G Suite vs Office 365: A closer look (Part 2)
Updated on Sept 20, 2019
We’ve taken a look at email, collaboration, storage, messaging, mobile and hardware in part 1 of the G Suite vs Office 365 battle last week. Now, we’re going to delve into admin, integration, third-party ecosystem, certifications and security, data centres and plans.
The G Suite Admin Console has a very simple user interface but lacks some of the advance features that is available on the Admin Center for Office 365. For example, Office 365 has data governance policies such as for retention and legal hold that G Suite doesn’t offer. However, many of these features are available as add-ons that you need to pay. G Suite covers the key features for traditional small-to-medium businesses and schools that they target.
Right from the start, Google has built their products with very deep integration with one another. For example, Google Drive, Google Calendar and Google Hangouts are built right into Gmail which makes it easy to attach a file, set a meeting or chat with your contacts. On the other hand, Office 365 is a group of products that work independently with minor integrations. OneDrive is deeply integrated in most of Microsoft’s products including Windows.
Both G Suite and Office 365 offer a long list of third party applications to complement their existing products. On the G Suite camp, there are AODocs and LumApps (just to name a few) which take care of document management and corporate portal respectively. Recently, Google introduced Gmail Add-ons which increases productivity in your inbox. Over at the Office 365 camp, they have quite a number of migration tools (most notably CodeTwo Office 365 Migration) which eases the transition to Office 365.
Certifications and security
Google is not only HIPAA compliant but also certified with ISO 27001, ISO 27018, EY Point, FERPA, COPPA and AICPA/SOC (SOC 2 & SOC 3). G Suite comes with Spam, phishing, and malware prevention. They also have brand phishing defense as part of their security infrastructure. On the user-controlled side, administrators can turn on two-step verification which forces users to use an alternate code in addition to their log-in credentials to access their files. Google offers data loss protection (DLP) to allow administrators to protect proprietary information from being emailed to outside sources.
Just like Google, Microsoft is certified with ISO 27001, ISO 27018 but they also have certifications from SSAE16 SOC1 Type II, SOC2 Type II and FISMA. Microsoft uses service-side encryption to protect data both at rest on servers and during transfers between the user’s device and Microsoft’s servers. This encoding includes Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). Microsoft uses Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to filter potentially dangerous email messages from company Office 365 inboxes (available on select plans). Microsoft offers the same two-factor authentication that Google provides their customers. The authenticating code arrives by text, phone call, or using a mobile application.
Google and Microsoft have a different approach when it comes to managing customers’ data at their respective data centres. Google stores data in a global network which consists of multiple data centres located all across the globe. Google’s data centres are geographically distributed to minimize the effects of regional disruptions such as natural disasters and local outages. In the event of hardware, software, or network failure, data is automatically shifted from one facility to another so that G Suite customers can continue working in most cases without interruption.
Unlike Google, Microsoft uses regional data centres to store customers’ data. The regional data centres decreases the latency times and increases efficiency for backing up, restoring, and exporting data. That’s good for an office in one region but what about businesses with multiple offices in multiple regions? Well, you’ll have to pay extra to have your data on another regional data centre.
We have come to the part where it matters the most; the plans. Google has three straightforward plans; Basic, Business and Enterprise. On the Basic plan, you get a business email addresses, video and voice calls (via Google Hangouts), shared online calendars, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, 30GB online storage, Google sites, Security and admin controls, and 24/7 phone and email support.
On the Business plan, in addition to the Basic plan, you get unlimited file storage, advanced search functionality using Google’s new Cloud Search technology, audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing, eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files, and email archives.
On the Enterprise plan, you get all the features of the Basic and Business plans plus data loss prevention for files and email, integration with third-party archiving tools, S/MIME for Gmail, advanced admin controls and security, and additional reporting on email usage via BigQuery.
For Microsoft, it offers Business Essentials, Business and Business Premium. The Business Essentials plan only comes with a web version of the Office applications. So, if you need the desktop version, you’ll need to get the Business plan. However, the Business plan does not offer an email account. Not only that, Microsoft also excluded SharePoint, Skype For Business, Microsoft Teams and Yammer. So, if you need all of the above, you will have to take the Business Premium plan.
Hopefully, with the infographic and our closer look at the two business cloud solutions, you’ll get a better understanding of what these two services bring to the table. Therefore, it would be much easier to make an informed decision on which offering suits your business the best.