G Suite is the cloud based office productivity suite offered by Google. It is a great way for businesses to deliver efficient and cost effective solutions to all of their employees. Using well known tools such as G Mail and Google Docs, businesses can achieve the most common office tasks right from within their browser.
How is G Suite different to Office 365?
Office 365 is an office productivity suite offered by Microsoft. Office has a long standing reputation as the go to productivity suite for both home and business users, but such a reputation comes at a great cost.
Some of the key differences between the two products include:
- Office 365 provides users with native desktop applications, whereas G Suite is all based in the browser (although there is still support for offline working).
- Office 365 limits each user to 1TB of storage whereas G Suite gives users unlimited cloud storage (for 5 or more users, otherwise 1TB each) and Google Docs/Sheets/Slides don’t count to storage anyway.
- Mobile Device Management with Office 365 is limited in capabilities without an additional Intune licence, G Suite provides full functionality for everyone.
- Office 365 provides shared mailboxes, great for enquiries/sales/admin addresses, G Suite is lacking a bit in this area but do provide a collaborative inbox feature which gets you about 50% of the way there.
How does the cost compare to Office 365?
At the time of writing, the Office 365 Business Premium plan at £9.40 per user/per month (plus VAT). Compare this to Google’s G Suite Business plan at £6.60 per user/per month (plus VAT).
When evaluating Office 365 for our business and for clients needs, we were unable to find any discounts. For G Suite we have a 20% discount code for your first year of basics or business, just get in touch.
How do I build custom business applications?
Both platforms provide a low code platform for developing business applications on top of the productivity suite. Microsoft have PowerApps, a basic licence for which is included in your Office 365 subscription. G Suite comes with App Maker which is again included in your subscription but has full access to the G Suite API.
As we work with customers on business solutions, we continue to investigate and invest time into G Suites App Maker as we have found the documentation more accessible, the extensibility greater and the integration options more complete.
How popular is G Suite?
This is a very interesting question, one that we were initially quite shocked by. From small businesses to well known brands such as Morrisons, it appears G Suite has a strong and loyal user base. The G Suite pricing page itself provides a large number of success stories and claims that millions of business use G Suite.
Chosen by millions of businesses, from small companies to the Fortune 500.
What are the limitations of G Suite?
There are a few considerations to make before jumping into or over to G Suite over Microsoft’s offering.
- G Suite is a web browser based productivity suite so desktop extensibility is limited. Whilst you are able to extend functionality in many ways, you cannot run G Suite offline PC’s as there are no desktop applications.
- Microsoft Office is more feature rich, for many years office applications were – and in some cases, still are – one of their main products. Whilst Google does a great job at providing the standard functionality, there is often the odd gotcha along the way.
- Video conferencing in Office was recently reinvigorated with Microsoft Teams. Google have a long standing history of replacing their video conferencing products Google Hangouts, Duo, Meet. For team collaboration their offering is good, but they don’t yet have an equivalent to Teams.
- Shared Mailboxes aren’t really a thing in G Suite. This is one of the biggest drawbacks for businesses used to having a shared inbox for their generic sales address, for example. There are features available which provide similar functionality, but these aren’t as slick as you would like (although we have put some feature requests in to Google to try and improve this).
- Interoperability between Microsoft file types of G Suite can be sometimes limited. The more complex the Microsoft Word document, the more likely it is you are going to have some formatting issues. That being said, G Suite can open and export to Microsoft Word and does a fairly reasonable job at it.
Looking for other reviews?
There is lots of information out there comparing the two productivity suites. A fairly comprehensive review can be found on Style Factory which we originally read when considering options for productivity suites.
Looking for a free trial and a discount?
If you are looking for a 14 day free trial, head over to Google G Suite. If you are seeking a discount on your first years subscription then get in touch, we can send you a code for 20% off your first year Basic or Business plan.