Office 365 and Google Apps are going head to head

Once hailed as the perfect solution for small/medium businesses and start-ups, over the past 6 years, Google Apps has expanded to add support for governments, universities and schools and more recently is becoming a popular choice with the Enterprise-level crowd.

Why are businesses using Google Apps?

A few reasons actually:

  • Google adds features and updates but doesn’t raise prices: Since its début 6 years ago, the price has remained steady at $50 per person. (Although Google just recently discontinued its limited version for businesses)
  • Google’s security and data management measures are compliant with European Standards – which are more stringent than North American Standards (by the way, Microsoft has just added the ame Office 365)
  • Microsoft’s recent ad spends outlining the weaknesses (ad-supported) in Google Apps – showing that the company is at least a bit nervous about Google entering its territory.
  • Google Hangouts – with multi-person chats made easy: this is a great option for any business.

Google’s offering has simple pricing at $50 per user, per year – all with no scheduled downtime and recently added 24/7 support – it’s no surprise that businesses of all levels are looking at Google Apps.

The flip side:

Having said that, for many enterprises who are looking for services outside of the cloud, Google’s solution may not be the best option.

  • Microsoft’s General Manager of Business Julia White says that Google lacks in areas of “privacy, data handling and security”, and that’s where Microsoft is hanging on tight to keep its lead – when the stakes are just too high to risk.
  • For enterprises who have the need to process 500,000+ rows of data in a spreadsheet, complex pivot tables and dashboards, Microsoft is the only way to go – Google spreadsheets just doesn’t compare.  Also the data presentation options in excel by far outweigh those of Google.
  • Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype last year, allowed MS to offer IP-based communications services to its customers (in direct competition with Google Hangouts).
  • To win over the Google crowd, Microsoft’s Office 365 solution has recently expanded its usual 30 day free trial to a 90 day trial after-which they’ll be announcing new updated pricing
  • Although at the onset, Google’s pricing structure is simple and easy, Office 365’s pricing allows companies to choose the package that works best.

At the end of the day, with more flexibility, collaboration options, calendering and online data storage, one thing can be said for both Microsoft and Google – they are changing the way we do business.  And healthy competition never hurt anyone!

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