Microsoft 365 and G Suite are a suite of productivity tools that allow you to perform common business tasks’in the cloud’.
Microsoft business email also provides a comprehensive range of desktop applications — apps that you install in your own computer rather than using in a web browser.
Both products enable you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and collaborate with group members whilst doing this; they also provide video conferencing functionality and cloud storage.
Prices — how do G Suite and Microsoft 365 compare?
For the purposes of the contrast, I’m taking a look at the programs priced in USD.
G Suite pricing
Choosing a G Bundle plan is fairly straightforward, because there are just 3 strategies available:
Fundamental: $6 per user per month
Business: $12 per user each month
Enterprise: $25 per user per month
On the’Fundamental’ plan, you get
Business email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Video and voice calls, with a limitation of up to 100 participants per call
Secure instant messaging via Google Chat (for people and/or teams)
Shared online calendars
30 GB of online storage for document syncing and syncing
Online documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys and shared notes
Google sites (a tool for constructing easy websites or intranets)
‘Currents’ — a sort of internal social media program (similar in some respects to the currently defunct Google+, but aimed at organizations).
24/7 telephone, email and chat service.
Safety and admin controls.
About the’Business’ program, in addition to the above you receive
Unlimited file storage (or 1 TB per user if your organisation has less than 5 customers )
A 150 participant limit for voice / video calls
Advanced search performance using Google’s new Cloud Search technology (this functionality makes it easier to find files within a organisation’s G Suite storage and additionally provides a Google Now-style encounter, where tips on what your staff need to do following are made)
Email archives / message-retention policies
the capacity to specify which area your G package info is stored in (Europe, USA etc.. )
eDiscovery covering mails, chats, docs and files
Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing
About the’Enterprise’ plan, you get all the characteristics of this’Basic’ and’Business’ plans plus
Priority support (1 hour target response time for critical issues)
A 250 participant limitation for video / voice calls
Advanced admin and safety controls / coverage
Data loss prevention for files and email (this helps stop the leaking of sensitive data)
Integration with third-party archiving tools
S/MIME to get Gmail (improved encryption for mails )
Added reporting on email use via analytics application BigQuery
Contrary to the free version of G Package, none of the above plans involve the display of advertising content while you work.
For most users, the most important difference between these plans will involve storage.
Using the G Suite’Basic’ program, users are restricted to 30GB of storage; but — so long as there are 5 or more G Suite users on your organisation — there are no limits on the’Business’ plan (if you have a’Business’ plan but have less than 5 customers onto it, file storage is restricted to 1TB per user).
It’s important to note that Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings — i.e. files created using Google’s collection of apps rather than third party applications — do not count on your G Suite file storage limit.
Power users and large organisations are likely to locate the e-Discovery features that the’Business’ and’Enterprise’ beneficial: these enables you to record all communications on your organisation based on rules that you specify.
This operation is useful if for legal reasons you want to keep an extensive communications history or dig up old mails sent to or from the group.
If you have powerful data loss prevention demands — i.e. you need to use G Suite to attempt to prevent your users moving sensitive information beyond your business via email or through transferring files — then you’ll need to go to your’Enterprise’ program.
Let’s take a peek at Microsoft 365 pricing today.
Microsoft 365 pricing
The pricing options for Microsoft business email are considerably more complicated, because there are house, company, enterprise, government, non-profit and schooling models available…and within that, a complete load of sub-versions.
There are two ways to have a look at this wide range of pricing options: on the other hand, there’s a great deal of flexibility, but on the other hand, it’s rather confusing trawling through all the plans to work out which one is best suited to your own needs.
For the purposes of this review, I’m going to concentrate on the Microsoft 365 programs that are geared towards small business and enterprise users. By contrast, the G Suite plans can be purchased on a per-month basis, which may suit some businesses — for instance, those with regular changes in the number of staff, or those with associates and contractors — a little better.
The’Microsoft 365′ programs plan, as its name implies, only supplies you with all the desktop apps — you won’t get cooperation features with this plan.
The Microsoft 365’Company’ plans all restrict the maximum number of consumers to 300; By comparison, you can have an infinite number of users on the Microsoft plans geared towards business users.
