Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365 Debate: 5 Things You Should Know


More than ever before, businesses are beginning to take advantage of cloud technology to increase their efficiency and overall productivity. Undoubtedly, cloud technology positions businesses to perform cutting-edge business operations. However, knowing which cloud-based platforms offer your business the best services can be quite a hassle. The Google Workspace versus Microsoft 365 debate is major in business circles. Organizations keep asking, “Which one’s best for us?”, especially since both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 are cloud-based suites containing tools that aid professional productivity.

Of course, the two platforms have amazing benefits. The key, however, is knowing the features for each to determine which one best suits your business needs. Google Workspace or Microsoft 365? Read on to find your answer!

The First Consideration

Sometimes, small and medium businesses make the grave mistake of acquiring a productivity solution without first critically evaluating that tool according to their business needs. Usually, this results in frustration, because the tool won’t give you exactly what you desire. And, in the end, what was meant for productivity ends up hindering productivity.

You need to ask yourself critical questions like:

  • Why do we need this tool?
  • What will it do for our business?
  • How will its implementation affect us?
  • Is it a good fit for our objectives as a business?
  • How secure is this tool?

The questions above are a good place to begin in determining which productivity tool your organization should be using or not. After that, you can then go on to conduct a comprehensive review of the tool itself. This way, you can be sure that you’ll find just the tool you need for your business.

Google Workspace or Microsoft 365?

Since it’s essential to first review productivity solutions before choosing one for your business, we’ve reviewed vital features of the Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 suites below. This review will focus on areas that we consider most important for small and medium businesses.

1. Pricing

No matter the type of business you operate, pricing is a major thing to look out for when deciding what tools you should acquire or not. Although depending on your location, the pricing may differ, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have pretty much the same price range for their services.

Google Workspace

There’s a free version of Google Workspace available online, but it doesn’t offer as much as the three main plans Google Workspace provides.

  • The Basic Plan ($6 per user/monthly)
  • Business Plan ($12 per user/monthly)
  • Enterprise Plan ($25 per user/monthly)

The Basic plan offers you a personal email address, unlimited access to documents, spreadsheets, slides, shared calendars, voice and video calls, 24/7 support, and a storage capacity of 30 GB.

The Business plan offers everything in the Basic Plan, plus unlimited file storage or 1 TB per user for businesses with less than 5 users. It also offerers additional Google Workspace tools like eDiscovery for chats, emails, and files.

In addition to everything above, the Enterprise Plan offers a greater participant limit, additional reporting, and advanced security controls.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 has more complex pricing because it has several sub-versions. Microsoft 365 offers different bundles for different audiences. However, there are three major categories that it offers to small businesses:

  • The Business Essentials Plan ($5 per user/monthly)
  • The Business Plan ($8.25 per user/monthly)
  • The Business Premium Plan ($12.50 per user/monthly)

Microsoft 365 also offers Enterprise plans ranging from $8 per user/monthly to $35 per user/monthly. Most of the differences in each plan are in the storage capacity and types of services that they provide. For instance, the basic versions of these plans only include the online cloud-hosted versions of productivity apps (that is, no desktop version), and not every plan typically includes a dedicated email.

When it comes to pricing, Google Workspace wins because of its price flexibility and the cloud storage capacity it offers for each price and plan. Remarkably, Google Workspace also offers a free version that provides up to 15 GB of storage capacity.

2. Storage

In the section on pricing, we discussed a little about storage, but let’s dive in a bit deeper here. Both Google Workspace and Mircosoft 365 have their advantages in the area of storage. For example, as we showed before, if you use a free Google Workspace account, you’ll have 15 GB of storage across your entire account, including Gmail.

Most business owners are, however, concerned with what’s the storage limit for each paid plan. Microsoft 365 offers a lot in this regard. Even with an entry-level Business Essentials Plan, you get a whopping 1 TB of file storage! Google Workspace, on the other hand, offers only 30 GB of storage on its Basic plan. 

However, if your business has at least 5 users, you’ll get unlimited online storage in Google Workspace’s Business plan. Trying to beat that is impractical. But Microsoft’s 365 1 TB per user storage capacity is also incredible. It could be all that your business needs, but that also depends on what types of files you’re storing.

For example, if all you store are spreadsheets, emails, and other small-sized document types, then it’s hard to exhaust 1 TB of storage with those. However, if you’re creating large video or audio files, you can use up the entire 1 TB storage quicker than you imagine.

Additionally, you may increase your storage limit on both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace using any of their a-la-carte options. You should note, however, that this option can get pretty expensive especially if you want to get many TBs. Although, you can avoid spending so much by creating extra individual user accounts. It might be more stressful to manage them, but then this will reduce your cost.

3. Security

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses operating in the legal, finance, architecture, and several other industries are considering and prioritizing moving to an almost 100% remote workforce. If your business has a mobile or remote workforce, securing your mobile workforce is most likely on your top priority list.

Although it’s possible to work offline with Google Workspace, it’s not the best-protected solution. You have to use Chrome in accessing files offline. Moreso, these files are stored locally, even after you sign off that device.

If your mobile workforce needs offline capabilities to work, then you should consider Microsoft 365.

The security features of both productivity suites are detailed in the table below.

Microsoft 365

  • Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) covers emails and site files
  • Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)— filters emails and protects against malicious threats, viruses, and malware

Google Workspace:

  • Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) covers emails and site files
  • Information protection only within the Google ecosystem

4. Email Functionality

Both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have email functions that offer similar services, but with some slight variations. Outlook is to Microsoft, while Gmail is to Google Workspace. Outlook has a storage capacity of 50 GB for emails, contacts, and shared calendars. For Enterprise plans E3 and E5, the storage capacity is 100 GB for emails, contacts, and shared calendars. The attachment size limit for Outlook is 300 GB.

Meanwhile, Gmail has an unlimited storage capacity for emails, contacts, and shared calendars in its Business and Enterprise plans. However, the attachment size limit is 25 GB.

Depending on what your business needs are, you can choose any of these two to serve your purpose.

5. Accessibility

Accessibility is an important aspect every organization should consider when trying to decide on which productivity solutions to acquire. An organization should know which solutions have either offline or online capabilities or both.

Below are the accessibility features of both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.

Closing Thoughts

Both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have tremendous productivity tools and features to offer. Some businesses today are moving to use both productivity suites in a kind of mixed solution approach. But the mixed solution approach isn’t without its challenges.

However, you don’t need to jump on that approach. Your business might just be better off and more productive using a single productivity suite. In this article, you’ve learned key factors to consider when selecting any productivity solution. But there’s one more thing that’s perhaps the most important. You need the advisory services of experts. This will save you from incurring extra costs, which is often the case when businesses try to embark on projects without expert advice.

NW Technologies will help you stay on top of your business game by helping to critically assess your business to know exactly what it needs to progress. We’ll help you answer difficult questions and position your business for the advancement you desire. The technology and support solutions we will provide your organization will allow you to achieve flexibility and productivity without stress.

We’ll review our entire suite of solutions for your organization, specifying and recommending the most appropriate tool for you. Book a demo today and let’s get started!

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