• Michael Intravartolo

Top 10 Reasons Why SMBs Choose Office 365 over Google Apps for Work


Independent professionals and small and midsize businesses have to do more with less. It is about staying close to your customers, focusing on your business differentiators, and being more agile than competitors. Office 365 can help your business achieve these goals with low upfront costs, rich features, a familiar Microsoft® Office experience, and a financially-backed guarantee of 99.9 percent uptime. It brings together online versions of our most trusted communication and collaboration products with familiar Microsoft Office productivity software for businesses of all sizes. Users get an excellent productivity experience across PC, phone, and browser for the way they work today—and the way they will work in the future. Our commitment to innovation means that with Office 365 for business plans you’ll get the latest features and developments as they’re released, along with new capabilities that further inspire and empower your users, such as Delve, Personalized Insights, and Social Collaboration. The world’s most popular productivity suite keeps getting better and better --while Google continues to play catch-up on issues such as file fidelity, offline access, and cross-platform support.

Microsoft knows productivity. We’ve been helping people use technology to get more done for over 20 years. During that time we’ve learned a lot about how people work. Office 365 delivers a full-featured, business-centric online productivity experience. It is designed from the ground up to meet business requirements for security, privacy, reliability, and manageability. Now, of course, Google also offers online productivity services with Google Apps for Work, so why should small and midsize businesses choose Office 365 over Google Apps? There are at least 10 good reasons:

1. ENSURE THE PRIVACY OF YOUR BUSINESS INFORMATION

Your private business information should be just that—private. Your customers and partners trust you with their sensitive information as well, and Office 365 provides enhanced security by design with our state-of-the-art data centers, premium anti-spam and antivirus protection, and encrypted anywhere access to data.

Office 365

Get peace of mind with built-in enterprise-grade security as well as contractual commitment that your data will not be scanned for advertising purposes.

  • Microsoft is invested in providing secure data centers and services, easing your mind with separate architecture for consumer and business services.

  • Office 365 does not provide ambiguity in its privacy statements about the usage of your data, allowing businesses to maintain control of their information.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

Good Apps adheres to Google's single privacy policy, which is shared across business and consumer applications.

  • Google does not offer its best data privacy and security terms to businesses by default.

  • Google offers minimal Data Loss Prevention and Information Rights Management capabilities to Gmail users and administrators, making it difficult for businesses to ensure their data doesn't look via Gmail.

  • Under public pressure for its data-mining practices, Google continues to rework and revise its privacy policies.


Figure 1: Office 365 Administrator Dashboard

2. WORK VIRTUALLY ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

In today's always-on business world, being able to get work done anywhere can be a significant competitive advantage--especially for small and midsize businesses looking to deliver superior customer service and to differentiate themselves from larger competitors. Office 365 delivers a familiar, yet powerful user experience across PC, phone, and browser, intelligently tailored for each platform.

OFFICE 365

Consistent productivity across the PC, phone, and browser, on any platform at any time.

  • Get a consistent experience across platforms and devices both online and offline.

  • With the Office client on the desktop, Office 365 users can keep working even if they experience network issues.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

Google has limited offline capabilities for its services. They are only limited to Chrome browser. and the experience is inconsistent across services.

  • Google Apps for Work does not allow you to share Office documents when stored in Google Drive.

  • The editing experience for Office documents in Google Apps for Work, is inconsistent between Chrome and other major browsers.

  • When Office documents are converted to native Google format in Google Apps for work, the full file formatting is lost.



Figure 2: Google Apps for Work does not allow you to share Office documents, unless converted to their native format. Converting to native Google format leads to loss of file fidelity and formatting.

3. BOOST PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY WITH A COMPLETE SOLUTION

Microsoft has been improving Office productivity applications for decades, and Office 365 is a natural extension of that process. With Office 365, you get everything you love about Microsoft Office, and then some. Instant messaging, Yammer Enterprise, real-time presence, video conferencing, and more are built right in and accessible from desktop applications or in the web browser.

