September 26, 2023
As a business owner, we know that staying secure and competitive requires more than just cutting-edge products or services. It’s also essential to have a reliable and efficient digital workspace that allows your team to collaborate, communicate, and work seamlessly from anywhere, especially in today’s age of remote and hybrid workers. That’s where tools like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace come in. These online tools are valuable to businesses that value integration, communication, and usability. However, we also know that switching the tools your business uses can be quite the cause for concern, but don’t worry! The team at Monmouth cyber is here to help make the transition as easy and secure as possible for your business.
What exactly is Google Workspace?
Google workspace, formerly known as G Suite and Google Apps, is Google’s collection of apps and features for business owners and workers. You may already be familiar with some of Google’s free apps such as Docs or Gmail, so why make the switch to paying for Google Workspace? Workspace incorporates a lot more than just documentation software in this office productivity suite package, making it easier to secure documents and data, collaborate efficiently, and stay on top of your daily tasks whether you’re at the office or not.
Google Workspace incorporates a variety of Google apps and features for managing your day to day business operations and more. Let’s take a look at some of the best features of Workspace:
- Gmail: Allows you to create professional and personalized emails to businesses and clients alike. Gmail allows you to add as many users as you need, and with integrated tools such as email scheduling, Google Translate, ‘Nudge’ alerts, Smart Compose (utilizes Google AI to draft emails for you), and more, Gmail is arguably one of the best features of Workspace.
- Docs, Slides, and Sheets: These document creation apps allow you to work right from your browser to create letters, documents, presentations, spreadsheets and more. Accompanied by features such as auto-save (not a component of Microsoft products unless you manually enable it), built-in chat, document sharing, comments, multi-user editing, and more, these document creation/editing apps allow you to seamlessly create and share your projects with others, no matter where they are.
- Drive: Google drive is your one-stop-shop for storing all your documents and files in a cloud-based storage drive. Documents and files can be stored and accessed from anywhere thanks to the service’s cloud-based platform. Sharing and finding documents has never been easier as well, thanks to advanced search functionality of Drive. However, we think one of the best features of using Drive is the accessibility and usability, not to mention the fact that it comes with unlimited storage (Google Workspace Business package only; lower plans come with 30GB of storage – still double what you get using the free version of Drive).
- Calendar: Schedule meetings and appointments with ease using Google Calendar. Directly linked with Gmail, Calendar gives you the ability to set up email reminders for events, create multiple calendars, and invite/share your calendars with others.
- Meet and Hangouts: Stay in touch with colleagues or clients using Google’s alternatives to Zoom. Both conferencing apps are fully integrated with Workspace, meaning that anyone with a link can join high-quality virtual meetings and calls, whether they are one-on-one or with a group. Google Meet can host up to 250 participants per meeting and supports up to 100,000 viewers for a live-streaming event.
Why Use It?
Now that you’re familiar with some of Workspace’s apps and features, you may be wondering, “Well that’s great, but how can this apply to my business?” Not-to-fret, we’ve got that covered. Let’s now take a look at why Workspace could be a good fit for your business.
- Effortless Collaboration: Google Workspace is known for its real-time collaboration capabilities. Effortlessly share, edit, and create documents, files and more with others using Google’s wide array of sharing/collaboration tools crafted specifically to simplify the communication between coworkers and clients. Join meetings, collaborate on projects, share schedules, and much more, all using Google’s seamless integration of products.
- Accessibility and Flexibility: Workspace gives you the ability to work from anywhere and still remain connected to your team or clients thanks to the cloud-based platform Workspace runs off of. Google Workspace apps are compatible in any browser, and can also be accessed in app-form on any mobile device. Even if you don’t have access to the internet, you still have the ability to work on projects and documents thanks to Google’s offline capability that ensures you are always working on the latest version of the document.
- Security First: Google takes security seriously. Google Workspace features advanced security options, including two-factor authentication (2FA), data loss prevention (DLP), AI monitored log-ins to alert you of any suspicious activity or unknown log-ins, and email encryption.
- Streamlined Communication: Google Workspace includes Gmail, which is praised for its intuitive interface and powerful search capabilities. With integrated chat and video conferencing through Google Meet and Hangouts, communication within and outside your business is effortless no matter where you are.