All plans give you with installable versions of the Microsoft Office product suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.) BUT that the F3 one only gives you access to the mobile versions. So if a key motivation behind choosing Microsoft business email would be to avail of this desktop programs AND the cloud attributes — a huge advantage of utilizing Microsoft 365 within G Suite — you’ll need to check out one of the other plans.
Not a lot of the 365 plans provide users with an email account — so in the event that you would like to use Microsoft 365 as your email provider, you’ll have to steer clear of their’Microsoft 365 Programs’ and also the’Pro Plus’ programs.
So that works out cheaper from the Microsoft 365 vs G Suite fight?
The most directly related G Suite and Microsoft business email plans, price-wise, are arguably:
the G Suite’Fundamental’ ($6 per user per month) and Microsoft 365’Business Fundamental’ ($5 per user per month) plans
the G Package’Business’ ($12 per user per month) and Microsoft 365’F3′ ($10 per user per month) plans.
In essence there is a small saving to be made at the end of the pricing rings by choosing for Microsoft’s’Business Fundamental’ within the G Suite’Basic’ plan.
Similarly, in the’business’ level, the’ 365’F3′ plan comes in somewhat cheaper than Google’s’Business’ program.
What you’ll have to factor in here, however, is the fact that ALL Microsoft plans require an upfront, 1 year annual dedication. This usually means a larger investment, that will not suit all companies, especially startups relying on a’bootstrapping’ strategy to grow.
And the headline prices don’t really tell the entire story, since there are a great deal of variables and possible tradeoffs at play here.
Although the above mentioned plans are broadly similar, there are still large differences in important areas such as email storage, document storage and archiving to consider; so making up an answer to the’which is cheaper, G Suite versus Microsoft 365′ question is most likely best answered by taking a broader look at the characteristics of each item and seeing how they fulfil your business needs.
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Microsoft 365 vs G Suite: the attributes
If we are speaking entry-level plans, then Microsoft business email is a clear winner here: you get 1TB of storage using the’Business Essentials’ plan compared to Google’s rather paltry 30GB on its own’Fundamental’ program (to add insult to injury, Google also counts mails as taking up space within this 30GB limitation ).
But if you move up a notch to the G Suite’Business’ program, you might find that the Google programs are a lot greater value for money on front.
Using the G Suite Business program, you get unlimited storage, which is extremely helpful to any business that has a need to store a large amount of files from your cloud. Although Microsoft 365’s 1TB limitation (which applies to the majority of its programs ) sounds generous, so you would be surprised just how fast you can burn through 1TB of storage if you’re uploading large picture, video or audio files to the cloud.
Having said that, if you are just referring to working with standard documents and spreadsheets, a 1 TB limit per user should be perfectly adequate for many small to medium sized companies.
Finally however, if using unlimited cloud storage is the primary concern, then it is definitely a triumph for G Suite: whereas you can avail of it for just $12 per user per month using Google, you are taking a look at an equivalent cost of $32 or $57 per user each month using Microsoft, on its own E3 and E5 plans respectively.
Google Drive lets you access your files anywhere and on any device.
Google Drive enables you to access your documents anywhere and on any device.
One important thing to notice is that both 365 and G Suite only supply you with unlimited file storage if you buy 5+ user accounts. Otherwise you are restricted to 1TB per user. This is a bit of a shame really, as it leaves these storage comes with a bit less appealing to’solopreneurs’, or small companies with less than 5 workers.
Both Microsoft 365 and G Suite give you the option to purchase more storage on a per user basis. As far as I can tell, costs for this are not recorded publicly by Microsoft — you need to contact them to discuss storage upgrades. (This indicates to me that costs are negotiable based on the quantities of users involved).
With G Suite, you’ll generally just need to worry about storage limits if you are utilizing its’Basic’ plan or are on a’Business’ program and, as mentioned above, have less then 5 customers on your organisation.
If you’re on a G Suite’Fundamental’ plan, there are several tiers of further data storage purchase options which begin at 4GB ($4 extra per user per month) and move up to 16TB per user ($1,430 per user per month!) .
As the table below shows, depending on how much storage you will need for particular users, you might find it works out cheaper to just update all of your G Suites users into the’Business’ plan than purchasing a few users extra storage.
Similarly, if you are searching for a G Suite’Business’ program with less than 5 customers and are hitting your storage limit, you might find it cheaper to purchase a couple of new accounts than buying additional storage.