OFFICE 365

Office 365 enhances the familiar Office productivity experience with tried-and-true ways to create, collaborate, and communicate.

Users can see real-time presence and calendar availability, and can start a web conference from multiple entry points in the Office 365 solution, including Outlook, Outlook Web App, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Yammer Enterprise, Microsoft Lync Online, and from within Office applications.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

Google Apps for Work offers nowhere near the same rich, integrated functionality as Office 365.

  • Customers must rely on third-party solutions for core features such as Mail Merge, Bibliography etc.

  • Customers rely on third-party providers like CloudLock for data loss prevention capabilities.


Figure 3: Seamless experience enables easy ways to communicate and collaborate on projects, including sharing desktop and online meetings.

4. GET UP AND RUNNING FAST WITH A FAMILIAR, STRAIGHTFORWARD INTERFACE

Office 365 mobile, online, and desktop applications share a consistent yet tailored experience to give users instant familiarity across devices and locations. You get the familiar Microsoft Outlook® and Office productivity applications you already use—now powered by and working seamlessly with cloud services. Share a file in Word, Microsoft Excel®, or Microsoft PowerPoint® and almost anyone will be able to use it without thinking twice.

OFFICE 365

Get started right away with the enterprise-recognized prod­ucts that Office 365 comprises.

  • Roll out Office 365 with minimal ramp-up.

  • Mobile access to Office is a streamlined version of the productivity software, offering users a familiar and intuitive Office experience.

  • Be worry-free about whether the version you last modified captured the changes.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

On top of the learning curve to use a new interface, browser, and plug-ins, many users are disappointed to learn that Google Apps for Work lacks their favorite features.

  • Users have limited formatting options, and full file fidelity losses still may occur, even when using Cloud Connect.

  • Third-party tools such as OffiSync and Memeo are recommended for functionality that is similar to what is offered in Office 365.


5. MAKE LIFE EASY FOR CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS

Office 365 makes it easy for users to create rich documents that convince customers, preserve ideas, and drive innovation. All that richness is preserved whether documents are edited using Office tools on a desktop computer, a tablet, through a browser, or on a mobile device.

OFFICE 365

Access and edit documents in full fidelity with the confidence that they will look the same as they move from one person to the next.

  • Maintain your professional image by delivering documents in high-quality formats that everyone knows.

  • Trust that the version you just sent your client or partner looks the way you meant it to look.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

Google Docs is limited in functionality compared to Office, despite recent efforts to improve

  • Document elements—including watermarks, tables of contents, headers and footers, page numbers, tables, and formatting—can be lost or broken when an Office document is opened in Google Apps for Work,


Figure 5: Comparison of document in Word Online to the same document in Google Docs.

6. REDUCE IT COMPLEXITY

Even if you have dedicated IT staff, it’s still likely that you want to minimize the amount of time and money you spend managing systems. Office 365 is designed to be easy for most users to administer and manage, and provides the power of trusted business solutions to meet even the most advanced IT needs.

Office 365

Get a system that is easy to manage from Day One, yet can scale to meet even advanced enterprise IT scenarios.

  • Know exactly who has access to what data and under which conditions.

  • Benefit from the seamless integration with leading multi-factor authentication systems.

  • Create a professional-looking web site by leveraging templates at no cost to you.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

Google Apps does not provide the same level of IT management functionality as Office 365.


  • For advanced IT needs, you may have to resort to third-party solutions or DIY

  • With Google, you lack the ability to manage hybrid deployments.

  • Google provides limited site management capabilities that may expose you to security and compliance risks.

  • Figure 6: Setup Permissions for users

7. MEET YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS WITH A FLEXIBLE SOLUTION

Microsoft believes in giving customers the flexibility to choose what works for their business. That’s why Office 365 offers a choice of easy-to-buy plans to help you get the best solution whether you are a company of one or one thousand.

