by Christophe Primault
Published on 1 December 2011
You probably know about these two popular collaboration tools for small businesses coming from two big brands: Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365. GetApp.com's mission being to help small businesses select the best work apps for their needs, we could not avoid an internal discussion about which solution is actually better. We had different view points, so I volunteered to investigate further and deliver a verdict. Which app is the winner? Read on.
What is Microsoft Office 365
Office 365 is Microsoft's suite of applications for collaborating and communicating in the cloud. It was released on June of 2011 and it is selling eight times faster than the Business Productivity Online Suite (a.k.a. BPOS), its predecessor. This app allow businesses to share and collaborate online with the well known Word, Excel and PowerPoint tools. You can create simple professional homepages, use calendars, manage emails, contacts and your agenda. You will communicate with colleagues and clients through instant messaging, audio, video and webconferences. The basic plan for small businesses (supports up to 50 accounts) or independent professionals costs 6$/month per user. Of course usage of all the Microsoft Office desktop applications is included in the monthly payment of some plans, with the guarantee to always use the last version of the products.
What is Google Apps for Business
Google Apps for Business is the suite of web-applications that Google proposes to businesses. The set of features of Google Apps allows your business to share and collaborate on text documents, spreadsheets and presentations, manage calendars, contacts and agendas. Of course you can also manage all your company emails, create simple websites and communicate through instant messaging or audio/video calls. It also offers access to many other Google products such as blogs, adwords platform access, web-analytics tool, photo albums and is well integrated with the Google+ social network. The use of Google Apps is free up to 10 users. If you need more accounts in your business you will pay $5/month per user. You can can create as many accounts as you need and also get access to Google Video and Groups for Business. Your account storage will increase and you will enjoy 24/7 support.
Which one is better for a small business
The features in both tools are very similars, so you are probably still asking yourself: which one is better for my small business? I am not a business analyst, so I searched the web and found this excellent infographic from Cloud Hypermarket. They did a great job at reviewing the features of each application and built a table comparing Office 365 and Google Apps for Business side by side.
Cloud Hypermarket thinks that Microsoft Office 365 is a better solution, basically for the online/offline capabilities and customization options. Then at GetApp.com we use Google Apps for Business and it does the job perfectly. So I guess the jury is still out! What is your experience and opinion? Use the comments section below to share your opinions.