Microsoft and Google have been going head-to-head in recent years in the email, calendar, and office suite product space. There’s a good chance your business uses one of these suites for your own communication and collaboration tools. Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel are the tried and true giants in this space, but Google’s browser-based applications have become a familiar go-to as we share documents with others and transition to a “work from anywhere” environment.
We recently helped a growing local business begin the transition from one of these suites to the other. As we listened to some of their current pain points, we found them to greatly enjoy the familiarity of the familiar office tools Microsoft provides, yet they enjoyed the ease-of-access that the G-Mail platform and calendar provided. They were unaware that Microsoft has been in the cloud-email space with their “Exchange Online” service that allows businesses to drop the on-premise server in exchange for a simple, scalable, cloud-based service. As we walked this client through their wants and needs, we found that they thought they had to get the best out of both worlds, when the reality was that a migration to a single platform would better suit their current and long-term needs
Office 365 isn’t the best fit for every business, though. Younger teams and those utilizing mobile devices may enjoy the clean and simple web-based and mobile app interfaces Google Workspace provides over the bulkier tools Microsoft has that set out to provide much of the same functionality as their offline products in the browser. Google’s suite of tools also provides a set of authentication tools that many other sites on the web integrate with, allowing you to utilize your Google Workspace credentials to log in instead of coming up with ANOTHER complex password.
The battle for the office suite is no small matter for Google and Microsoft. They know that many of us live in our inbox and calendar, and if they can keep us in their product there, we are more likely to utilize their products for companion tools such as cloud storage, task management, and presentation software.
Making the decision to start up a business with one of these tools can be a straightforward evaluation, but what do you do if you’re already utilizing one (or both) of these but considering a move to a single platform? We’re in the midst of this migration ourselves at C2IT this year, and it’s been a process, not just a cutover. We’ve found great benefit in some of the tools and prioritized those moves, while others have been left alone for now as we continue to grow our business.
Are you ready to make a switch? Consider carefully the features you need, the tools your team is familiar with, and the way you use collaboration tools. Both products offer their own unique value, and there is no single best-fit for everyone. As always, if you’d like a sounding board for any of your considerations, we’d be glad to lend a listening ear.
Written by Chet Cromer for publication in the Business Leader