MICROSOFT OFFICE VS. GOOGLE WORKSPACE
Beyond the fundamentally different approaches to features and instant collaboration, there are some other important differences in some of the applications.
When considering email, you may run into issues with either platform, depending on the number of transactional emails you send. Transactional emails can be promotional, involve sending a newsletter, or relate to automated replies. For Outlook-hosted and Gmail-hosted business accounts, consider the built-in email limits. Many users counter this by using a separate application, such as Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor, for their transactional emails. If you use Gmail and haven’t upgraded to an “@yourbusinees.com” address and instead send from an “@gmail.com” address, expect many email providers to send even professional messages to spam.
Cloud storage is another feature worth examining. Microsoft has two offerings designed for different purposes. OneDrive is intended to be a personal cloud backup, secured with enterprise-grade security but kept separate from company-wide storage. Sharepoint is built for company-wide data and synced files, making collaboration simple. Google Drive is a single interface that combines these two ideas. Individual folders can be set to different levels of access and sharing.
Both Microsoft Office and Google Workspace are common phishing lures. Ensure that part of your employee training on the suite you choose includes phishing education and email safety.
A phishing email is a malicious email that appears to be from a trusted or neutral source. In the cases of productivity suite phishing, an email will arrive that appears to contain a link to a Microsoft Word or Google Docs file. Clicking on this link will direct the user to a page that looks similar to the online interface for Office 365 or Workspace, but entering your email and password here will provide those credentials to criminals. They then gain access to your account, can attempt to move from there into the business network, and mine your contact list for future phishing attacks.
The best defense against phishing attacks isn’t one suite or another, but user training and powerful network tools that help alert IT partners to unusual activity. Regardless of which suite you choose, if a user believes they may have clicked on a fraudulent link and provided their credentials, they should contact IT immediately to reset their password and take a close look at the account’s network activity.
While there’s no evidence that Google’s data mining within search and free email accounts extends to their paid Workspace offering, the question of trust cannot be omitted from the process of choosing a suite for your business. Neither Microsoft nor Google is fully immune from collecting data from users, but to date, Microsoft doesn’t have a history of selling that data to third parties for advertising revenue.
Consider, too, the business models of both Microsoft and Google. Google began as a search engine, and has branched into business and other tools. Microsoft has a foundation built on computer technology, operating systems, and consistently works towards security—most recently with the acquisition of CyberX in 2020.
If security is tantamount to your business practice, this point is worth consideration. Could you risk your business’ data being exposed?
Need a second opinion? Dig in to some other comparisons between the two suites:
Ready to Make a Change?
So, you’ve reviewed all of the features and benefits and decided that you’re ready to take the plunge. Know that an adjustment to the fundamental ways your employees do business is probably going to require employee training. Expect a temporary drop in productivity while everyone gets used to the new system, but know that your IT partner or Managed Services Provider should be there with you every step of the way to provide training and handle any hiccups.
When you’re ready to choose a new suite of tools, have the answers to the following questions:
- What does your business use as their operating system (OS)? Windows is the most common OS in the business world and works well with both Microsoft Office and Google Workspace. If everyone is already outfitted with Chromebooks or iPads for everyday business, expect a bit more of a shakeup as your IT partner will need to ensure that operating systems, local storage, and other settings are compatible with the suite of tools that you choose.
- Do specific employees or roles require specific tools? Before making the switch, make sure that the suite you choose is compatible with their essential work. This may involve a trial run. Be prepared to listen to your employees and offer alternatives that meet their needs. Consider, too, how and why employees share files outside of your organization. Will they need to convert files or upload them to another interface to share easily in a format that both parties can work with?
- When is training? Be ready to kick off integration of your new suite with some intensive training. This should cover not only how each application works or how it works differently from what an employee is used to but also security changes, sharing, and what to do for troubleshooting. Consider adding any recurring issues to an annual training seminar to keep employees up to date on the most relevant issues.
Whether you are starting a business from the ground up or looking to make a change, Anderson Technologies is ready to help you make the best choice. As an IT partner or a managed services provider, Anderson Technologies treats your business as our own, putting the same level of consideration and caution into our recommendations and remediations.