AMC Blog

Office 365 vs G Suite | Which Is Better For Your Business?

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 10, 2018 11:00:00 AM / by Jeff Hollingworth

g-suite-vs-office-365

Office 365 vs G Suite. At first glance, they seem like they offer the same services and features. But when you look a little deeper, the real story emerges.  To begin, I've laid out a simple table directly comparing the two base plans and their offerings:

 

Office 365 Business Essentials vs Google G Suite Basic

 

 

Service / Feature 

Office 365 Business Essentials 

($5 per user per month) 

G Suite Basic 

($5 per user per month) 

Email 

Outlook 

Gmail 

Calendar 

Calendar 

Calendar 

Instant Messaging / Video Conferencing 

Skype for Business 

Hangouts 

Cloud Storage 

OneDrive 

Drive 

Word Processor 

Word 

Docs 

Spreadsheets 

Excel 

Sheets 

Presentations 

PowerPoint 

Slides 

Notes 

OneNote 

Keep 

Forms 

Forms 

Forms 

Intranet / Websites 

SharePoint 

Sites 

Social Network 

Yammer 

Google+ 

Groups 

Online Collaboration 

Administration 

Advanced 

Basic 

Email Storage Limit 

50GB per user 

30GB per user (shared with files) 

File Storage Limit 

1TB per user 

30GB per user (shared with emails) 

Team Sites 

SharePoint 

 

Project Management 

Planner 

 

Collaboration Channels 

Teams 

 

Interactive Reporting and Newsletters 

Sway 

 

Workflow Automation 

Flow 

 

Custom Apps 

PowerApps 

 

Analytics 

Delve 

 

Cloud Search 

 

Resource / Room Management 

 

Journaling 

 

Archiving 

 

Retention Policies 

 

eDiscovery 

 

File Access Logs / Auditing 

 


While both plans include all the staples you would expect, once you reach the administration and storage limits you immediately realize the G Suite Basic plan is not meant for businesses.  Not only is administration kept at a basic level to allow non-IT personnel to manage the platform, but 30GB total shared storage between emails and files will not work for most people. If you are someone who likes to keep their business emails, the 30GB of storage would be eaten up very quickly. 

 

In addition, the G Suite Basic plan also leaves out many necessary features like Team Sites (cloud storage for teams rather than just individuals), Cloud Search (strange for Google of all companies to leave out search functionality in general), and other business requirements.  

 

That leaves us with moving up to the Business level G Suite Business plan, for which I've created an addendum table below:

 

Office 365 Enterprise E3 vs Google Suite Business

 

 

Office 365 Enterprise E3 

($20 per user per month)  

G Suite Business 

($10 per user per month) 

Team Sites 

SharePoint 

Drive 

Cloud Search 

x 

x 

Archiving 

x 

x 

Retention Policies 

x 

x 

eDiscovery 

x 

x 

File Access Logs / Auditing 

x 

x 

Unlimited Cloud Storage 

 

x 

Legal Holds 

 

x 


Now we're finally seeing Google's real offering!  They've added in Team Sites, Cloud Search, and many of the missing business requirements. They even threw in unlimited cloud storage and legal holds to boot! (albeit at double the price)  It should also be noted that they added a decent amount of administrative control as well. Though Office 365's administration is still much more complete and refined.  

 

Unfortunately, they are still missing fairly basic business requirements like resource management and journaling, plus all the other productivity apps like Planner, Teams, and Flow.  To keep the comparison going, let's say unlimited cloud storage or legal holds were an absolute necessity.  These are typically enterprise features, so kudos to Google for including them in their Business level plan. We'll need to bump all the way up to Office 365's Enterprise E3 plan to add them:

 

 

Office 365 Enterprise E3 

($20 per user per month) 

G Suite Business 

($10 per user per month)  

Unlimited Cloud Storage 

x 

x 

Legal Holds 

x 

x 

Office Desktop Applications 

x 

 

Data Loss Prevention 

x 

 

Business Intelligence 

Power BI 

 

Video Hosting / Streaming 

Video / Stream 

 


Doubling the already doubled G Suite Business pricing seems a bit steep, but take notice that the Enterprise E3 plan includes the Office desktop applications (otherwise an $8.25 per user per month additional charge) plus data loss prevention, business intelligence, and an in-company video hosting and streaming platform.  And, don't forget all the other apps and features still missing from G Suite, but included in Office 365! 

