You may not be an enterprise class company for now, but you must take careful decisions just like enterprises do; because today’s startup can be tomorrow’s big company! One of the biggest challenges for startups today is to gain momentum while being on a tight budget, so all the decisions require a thorough analysis, especially when it involves spending money.
The changing technologies and market conditions are compelling startups to opt for robust cloud based productivity tools for emails, documents, calendar, and file sharing etc. and in fact, this has become indispensable for any startup that wants to grow faster.
There are tens of cloud based productivity solutions for startups, but most reliable and popular option that stand out in the crowd are Google Apps for Work and Microsoft Office 365. These two options have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and each is best-suited for specific types of businesses and users.
This article will discuss the point that can consider as decisive factors while choosing the right solution for your startup:
The Price Factor:
Since startups are on a tight budget, the price factor may come first. Both Google Apps for Work start at $5 per month and if you pay for a full year, it’s $50. On the other hand, Microsoft Office 365 starts at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. Pricing is an important determining factor, especially for startups, but features, security, user experience and platform stability are equally important. This is why cost becomes just one of the many concerns for startups with amplified vision.
The Storage Capacity:
Office 365 offers 1TB of cloud storage for each user, regardless of the plan, while Google’s offer for the entry-level plan is 30GB/user. Google offers unlimited storage for accounts with at least five users on its $10/month plan. This is where Microsoft has a big edge, because, as startups are at a very threshold of the business activity, but it has to be sped up sooner and to a greater extent, which will require more storage. So, if your startup has big plans sooner, go for Office 365.
The Simplicity & Ease of Use:
Google gets high marks for simplicity, especially in a case of email setup for your domain, as it’s truly cloud based and can be accessed from anywhere. On the other hand, Outlook is not truly remote and subjected to the availability of the particular device. You must know that Office 365 mail is not the same as Outlook.com and Gmail is the only cross platform cloud email where you can run instant searches, have massive archives and above all, you do not need to download an email client to use it.
But, this is not what makes Google Apps better than Office 365, because Office 365 comes with a list of legacy software, i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher and One Note etc., which are more sophisticated tools for documentation, record keeping, presentation etc. Unfortunately, the alternative tools available in Google Apps are not that classy. Moreover, the Office 365 Calendar is way better than Google Calendar and so do need Microsoft Office in one way or other.
And yes, the real time collaboration on Google is better, Google Drive is much easier to administer than One Drive and there can be a ten pages long document if we start discussing the comparison of features.
So, which one is best for a startup?
Ideally, a hybrid approach can create a win-win situation. Let’s say you are a startup with 5 or fewer employees, you can opt for Google Cloud, as it will allow you to set up your domain emails in highly professional manner (flawless business email matters most when it comes to growing your business in the right direction) and you can buy cheap Microsoft Office separately to make documentation and presentations in proper order.
It totally, depends on nature of your business, i.e. if real time collaboration is the backbone of your business, you must opt for Google Cloud, as it can be a perfect low-cost equivalent of Office 365. In case, if your business doesn’t require real time team collaboration and the goal is to cater more of enterprise customers with huge data storage, Office 365 is the right solution.