OFFICE 365

  • With Office 365, you can choose a mix of plans tailored to your needs.

  • Microsoft offers a hybrid environment for certain aspects of your business that may not be ready for the cloud.

  • Choose plans that maximize the productivity and impact of different employees.

  • Try out new plans with the monthly subscription option.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

Google’s “good enough” approach is simple, but it may not satisfy all of your business needs.

  • To find solutions that are not in Google Apps for Work, customers have to turn to the Google Apps Marketplace to find an appropriate third-party ISV solution.

  • The Google partner ecosystem is less developed and mature than the Microsoft Partner Network.


8. RELY ON A FINANCIALLY-BACKED 99.9 PERCENT SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT

Office 365 has been built from the ground up for reliability, availability, and performance. Our proven service is powered by the same Microsoft email and collaboration products that businesses have been using for decades. Because of this commitment to reliability and availability, Microsoft is one of the very few cloud services providers that offer a financially-backed service level agreement (SLA) when any Office 365 service drops below 99.9 percent availability

OFFICE 365

  • Office 365 service levels are measured using a transparent methodology designed to give customers peace of mind.

  • The Office 365 SLA is comprehensive across all services, so you can remain confident in your business-critical productivity services.

  • Our SLA covers every user and every component of our suite.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

  • Google’s approach to measuring service reliability is not transparent.

  • Google boosts its uptime figures by lumping consumer and business services together.

  • Google does not start recognize service downtime until at least 5% of its user base is impacted..

Google offers only service credits at the end of your contract.


Figure 8: Office 365 Service Health Dashboard gives transparency to health of service.

9. PLAN EFFECTIVELY WITH A CLEAR ROADMAP AND ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING

Surprises are for birthdays, not businesses. Microsoft updates Office 365 on a regular schedule and provides customers with 12 months’ notice of significant changes to Office 365. Microsoft also contractually commits to maintaining core Office 365 features for the term of the customer’s subscription. With a new customer roadmap to help businesses set their technical strategy, Microsoft helps you understand the company’s vision and innovations. Flexible, predictable, pay-as-you-go pricing options include everything that is listed, so you can rest-assured that Microsoft will support all of the features you purchased, helping you plan budgets more effectively and avoid unexpected expenditures.

Office 365

  • Microsoft has more than 20 years of enterprise-readiness experience and takes a business-centric approach to the cloud, ensuring that you can plan appropriately.

  • Get what you signed up for, with no hidden costs or gotchas.

  • Office 365 offers you the flexibility to change services to meet your needs more easily with predictable pricing plans.

  • Avoid surprises with advance notice of major updates and visibility into the Office 365 technology roadmap.

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

  • Google’s approach to innovation is to release beta features with little or no advance warning.

  • Google provides one week of advance notice for new features to customers on the Scheduled Release track

  • New features may have potentially disastrous results (remember Google Buzz?).

  • You have no ability to postpone the deployment of new features from Google.



Figure 9: Office 365 public roadmap provides customers visibility into feature updates in advance.

10. GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED WHEN YOU NEED IT

Small and midsize businesses don’t have the time to be disrupted. Microsoft provides easy-to-access support options that meet a variety of needs. For small-business customers, Microsoft provides moderated community forums to find quick solutions to problems faced by businesses just like yours. For businesses with advanced technology needs, Office 365 Enterprise plans supplement community support with 24/7 phone support for even single-user outages. And, of course, Office 365 is designed to be easy to manage, even for non-technical people.

OFFICE 365

Moderated community forums help you get answers to questions and solutions for a wide range of issues.

  • Office 365 Enterprise plans deliver comprehensive 24/7 phone support for even single-user outages, so you can keep users productive

GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK

Google’s support model is based on priority. For an organization to receive the highest-priority support with the shortest turnaround time, the majority of its users must be down.


Figure 10: Service Request for Office 365


Figure 11: Virtual Agent for Office 365


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