For a company that is looking to implement cloud-based enterprise applications, the choice generally comes down to Google Apps for Work and Office 365. Although both are great products, there are significant differences that make Google Apps for Work a better choice for organisations.
Born in the Cloud versus Retrofitting
Office has historically been a desktop product. Even though Office 365 attempts to compete with Google Apps, it is not a native cloud app. It is reflected in the fact that many of the Office 365 plans include the desktop versions as well. Microsoft Office evolved in a world where Internet access was not ubiquitous and it continues to put desktop first.
On the other hand, a truly cloud native solution like Google Apps does not require any legacy software running on the PC. Google Apps for Work is not burdened with links to software created decades ago. Google designed Apps for Work from scratch for the cloud and it clearly shows in the way features are implemented.
Collaboration and Communication
Collaboration is at the center of Google Apps, not a feature that was added later on. Managing the sharing permissions for individual files or entire folders is granular and easy. In addition, documents in Google’s native format do not take up any space. So you can simply convert Office documents and store them in Drive without running out of storage.
Businesses don’t always have 100% connectivity, which is why Google Apps can be set up to work offline through Chrome Apps. Google also offers a public dashboard which monitors service interruptions and promises 99.9% uptime of its platform. It is transparent and visible to all users at any time. These features are notably absent in Microsoft Office 365.
Mobility and No Dependencies
The hallmark of a cloud application is that it is available everywhere, on any device with an Internet connection. This is certainly true of Google Apps. They can be used on any OS – desktop or mobile – and do not depend on anything other than the browser. The organisation can even manage the mobile devices of employees for added security. Since all data is immediately synced back to the cloud, users can continue working across multiple devices.
When you consider the actual features that matter to organisation today, Google Apps for Work emerges as the clear winner. It brings all the benefits of the cloud to the majority of small and medium enterprises without breaking the bank.