Why Switch to Microsoft Office 365?
For decades, businesses relied on Microsoft Office, the definitive suite for work applications. With everything from powerful word processing to innovative presentation design, Microsoft Office set the bar high for business software.
Then, Google Apps came in and revealed the problems with Microsoft Office, from limited document collaboration to lack of cloud storage. Now, though, the tables have turned back. Microsoft Office 365 (now just called Microsoft 365) is the new, 21st century suite, packed with modern tools. Here’s why companies are switching from Google Apps to Microsoft 365 — and why 365 might work better for your business.
Cloud Technology is Now an Option
Google Apps’ primary appeal was its cloud-based technology, which allowed users to make edits and save changes with lightning speed. Plus, documents updated instantly, and users could even edit documents at the same time. This was far better for collaboration than Word documents or PowerPoints, which had to be sent back and forth with different versions.
Organizations also liked Google because it offered sleek integration among its various services. For example, you could instantly turn emails into tasks, tasks into notes, and so on. Everything was connected in the G Suite (now called Google Workplace), which offered incredible storage space to boot. Large companies could pay for premium access with up to hundreds of seats in a shared enterprise account.
Now, though, Microsoft Office has joined the cloud with 365. Organizations can issue access to users anywhere in the world, rather than installing it on all the office computers. Documents can be edited simultaneously by multiple users, and there is much better integration among the various apps. For example, you can start Skype calls from Outlook or instantly save Word documents to OneDrive and track version history.
While Microsoft Office never went away, these new features are starting to reclaim some of the market share that Google took from Microsoft. Big brands such as Burger King and Campbells had started using Google Apps, then returned to Microsoft for 365. As it turns out, once those cloud features were available in the familiar Office Suite, Google Apps lost its shine for many companies.
It’s More Cost-Effective
For small businesses, Google Apps remains a popular choice because it’s relatively cheap. A Google Workplace subscription runs from $6 to $25 per user per month. That includes basic services (Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts), as well as app makers, enterprise controls, and livestreams, depending on the tier. However, those costs add up quickly if you have many team members.
Microsoft 365 pricing is similar, running from $5 to $20 per user per month. However, those users gain access to a fully integrated suite comprising chat and email, videoconferencing, storage, calendars and scheduling, and project management, while Google Workplace often requires third-party add-ons to achieve these functionalities. Plus, Microsoft 365 allows off-line work in native apps, while Google Apps requires a third-party extension for it, and there are no native desktop apps.
In short, larger businesses will likely get more bang for their buck with Microsoft 365, especially if they have remote workers in places with limited Wi-Fi. Indeed, about 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies have already embraced 365.
Microsoft 365 Offers Better Security
Countless businesses are impacted by cybercriminals every year. Back when everything was housed in onsite servers and locked with secure data gateways, it was more challenging to break in. With cloud-based tools, hackers can easily gain access to private business information. Thankfully, both Microsoft 365 and Google Workplace are quite secure.
However, 365 pulls slightly ahead due to its frequent security patches, proactive monitoring for all accounts on both the user and server ends, and sophisticated data encryption. Also, mismanaged account permissions and inadequate backup also pose risk of data loss or interference, but 365 has highly customizable user access levels and instant syncing across hard drives and cloud-based storage. Indeed, many IT managers and CIOs report that 365 provides them with the flexibility they need to fully configure their organization’s access levels and information architecture.
As a plus, all team members on a Microsoft 365 account enjoy automatic updates to their apps, ensuring that they are always using the most up-to-date, secure version.
Ultimate All-in-One System
Google Apps have expanded to an impressive number, with everything from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides (comparable to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) to Sites (comparable to SharePoint) to Keep and Google Drive (comparable to OneNote and OneDrive). However, many of these apps simply don’t have the power-user features that their Microsoft counterparts do. For example, Outlook makes it much easier to customize signatures, automate email management, and schedule meetings right there in the app. Excel and PowerPoint are clearly superior for those who need to do advanced data analysis or create detailed presentations.
Moreover, Microsoft 365 is much better at integrating all apps and allowing teams to collaborate. Google Hangouts are nice for basic chat and videoconferencing, but Microsoft 365’s Teams app is an all-in-one chat, conferencing, and workspace tool. It’s comparable to Slack, except that it integrates fully with the rest of the suite.
Plus, 365 includes Planner, which helps teams manage projects, and Power Automate, which automates repetitive tasks and creates custom workflows. No comparable tool exists in Google Workplace.
In sum, when it comes to productivity, Google Workplace simply can’t compare to Microsoft 365.
It Is Time To Switch To Office 365
Microsoft’s workplace software solutions have come a long way since the clunky Office Suite. Now, with streamlined apps, seamless integration, and cloud-based technology, Microsoft 365 has reclaimed its place as the top office and productivity suite for businesses. The possibilities are endless, and the rates are still below those of Google Workplace. Years ago, Microsoft set the gold standard for office software. Now, they’ve set the bar even higher.