The productivity suite you choose for your business can have a knock-on effect on how your team works and how you build the rest of your IT stack.
All the chatter, of course, is the Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace debate. The renowned tech behemoths are the two productivity suite heavyweights — but which technologies pack the most punches?
By the way, if you couldn’t give two hoots about Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, you might want to give another productivity suite a trial. According to tech experts, Asana, Trello and Bitrix24 are not too shabby.
If you want the best, stick around. The burning question is which productivity suite is best for your business. And that, my friend, is only a question you can answer.
But in this article, we give you all the relevant information you need to know to find your answer.
But before you dive in…
Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace: What to Consider
Consider the preference of your users and their familiarity with either Microsoft or Google applications.
Evaluate the specific collaboration features that each suite offers and how well they align with your organisation’s needs.
Assess your existing technology infrastructure and consider which suite best supports your security and compliance needs
Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace: The Basics
Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are cloud-based productivity suites, offering a range of tools and applications for businesses, educational institutions, and individuals. Each suite has its strengths and features, and the choice between Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace often depends on specific needs, preferences, and existing infrastructure.
Microsoft 365 is seamlessly integrated with the Windows operating system, providing a cohesive experience for users of Windows-based devices. It is here that 365 arguably has the edge over its rival. Common productivity tools such Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, are already familiar to many users which removes the learning curve.
Having said that, there is not a great deal of difference between the tools. Digital icons are universal so your users adapt to Google pretty quickly. Free tools such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Gmail are practically the same as 365.
The only significant difference is that Google Workspace is cloud-centric — which has pros and cons. It intuitively promotes real-time collaboration but relies on a fast and stable internet connection.
Cost is often a key factor in the decision-making process. Google Workspace has a slight edge here and they offer way more cloud storage for business users.
Google Workspace Business Starter:
£4.79 per user per month
30 GB cloud storage per user
Business email through Gmail
Video and voice conferencing
Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
Google Workspace Business Standard:
£9.58 per user per month
All features of Business Starter
2 TB cloud storage per user (or more if you have fewer than 5 users)
Smart search across G Suite with Cloud Search
Archive and set retention policies for emails and chats
Google Workspace Business Plus:
£14.38 per user per month
All features of Business Standard
5 TB cloud storage per user (or more if you have fewer than 5 users)
Enhanced security and management controls, including Vault for eDiscovery
Advanced endpoint management
Google Workspace Enterprise:
Customised packages. Cost is worked out with their sales reps.
All features of Business Plus
5 TB pooled storage per user, with the ability to request more*
Advanced security, management and compliance controls, including Vault, DLP, data regions and Enterprise endpoint management, S/MIME encryption
1,000-participant video meetings, plus recording, attendance tracking, noise cancellation, in-domain live streaming
Enhanced Support (paid upgrade to Premium support)
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
£4.90 +VAT per user per month (annual commitment)
Business-class email with 50 GB mailbox
Web versions of Office applications
1 TB OneDrive for Business cloud storage
Microsoft Teams for chat and online meetings
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
£8.76 +VAT per user per month (annual commitment)
All features of Business Basic
Desktop versions of Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)
1 TB of cloud storage per user
Access to Microsoft productivity apps on mobile devices
Microsoft 365 Business Premium
£18.10 +VAT per user per month (annual commitment)
All features of Business Standard
Advanced security features, including threat protection and information protection
1 TB of cloud storage per user
Advanced compliance features, including eDiscovery and legal hold
Microsoft 365 Apps
This plan allows users to subscribe to Office applications only (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) without additional services like email and OneDrive. It is available in two versions:
Microsoft 365 Apps for Business: £8.60 per user per month (annual commitment)
Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise: Price varies based on enterprise needs and volume licensing.
Microsoft 365 Productivity Tools
Microsoft 365 has a whole raft of advanced productivity features which may be a decisive factor for many businesses.
It has to be said that the specific features which are considered “advanced” can depend on your business needs and the nature of your work but the tools listed below demonstrate the depth and versatility of Microsoft 365 for advanced productivity across various business scenarios.
Microsoft Teams serves as a central hub for teamwork, offering chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and integration with other Office applications. Users can organise discussions and content into channels, and tabs provide quick access to relevant files and apps.
Excel is known for its advanced data analysis capabilities. Boasting power pivot and power query features, these tools enable advanced data modelling and transformation, allowing users to create sophisticated data models and visualisations. Users can solve complex mathematical models and build interactive reports with insights into your data.
SharePoint allows users to create document libraries to store files and documents centrally together with team sites, providing a dedicated space for teams to collaborate on projects, share information, and manage documents easily.
Users can apply metadata to documents and items, making it easier to categorise and retrieve relevant files based on search criteria. SharePoint also provides “intelligent” content recommendations based on user activity and behaviour.
