on, unrestricted approach to securing your own environment, and manage users and user access. Office 365 can also perform a key role in your Business Continuity plan, allowing you to restore files quickly and easily.

Productivity Suite Option #2 – G Suite (Google Apps)

Google has a long and successful history as a provider of convenient online collaboration tools. G Suite assembles those offerings into a productivity package designed to make using familiar programs and tools cohesively that much easier. Essentially, it’s your Google Account cranked up to 11. Some of the highlights of G Suite’s features include:

  • Gmail, Google Calendar, Google+, and Hangouts
  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, and Drive
  • Shared calendars to make scheduling meetings and calls easy
  • One-click meeting-to-video conference on any camera-enabled device
  • Real-time collaboration on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Quick invites to grant access to documents through email
  • Access to third party apps

What Else You Need To Know – G Suite offers a couple of awesome built-in security measures. Suspicious activity alerts let you stay on top of potential threats, while the mobile management function gives you the power to wipe data remotely from lost or stolen devices. Admin controls allow you to add and remove users and adjust security settings without needing to reach out to Google tech support for assistance. Your G Suite environment is yours to control. As an added bonus, G Suite’s Vault archives email and chat activity for you to go back and access at any time.

Where collaboration support and basic features are concerned, both Office 365 and G Suite are fairly evenly matched. Office 365 is a slightly more expensive option, but the extra benefits that it offers more than make up for the increased monthly cost. With the addition of Skype to Office 365, users can now send instant messages and initiate voice and video calls directly from their Outlook inbox. This is just one of the great things newer versions of Outlook can do.

While G Suite’s meeting-to-video option is pretty cool, it lacks Skype’s flexibility. Skype allows you to pull together up to 250 participants in a combination voice/video conference, regardless of whether the participants are on a computer, tablet, smart phone, or landline – no Skype account required.

Both options offer 2FA (two-factor authentication), but Office 365 also provides an internal data center network that is completely segregated from the external network, making it an ideal solution for data backup and recovery. In short, Office 365 offers a level of security and reliability that G Suite simply cannot match.

At the end of the day, the question of what’s better for your Santa Cruz business as far as Office 365 vs. Google Apps goes really depends on the tools your business is already using, and what your team needs to be able to accomplish through your new productivity suite.

If you’re looking for the best IT support in Santa Cruz, we’d love to talk to you today. The skilled and reliable Cooper Technologies team is eager to answer your IT questions and back them up with real results. Get in touch with us at info@coopertech.net or (831) 818-1703 to get started right away.

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