Google Workspace vs. Office 365: Which Cloud Office System to Choose?

A cloud office system is a suite of collaboration-oriented apps (such as email, calendar, chat, video conferencing, and more) designed to free the employees from the paradigm of a fixed work location. This plays right into the current trend that has employees everywhere vote in favour of working remotely, using modern devices such as laptops, tablets, phones, and more.

The trend towards cloud office system acceptance has been on the rise since mid-2014, but it recently registered a surge due to the rapid technological developments we can see on the market. We now have both the hardware and apps designed towards mobility and collaboration, with enough power to back corporate work.

As a direct result, there is a variety of cloud office suits available on the market, in both free and paid formats. However, our experience has taught us that the best systems come from some of the most powerful IT companies of the moment: Google and Microsoft.

They both offer an impressive suite of apps designed to work on modern devices and encourage people to work from an environment that’s better suited for creativity and productivity. So, we will run a comparison between the two systems, so you can understand the pros and cons of each, and make an informed decision.

Google Workspace vs. Office 365

But first, let’s have a look at what each has to offer:

  • Google Workspace Google Workspace started in 2006 and was initially called Google Apps. The suite grew from Gmail and it first contained Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Page Creator as apps. Since then, the suite grew (and changed names) to the point where we now have an entire marketplace of apps designed to improve and support remote working.
  • Office 365 The cloud office system proposed by Microsoft was designed with the enterprise in mind. The suite started in 2008 when the company launched the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite or BPOS. However, this was just a predecessor, and it took up to June 2011 to have an actual live version of the Office 365 system. While they did start later, the suite has now a wide range of apps for businesses that promote collaborative work.
  • Google Workspace vs. Office 365 Both suites offer apps and tools for collaborative work outside the standard office, but Google Workspace is best for companies with smaller IT teams and a smaller number of employees. On the other hand, Office 365 has the right tools for older companies, with a more complex structure.

Also, a cloud office system is a fantastic way to cut down costs. For instance, SMBs and medium-sized businesses that made the move to Google Workspace registered 42% and respective 40% of cost savings, and the ones that implemented Office 365 registered cost savings of 28% and 23%.

Overall, businesses save money with these systems, regardless of size and chosen provider.

However, with all the added benefits of increased employee satisfaction and cost-cutting, there are still business owners who can’t seem to decide in favour of such a system. Their main concern has to do with migration costs in terms of effort and invested time. After all, who can afford to work at a slower pace for several months in a row?

The implementation process can indeed be lengthy as it depends on the size of your company, infrastructure, complexity, and other factors. But with the right team of specialists, it can occur without affecting your main activities.

In our experience, it takes about 11.2 months to move a large client (100+ employees) to a Google Workspace system, while migration to the Office 365 Suite takes about 15.3 months. Smaller clients (5 to 100 employees) take around 1.5 months in Google Workspace.

As you noticed, Google Workspace implementation is a few months shorter than Office 365. This is due to the fact that the system is less complex.

Furthermore, with Google Workspace, it’s more likely to deploy all its tools and apps at once, while an Office 365 implementation is usually performed in several phases.

Finally, you also need to consider the overall costs of the system once it is implemented and running.

Both Google and Microsoft offer pre-set packages designed for basic, medium, and advanced use of their cloud office system. Also, the cost is calculated at a rate per user per month, so you can always upgrade according to your needs.

Working with a Partner

While anyone is free to choose their best method of migration and maintenance, most companies hire the services of a specialised managed services partner, like Onsite Helper, to cover these services. Partners have the know-how, the specialists, and the best work methods for each type of organisation, which leads to lower costs and risks.

Of course, there is more to choosing the right partner for the job, and we highlighted all the important aspects here.

Moreover, long-term collaboration with the right partner will lead to lower costs when you’ll need to scale the business IT structure and less exposure to current cyber threats (due to proper maintenance and upgrades).

Is It Worth It?

If you’re still wondering if you should give up your current on-site data server system, we’re here to tell you it’s all about time and money.

Companies that implemented a cloud office system spend less time on:

  • Scheduled maintenance (25%)
  • Unscheduled maintenance (23%)
  • Storage and quota management (20%)
  • Data recovery (27%)
  • Upgrades (21%)

Less time spent on IT tasks also means a significant drop in costs. 

For instance, a managed service provider would typically charge about $2,500 per year per server to maintain the office apps that come with the cloud systems, and most small businesses would need about two or three servers to run everything on-site.

Instead, the time and money you used to spend on routine maintenance tasks, can now be invested in end-user training, improving work efficiency, supporting collaboration, and more.

The arguments listed above helped create a powerful trend where lots of existent companies make the switch to the cloud. According to the Gartner report of 2016, around 13.5% of organisations were already using one of the two cloud office systems discussed in this article. Since then, the number has increased, and most startups begin directly in the cloud. 

The cloud office system (regardless of provider) is nothing more than the natural business progression due to new technologies and better Internet connectivity. The environment is safer than ever and comes at great benefits in both cost and time for organisations everywhere.

Now, if you want to learn more about the benefits the cloud can bring for your organization, our team at Onsite Helper is ready to help. Just give us a call or send us an email and our specialists will get in touch with the right information!