If you’ve never heard of or you’re not familiar with Microsoft Office 365, it is the modern incarnation of the classic Office suite of software that you’ve no doubt used in the past.
The biggest difference between Office 365 and previous versions of Office is that the applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.) are web-based, which offers numerous benefits compared with desktop-only versions.
Of course, Google Docs offers something similar and is completely free, so is it really worth investing in an Office 365 subscription? Here’s 10 reasons why Microsoft’s software knocks Google’s out of the park.
Superior applications with more functionality
The first thing to say is that Microsoft’s Office applications are simply more powerful than Google’s free equivalents. This is particularly the case with Microsoft Excel in comparison to Google Sheets, with the former capable of so much more in terms of data computation and analysis.
For a more in depth look at why Excel comfortably beats Sheets, take a look at this article on PCWorld.com.
What’s more, not all of the Office apps have Google equivalents. Neither OneNote or Publisher are replicated for free by Google.
Desktop versions also available
The benefit of the Office 365 web apps is that multiple authors can collaborate on documents in real time, but if it suits your organisation to also have the traditional desktop applications as well, then these are also available with both Microsoft Office 365 Business and Business Premium.
By comparison Google Docs is only available online, so no internet means no access.
More generous file and email storage
The entry-level Office 365 package - Business Essentials - provides business-class email hosting with storage up to 50GB, as well as 1TB of file storage and sharing.
GMail’s storage on the other hand is just 30GB, while Google Drive also offers just 30GB - just 3% of Office 365’s file storage.
Advanced phone call managementThe entry-level Office 365 package for businesses also includes Skype for Business, allowing for:
- online meetings, messaging, calls and video between up to 250 people;
- Find anyone in your organisation and schedule meetings with them in Outlook;
- Enterprise-grade security and management of employee accounts.
Google Hangouts is a good free equivalent, and if you’re a small business, start-up or local not-for-profit organisation then it might work for you, but for SMEs and large organisations it simply doesn’t offer the privacy or enterprise-level voice/video capability you’ll probably need.
Advanced virus protection and rights management
When it comes to working on important documents, it’s essential that they are protected from both viruses and unauthorised access.
Office 365 is far superior to Google Docs in this regard, providing much more advanced virus protection and rights management to ensure only employees with permission can access files.
In the end, Google Docs is a fantastic free tool that is ideal for one man bands and small businesses. It offers equivalents to the most popular apps, which do a decent job of replicating most of the key features, however for larger organisations it is likely that you will need to find something more powerful - and this is where Microsoft Office 365 comes in.
At just £3.10 per user, per month for the entry-level package, Office 365 represents fantastic value for money. To find out more about the different packages available and how we can help set it up for you, click here.