The digital space is not unaccustomed to war. In every corner of the technology industry there are constant battles between technologies and organisations, trying to gain the upper hand – and the eye-watering profit margins that come with it.
For many years Microsoft was the biggest bully on the block with Windows and Office. In the world of search engines, Google long ago established itself as the dominant force, condemning the likes of Bing and Yahoo to a distant second.
Now, however, the two giants are going head to head with Office 365 Vs Google Apps. And the battlefield lies in email, file sharing, documents and calendars.
Google is known for Gmail, Hangouts, Google +, Google Drive and Calendar, while Office 365 has the Microsoft Office apps beloved by many; Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, with some new additions such as Lync and So.cl.
But as the two cross over into each others’ territory, the question most people are left asking themselves is: ‘which is better’.
Which is better?
Both have strengths and weaknesses, though often IT gurus will have a strong opinion one way or the other. The best platform for you or your company will depend on your users needs.
You need to have a complete understanding of how your users work and what is important to them in order to know which platform is most suitable.If you are unsure which is best, or have decided to change over to a different platform, you may require professional IT support in London. If you do your homework and choose carefully though, then any changeover period will be worthwhile.
Google is quite straight forward, offering two payment options depending on the amount of online storage needed, based on either a monthly or yearly commitment. Office on the other hand ties you into a year-long contract. There arethree payment plans which vary depending of your need for use of offline apps ( as well as online), and whether you want access to mobile/tablet apps, plus HD video conferencing and online meeting options. Plans also differ based on the number of users, unlike Google.
In a nutshell,Office offers a broader choice of plan options but is less flexible when it comes to tying yourself into a contract.
Most people are familiar with Office desktop, and using the online version of the apps will therefore seem second nature for most. However, as some plans offer use of the desktop versions you may want to stick with them too.
Compare this with Google, which does not offer desktop versions of apps. Users may find this a difficult adjustment to make, though changes can be made from the admin side to allow use of the apps offline in Chrome.
Google’s apps interface is clean, simple and intuitive to use, but for many businesses moving away from the tried and trusted can be a process in itself.
Microsoft Word Vs Google Docs
Google Docs is an uncomplicated version of Word. Officeprogrammes have long been known for their bewildering array of options and features – most of which are never used by the casual report writer. And for those who crave simplicity, Docs may be a welcome relief.
If you are, however, a keen Word user and prefer to have more choice than you think you’ll need (just in case), then it may benefit you to stick with the comprehensive Word setup.
Bear in mind also that Docs struggles with big documents. Opening a graphics heavy 100 page document with tracked changes will likely crash your browser and end in disaster. If you are looking to create longer form documents then Office may be your best bet.
Tip: decide if you are a Less is More or More is More person.
Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets
Although, Google Sheets is often seen as a mediocre version of Excel, recent updates have meant that Sheets has upped its game considerably. There are still weaknesses with features on Sheets though which may make it a deal breaker. The 2 million cells per sheet seemsrestrictive compared with Excels 17 billion, for instance.Plus Excel allows more complex formulas which may not move over to Google Sheets very well.
The strength of Gmail is its speed, and familiarity to many who already have a personal Gmail account. It’s more instant search is a strength, and integration with the calendar is very smooth. However, Office’s calendar is more user-friendly when finding free time slots or spare meeting rooms. Plus, the ability to take notes using OneNote to be associated with the event in your calendar, makes it simple to check agreed points of action at a later date.
Google Apps, a cloud-only suite was built with collaboration in mind and allows instant collaboration on a file across the Internet. Though Office 365 now offers a collaborative approach, you may fine usage of such features low if you allow users to stick to the desktops versions they’re comfortable with.
So, which is best for you or your organisation?
Choosing between Google Apps and Office 365 requires a business to understand what its key requirements are. If the key sticking points in your infrastructure revolves around. If it’s cost, flexibility and simplicity that makes your business tick, then Google Apps could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Should you have numerous departments creating complex reports and spreadsheets, then Office could be your best fit.
The good news: both offer you the chance to trial their systems – so pick an office guinea pig and give them a try to find your perfect match.