“Productivity” and “Collaboration” are the two buzz words in every industry today. As consultants, everyday we learn about the vision for increasing the productivity and workforce efficiency from the top management of many industry leaders which explicitly calls out for a single platform to collaborate. For instance, more than one employee working on a single document, communicating with each other simultaneously over chat, making iterations is a very typical example of collaboration. In other words, parallel execution of tasks with efficiency leading to higher productivity is collaboration.

The two industry rivals, Microsoft and Google, have been proactive in pushing and promoting their cloud business productivity as a leading collaboration tool. Microsoft’s Office 365 has been a known cloud solution amongst market leaders, whereas Google Apps (now G Suite) has managed to attract start-ups and small-scale industries. Two factors, reach and price has played a significant role here, Google wins on price and Microsoft wins on its reach. Beating Microsoft Office is very tough for any other business tool with similar capacities.

There is a list of features and functionalities which are common, and some which have been the key differentiation points between two solutions, giving advantage and disadvantage over each other.


Microsoft Office 365

Google Apps for Work (G-Suite)

Offline Applications

Traditional offline Office applications are available to be installed and used locally on PC and MAC

No Offline versions, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides could be used only online

Cloud Storage

Microsoft provides 1 TB of space in OneDrive as Cloud File storage, for each user

Google Apps provides 30 GB space on cloud for file storage and email storage.

However, google provides unlimited storage for accounts with at least 5 users on $120 per user per year plan

Email Services

Exchange Online provides a separate 50 GB of inbox for every user

No separate space for Gmail, shares space provides with Google Drive i.e. 30 GB per user

Collaboration Platform

SharePoint Online – Cloud platform for collaboration and intranet solutions

Sites – cloud platform for collaboration

Online Meeting & Instant Messaging

Online meeting through Skype for Business (maximum 250 Users).

Enterprise plans allows PSTN configuration and Hosted PBX.

Online meeting through Hangouts (maximum 25 Users). No Hosted PBX or Voicemail available

Enterprise Social



A study by Okta Inc. showed that Finance and Construction sectors are pretty much inclined to use Office 365, whereas Marketing firms look confident and happy with Google Apps. A screenshot of stats below:

Image Source: Oka study on “Business @Work, March 2016.”

Apart from the complex figures and comparison, Microsoft leads the race on the nature of innovation in the simplest form, which has been not appealing in G Suite. Recently introduced Flow, Stream, Planner, Delve, and Team are such small yet powerful services additions in Office 365. Stream appears to be Youtube for Enterprises whereas Flow allows people to build actionable workflows by their own without knowing a piece of code. G Suite has been typical of the services included in the package, and not much increment or innovation was seen, apart from “Android for Work” which shall be appreciated by enterprises for mobility.

To conclude, Google apps has attracted businesses that need basic functionalities and features; most of the industry owns Office 365 due to trust, familiarity and compatibility with Office applications. On commercials aspects, G Suite wins the race by keeping two simple plans for any number of users; Office 365 has six variety of plans targeted to different user group and features.

Posted by Advaiya

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