 

Let's see what happens if we go all the way up to the top and upgrade to the Enterprise level of G Suite.

 

Office 365 Enterprise E3 vs Google Suite Enterprise

 

 

Office 365 Enterprise E3 

($20 per user per month)  

G Suite Enterprise 

($25 per user per month) 

Data Loss Prevention 

Journaling 

x 

x 


That didn't change a whole lot.  For an extra $15 per user per month, G Suite only really adds data loss prevention and the journaling feature that's been available in even the Business Essentials offering of Office 365, so there is not much extra worth added here.

 

We can easily conclude from directly comparing the two platforms that Office 365 contains much more value for a lot less than G Suite, but let's explore some other considerations as well. 

 

G Suite was created to be an online, collaborative alternative to the traditional Office applications. And, as such, has a very solid and stable collaboration experience.  However, it was also built as a consumer-centric product, with the business adoption coming much later down the line.  On the contrary, Office 365 was based on the very Office applications businesses have been using for decades, but only recently did they delve into collaboration features. 

 

What you end up with is a clean, simple, and stable experience with G Suite but lacking in features and enterprise polish, and an incredibly feature rich and polished Office 365 with some convoluted menus and collaboration methods. 

 

Office 365 does earn an extra point here through.  While G Suite has no plans to extend its feature set, Office 365 has worked hard to make its user experience friendlier and collaboration smooth, even going as far as redesigning all their menus from scratch and allowing for Office desktop applications to join in on the collaboration experience.

 

G Suite does have its place in the market as some companies (like startups, small businesses, and web 2.0 adopters) who don't need all the extra features and may prefer the simpler platform, but most businesses will find the argument for Office 365 more than compelling.  If there's still any doubt, here's more quick notes that we didn't touch on:

 

  • SharePoint has far more functionality than simply the intranet and team file sharing capabilities offered by G Suite
  • Office 365 natively integrates with Windows and Office desktop applications
  • Administration, control, auditing, and reporting are all vastly ahead of their G Suite counterparts
  • While we went through all available G Suite plans, we only visited the Office 365 plans that most closely compared with the G Suite plans.  There are dozens of additional offerings and Microsoft has no restrictions on mixing and matching any combination of these offerings to get the most bang for your buck
  • G Suite offers very solid integration with third party services like Slack, Trello, and Zapier to augment it with the services provided by Teams, Planner, and Flow, but these third party services have subscription costs of their own

 

Office 365 also includes public forms and surveys with some pretty powerful analytics you can do on the results and submissions, as well as having those forms or surveys kick off workflows to automate what needs to be done with submissions, plus all file sharing and collaboration tools can easily invite guests to upload or edit without having to log in whatsoever.

 

Google also has the capabilities of creating forms, but they tend to be  rather rudimentary. Google surveys can also be created for an additional fee.

 

Google has also launched Google Drive File Stream which is a service that will ultimately replace Google Drive. Instead of syncing your files between your computer and your Google Drive, which tends to eat up your personal computer space, all personal and team files will now be streamed directly from the cloud. This feature will be welcomed by many Google users.

 

Summary

 

When comparing Office 365 Business Essentials vs Google G Suite Basic the nod to goes to Office 365. With additional options like project management, team sites, collaboration channels and workflow automation, to name just a few, in their basic platform, the Microsoft giant is a clear winner. 

 

Even in the top-level Enterprise platforms, Office 365 still holds a clear edge in options and pricing. 

 

For many, the difference may come down to the age-old debate of are you an Apple or PC user. Now it’s Office 365 or Google user. The difference now is that the argument is not over brand preference but on productivity and efficiency. Look closely and you may find that Office 365 checks more boxes for your business than you first thought.

 

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Topics: Business Tips, Problem Solving, Office 365

Jeff Hollingworth

Written by Jeff Hollingworth

Jeff joined the AMC team in 2014 after being drawn to the vision of the company and the camaraderie of the team. Jeff provides the type of support and guidance that our clients can count on, so they will always have peace of mind and trust that they are taken care of in the best possible way. While he has yet to find a technology that he is not able to quickly understand and master, he is still one of the more humble leaders you will come across. When Jeff isn't spending time with his wife or planning his future travel to space, you can find him tirelessly working to ensure all tasks are completed with our clients' best interests at heart.

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