Google recently announced that their G Suite legacy free edition will soon become obsolete, meaning all organizations will now be required to upgrade to a Google Workspace paid subscription.
You could take the easy route and let Google automatically upgrade your account. Or, you could take advantage of this opportunity to explore other (more efficient) alternatives, like Microsoft 365.
While Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are both designed to boost productivity and enable effective team collaboration and communication, each has different applications and management tools to offer.
So, should you upgrade to Google Workspace, or should you make the switch to Microsoft 365? We’re making the case that switching to Microsoft 365 could be a game-changer for your business. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why.
Architecture & Design
Microsoft 365 apps are available in both desktop and web versions, offering licenses for “browser-based apps” and other licenses for “full installations.” This enables you to download and install desktop versions on your local devices and use them offline if required. Microsoft 365 also offers a complete one-stop-shop to organize and manage tasks through a variety of built-in house services like:
- Publisher: Creates visually rich, professional-looking publications while saving time and money
- Access: Helps analyze large amounts of information and manages related data more efficiently
- Project: Creates project plans, schedules, manages resources, and keeps track of time
- Planner: Organizes, simplifies, and manages tasks and to-do lists for teams
While some services are similar, Google Workspace is limited to only a cloud-based subscription, meaning working offline with full functionality is not possible. Google Workspace is also a single-source service and requires integrations with a variety of third-party applications in order to offer the tools needed for maximum productivity.
Sending your sensitive data to the cloud can be a nerve-wracking decision. Who hasn’t heard stories about major data breaches or employees improperly storing information on their personal devices?
But with Microsoft 365's productivity suite, you get a proven commitment to confidentiality, integrity, and availability, ensuring business continuity in case of a data breach or physical disaster.
How? Microsoft takes a defense-in-depth approach to security, meaning they provide physical, logical, and statistical layers of security features and operational best practices. And the subscription comes with built-in security functions, including:
- Message Encryption: Protect sensitive information with flexible out-of-the-box encryption policies like “Encrypt Only” and “Do Not Forward.”
- Rights Management Services: Restrict access to documents and emails to specific people, preventing anyone else from viewing or editing them — even if they are sent outside the organization.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: Increase your security drastically with an enhanced login process (which can be customized to your organization with higher subscriptions of Microsoft 365).
- Mobile Device Management: Control the access to individual devices to your account and information.
In contrast, Google Workspace only has two-factor authentication making it easier for hackers to break through barriers. In addition, it has a wide-ranging connectivity with third-party apps and extensions. This allows any user to grant access permissions, which could lead to serious security risks if they fail to take necessary precautions.
Microsoft has been improving its productivity applications for decades - and Microsoft 365 is a natural extension of this process. The platform delivers the integrated functionality of Office combined with other business-centric capabilities, including instant messaging, Yammer Enterprise, real-time presence, video conferencing, cloud storage, and more. You can also take advantage of Microsoft’s large network of Microsoft 365 migration partners for a seamless, secure transition to help maximize productivity.
On the other hand, Google lags in terms of integrated functionality and relies on third-party solutions for core features, including mail merge and data loss prevention capabilities. And while it’s easy enough to import and export Google Docs and Sheets, Office document features aren’t guaranteed to survive round trips between the two environments. For example, image positions or font size in PowerPoint presentations will frequently change, and excel tables lose their formats when shared between Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, creating inefficiencies and frustrations for users.
Microsoft 365 is a no-brainer for the sole benefit of functionality. SharePoint hosts an array of applications that automate many business processes and track an organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are noticeably absent on Google Workspace. And Microsoft 365’s apps offer more sophisticated features in comparison to Google Workspace’s browser-centric apps, specifically:
- Excel: Offers a multitude of data visualization tools, a robust capacity for handling large data entries, and numerous mathematical formulas for advanced calculations.
- Word: Consists of a myriad of ribbons and toolbars that offers users significantly more customization in terms of text formatting, fonts, annotations, page breaks, margins, etc.
- PowerPoint: Provides everything you need to create a high-quality presentation from scratch with advanced graphics, slide effects, and design editor tools.
The limitations in scope in Google Workspace’s apps are intended for more basic use and usually smaller organizations.
Enhanced User Experience
Microsoft 365 delivers a consistent user experience and document view across platforms and devices, both on and offline. This goes for the use of desktop apps such as Microsoft Word and mobile apps. The familiar tools and interfaces are a top reason for Microsoft 365’s popularity, enabling users to ramp up and be productive faster, anywhere, at any time. In fact, 69% of companies have agreed they are more productive after shifting to Microsoft 365.
Google’s inconsistent user experience across services adds learning curves and slows users down, and its limited offline capabilities restrict “anywhere” productivity. Additionally, Google Apps does not allow you to share Office documents unless they’re converted to the native Google format, which leads to a loss of file fidelity and formatting.
Making the Switch
Innovation remains at the core of Microsoft 365's continued success, leaving Google struggling to match Microsoft's investments in solutions. For businesses that require powerful and sophisticated features, Microsoft 365 is the go-to suite to really improve operations and drive productivity.
If you’re considering making the switch to Microsoft 365, Ascend Technologies can help. With years of experience working with and using Microsoft 365, our experts can migrate your organization with little to no disruption to your business. Contact us today for a free consultation.