Microsoft Planner is a task management tool that provides a simple and visual way to organise tasks using boards, buckets, and cards. It offers a clear overview of tasks and at a glance the status of each task containing information, descriptions, due dates, attachments, and comments. This provides a comprehensive view of each task’s requirements and progress.
Ultimately, Planner promotes collaboration by allowing team members to assign tasks, share files, and engage in discussions within the context of each task. It facilitates communication and transparency. Users can filter and sort tasks based on various criteria, making it easier to focus on specific aspects of the project or plan.
Power Automate enables the automation of repetitive tasks and workflows across different applications and services without the need for extensive coding. There’s a wide variety of templates for common scenarios, making it easy for users to get started with automation for tasks like approval processes, notifications, and data synchronisation.
Users can set up flows to run on a schedule or trigger them based on specific events, such as the creation of a new file or the receipt of an email and set up notifications and alerts to keep themselves and their team informed about important events, changes, or updates in connected applications.
Google Workspace Productivity Tools
Google Drive is the central hub for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. It facilitates easy sharing and real-time collaboration on documents. Multiple users can simultaneously edit, comment, and provide feedback in Word, Sheets, and Slides.
In addition, you have access to Google Jamboard, a collaborative digital whiteboard that allows teams to sketch, brainstorm, and ideate in real time.
Google Tasks is a simple task management tool integrated with Gmail and Google Calendar, providing a basic yet effective way to manage to-do lists.
Google Meet and Google Chat
Google Meet provides video conferencing capabilities, allowing teams to conduct virtual meetings, webinars, and collaborative sessions whilst Google Chat is a messaging platform integrated with other Google Workspace apps. It supports direct messaging, group conversations, and file sharing.
Google Forms is a stand-out feature for marketers. It allows users to create online forms and surveys and collect responses in a centralised spreadsheet, making it easy to analyse and share data.
Google Workspace Marketplace
The Workspace Marketplace offers a variety of third-party add-ons and integrations to enhance the functionality of Google Workspace apps. Users can customise the Google Workspace experience by adding apps and integrations that align with specific needs and workflows. The tailored approach helps to streamline workflows and boost productivity.
Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance Features
Microsoft 365 provides an extensive collection of robust security and compliance features, including data loss prevention, identity management, access control and advanced threat protection.
Microsoft Defender Antivirus provides endpoint protection against malware and other threats and Azure AD Identity Protection detects and mitigates identity-based risks using adaptive policies together with insider risks by using machine learning to detect unusual behaviour on the network.
The company’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) protects against advanced threats in emails, attachments, links, and collaboration tools whilst ATP Safe Links scans and rewrites URLs in real-time to protect against malicious links.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) helps prevent the accidental sharing of sensitive information by creating policies that identify and protect sensitive data. There is a centralised dashboard for monitoring and managing security policies, incidents, and alerts in Microsoft 365 Security Center.
M365’s compliance manager is equally impressive. The tools help IT managers to assess and manage compliance with regulations and standards and ensure that data subject to litigation or investigation is preserved and not altered.
Advanced eDiscovery facilitates the identification, preservation, and collection of electronically stored information (ESI) for legal purposes. You can also utilise pre-built compliance reports to manage various regulations. There’s even a built-in monitor for communication for policy violations and potential risk alerts in communication tools like Exchange Online and Teams.
Google Workspace Security and Compliance Features
Google Workspace security and compliance features are also designed to protect user data, ensure privacy, and meet regulatory requirements. Like M365, GW enhances account security and integrates safe browsing technology to protect users from phishing and malware attacks by identifying and blocking potentially harmful websites.
You will also find standard data encryptions, endpoint verification, authentication and protection of passwords, manage third-party applications’ access to Google Workspace data and enforce security policies such as preventing the sharing of sensitive information via email and Drive.
The compliance features between Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace is almost identical also. You can set data retention policies for email and chat messages, facilitate the identification and preservation of electronic information for legal and compliance purposes and capture detailed information on administrative activities within Google Workspace, helping with compliance and investigation.
Google Workspace also provides pre-built reports to help businesses understand their compliance posture and audit data by geographic location which is useful if you have multiple satellite offices.
Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace: The Verdict
The choice between Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace ultimately depends on the unique needs and preferences of your business operation, security and compliance. Some organisations may even choose to use a combination of both suites to leverage the strengths of each.
The majority of businesses opt for Microsoft 365 due to the inclusion of its desktop apps. If your broadband slows or drops of altogether, users can still crack on with no loss to productivity. Microsoft’s applications are generally more feature-rich than Google equivalents and make blended online and offline working easier.
Google’s advantage over M365 is the superior storage space against the relative cost. Increasing your storage space to an equivalent 5TB with Microsoft 365 will cost you an additional £1000 per month.
IT Support in London
Micro Pro is a London-based IT support provider specialising in Microsoft 365 technologies. We have the knowledge, the tools and the provisions to enable you to overcome M365 shortfalls and enhance your overall IT infrastructure.