Today, most business is done at the speed of electrons moving across the internet. Business professionals send emails, create content, store data, control websites, and conduct meetings with the click of a mouse. Managing this online productivity requires an investment in a Business Management Platform.
Google and Microsoft operate the two most powerful solutions on the market today. Both companies have recently improved and rebranded their platforms: Google Business is now Google Workspace and Office 365 is now Microsoft 365. Both offer robust storage, security, email, meeting, calendar, and document solutions for businesses of all sizes. Both are highly agile and can be adapted to meet customers’ unique needs. Both offer the ability to create a customized address, store incredible amounts of data, and collaborate effectively.
The question is not whether your business needs a Business Management Platform. It does. However, deciding which platform involves several important decisions and factors.
This discussion starts with an analysis of what current users find most comfortable. Some of us naturally open a Google Doc to write, while others turn to Word. We all get email, but do we have an Outlook or Gmail inbox? Did we go to a school that used Google Classroom? Do we edit using “Track Changes” or “Comments?”
Business managers must first understand users’ preferences as it is the first step in deciding which platform to use. Both Google and Microsoft provide nearly equal levels of functionality and performance, but they operate differently. If most users are comfortable using one platform, there is no significant reason to move to the other.
Google Workspace monthly pricing plans range from $6.00/user to $18.00/user. Higher priced options offer increased storage capacity, more users for video conferencing, and enhanced security options. All Google options come with custom and secure email accounts and automatic access to the comprehensive menu of Google products.
Microsoft 365 monthly pricing plans range from $5.00/user to $20.00/user. The basic plan offers a greater storage capacity than Google’s cheapest plan, but higher-cost plans equalize storage capacity. Like Google, Microsoft has included custom and secure email accounts but does not include the entire menu of Microsoft products in its basic plan. More expensive plans grant greater access to programs.
Microsoft used to be the only game in town for generating content. Most people wrote in Word, presented in PowerPoint, emailed in Outlook, and calculated in Excel. We worked on computers with installed Microsoft programs and stored files on local drives. Google was for searching.
Microsoft programs still have an advantage for higher-level functionality. Microsoft products are probably the answer for professionals who require sophisticated publishing, analytical, or comprehensive presentation capacity. There are so many more bells and whistles in the suite of Microsoft 365 programs.
But, most professionals don’t need the highest level of functionality. They need effective ways to communicate, create, and collaborate with seamless efficiency and productivity. What Google programs lack in functionality, they gain in intuitive use and design. Additionally, Google users can create, share, and store documents in the incredibly agile environment for which Google has become known.
Gmail and Outlook are the two largest email programs in the world. A current count suggests that 1.4 billion people use Gmail and 400 million use Outlook. These numbers indicate that most people who have sent and received emails have used one of these programs.
Those who use Microsoft’s Outlook can access their email without using the internet, while Gmail users rely on web access to reach their inbox. For businesses that do not have a consistent, reliable web connection, this fact alone might be the deal-breaker for Google products. But, if reliable web access is not a problem, Google’s Gmail is the better email solution.
Outlook users often resist using Gmail because Outlook allows them to move mail from the inbox into sorting folders, and Gmail does not offer the same organizational system. Gmail’s labeling system, however, grants the same organizational powers and goes a step further. In Gmail, users can apply different labels to the same emails, whereas, Outlook can only sort mail into one folder. Outlook’s system is limiting, and Gmail’s is endless.
In addition to superior organization, Gmail is infinitely customizable. Users can control how the program looks, operates, and interacts. A Gmail account can be highly personalized and accessorized to accommodate specific business requirements. Outlook, in comparison, is more standardized and sterile. It’s still highly functional and efficient but cannot be customized nearly as well as Google’s product.
Collaboration is where it doesn’t matter what features Microsoft offers because Google is the hands-down winner. And, in today’s remote-work environment, the ability to collaborate matters more than ever.
Google Workspace offers real-time collaboration capacity, which is far superior to any file-sharing option Microsoft provides. In documents created in Google, collaborators can join the document and contribute in real-time. Google keeps track of each person’s information, and everyone involved can see exactly what is happening with every keystroke.
Microsoft’s approach is less agile. Collaborators using the Microsoft 365 platform must share files to make back and forth edits or save the document to One Drive before editing collaboratively in real-time. This additional step creates a barrier to seamless and static-free collaboration. Google’s collaborative functions are intuitive and highly functional; Microsoft’s are a bit more encumbered and exclusionary.
Google and Microsoft have taken security seriously, creating robust security infrastructures and committing extensive resources to data protection, compliance, and encryption. Businesses can rest assured that data and privacy are well-protected with either Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.
It is essential that a business commits to a Business Management Platform and takes advantage of the functionality they offer. At Sagentic Web Design, we highly recommend Google Workspace for its intuitive features, cloud-based functionality, and collaborative abilities. Our customers who choose Google Workspace can share documents with us quickly, and we can become a more collaborative team.
Contact the professionals at Sagentic Web Design for more information about setting up and using a Business Management Platform. We are ready to help your business function at the next level.