Google Apps for Work vs Microsoft Office 365

Cats or dogs? Coke or Pepsi? Office 365 or Google Apps for Work?

These are eternal questions that lead to endless debate with no “right” answer.

Here at Valiant, we embrace both platforms – Office 365 and Google Apps. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice is the platform that best fits your business’s needs.

Making the Right Choice

While many factors should be considered when making a choice, never forget the most dangerous factor of all: what executives think their company needs without truly investigating which platform will make their operation more efficient and meet the needs of their employees. If the decision making process is made in a vacuum, migrations to either service tend to be messy and have poor adoption rates of the deeper functionality each platform offers, leading to a mediocre end user experience.

Besides the tone-deaf executive, here is a list of factors Valiant evaluates when recommending one platform over the other:

  • What is the current mail platform?
  • How much historical data does the company have or want to retain?
  • What is the age of the company? Has it been in operation for a long time?
  • What types of applications are currently in use?
  • Does the company have a large number of Microsoft Office power users – tracking document changes, using pivot tables or creating custom Access databases?
  • Is Active Directory currently deployed?
  • What is the makeup of the device fleet? Macs, PCs, or Chromebooks?
  • Will the users use Google Apps in Chrome (its native environment) or are they fiercely loyal to Outlook?

A Basic Comparison

Both platforms have basic feature parity:

Purpose Google Apps Office 365
Messaging Mail Outlook Online
Calendaring Calendar Outlook Online
Word Processing Docs Word Online
Spreadsheets Sheets Excel Online
Presentations Slides PowerPoint Online
Shared File Storage Drive SharePoint
Personal File Storage Drive File Stream OneDrive
Chat/Bot Integrations Hangout Chats Teams
Video Conferencing Hangout Meet Skype for Business


Proper Training is Key

Many people still see both platforms as just a hosted mail solution, but they are so much more and create an environment that enable staff to effortlessly create, collaborate, and manage their work.

Over the course of performing hundreds of mail migrations, we’ve found that one factor that is generally left out of the process is end user training. Training can make all the difference between a successful migration and one that users complain about for years to come. Furthermore, if you are moving from one platform to the other, it becomes even more critical that the users are trained and feel confident that they can do their work and utilize the functionality unique to your chosen platform.

Are you looking to make the switch to Google Apps for Work or Microsoft Office 365? Need help making the right choice for your business? Get in touch, we can help. Interested in learning more about Microsoft’s platform of cloud-based collaboration technologies? Come join us at our Cloud Immersion Experience, March 20-22 at Camp David!

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