- Cloud Storage: Google Drive offers ample cloud storage space, reducing the need for on-premises servers and facilitating secure document sharing. Storing files, documents, and more in the cloud allows you to access this information from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. No need to worry about carrying around a flash drive to access your data; it is always available no matter where you are or what device you are on.
**Want to know if your business is ready for Google Workspace? Check out this checklist from Google to make sure you and your business are prepared to make the switch.
What is Microsoft 365?
Formerly known as Office 365, Microsoft 365 (also known as M365) is another business-oriented suite of tools and features that give you the ability to boost productivity and streamline your daily tasks and processes so everyone on your team is on the same page. Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based subscription service, meaning that instead of users purchasing individual Microsoft softwares, they are granted internet-based access to the entire Microsoft software suite through a subscription, including Office (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more), Exchange Online, SharePoint® Online, and Teams. What makes purchasing a Microsoft 365 subscription different that just buying the software is the myriad of extra features and tools you get access to, including the premium versions of classic Office softwares like Word, PowerPoint, or Excel, available only through a M365 subscription. It also offers access to more programs and tools than a regular Office purchase such as OneDrive (Microsoft’s cloud-storage), Microsoft Editor (edit writing), Word’s Resume Assistant (focused help on your resume), PowerPoint Presenter Coach (presentation help), and Microsoft Money (financial planning tool in Excel). Microsoft 365 offers a lot more than a typical Office purchasing, and with streamlined compatibility and communication, keeping your team on track is a whole lot easier.
Most of you may already be familiar with Microsoft’s collection of business and productivity-oriented programs, but if not, here’s a short overview of some of their most popular programs, all included in a Microsoft 365 subscription:
- Excel: Allows you to create spreadsheets, charts, tables, and much more.
- Exchange: Stores your mailboxes in the cloud, so you have access to your email from anywhere.
- OneDrive: All Microsoft 365 users get their own 1TB of storage through OneDrive for Business, a cloud storage app that allows you to access and share files with your clients or coworkers from any device with an internet connection.
- Outlook: Microsoft’s email platform that gives you and your team the ability to send and receive emails from anywhere.
- PowerPoint: A slideshow design and presentation program that gives you access to many tools and templates to make the most compelling presentations.
- Teams: A Zoom-like video-conferencing tool that enables file sharing, syncing with other Office apps such as OneDrive or OneNote, and allows you to create meetings right from your calendar.
- Word: A word-processing software that allows you to create new documents from scratch or use one of Microsoft’s many templates. You can create flyers, letters, brochures, resumes, menus, reports, business cards, and much more, utilizing tools such as tracking changes made from you or collaborators, built-in spell check and grammar editor, add tables or charts, and a language translator.
Why Use It?
Now you know (just the basics) of the tools, apps, and features available through a Microsoft 365 subscription, and you may be asking how this suite can benefit you and your business specifically. Well, then just stay-tuned as we go over some of the best benefits of purchasing a Microsoft 365 subscription. Once again, these are benefits you won’t see with just a regular basic office purchase.
- Communication and Collaboration: One of the biggest advantages of using Microsoft 365 for businesses is increased collaboration and communication between teams and even clients. With this Office suite, users can share, edit, and collaborate on an assortment of documents, spreadsheets, powerpoints, and more with anyone in your organization. You can also chat with coworkers and clients in real-time video calls, get in contact via email through Microsoft’s Outlook email suite, and schedule or attend virtual meetings and conference calls to connect with other members of your team, no matter where they are. Plus, because M365 is a cloud-based software, you can work with multiple people in multiple locations to collaborate, share documents or edits in real-time, and stay connected with your team.
- Top-of-the-line Security: As a cybersecurity company, we never take shortcuts when it comes to protecting your data, and neither does Microsoft. The M365 suite comes standard with two-factor authentication (MFA), spam filters for Outlook, and malware protection. Also built into this offering is an advanced threat-analysis software that consistently scans your computer and any documents you’re working on for malicious links and threats such as hidden malware, as well as offering personal information protection, advanced message encryption, and the ability to deny access to users accounts if they become hacked or if the user is suspected of performing malicious activities on their account.
- Seamless Integration: All products in the M365 lineup are designed to work together, meaning you don’t have to worry about importing data from one service to another or having to convert a file to 5 different formats just to upload it to another editing software. This integration gives you the ability to share your work with others, get connected, and seamlessly jump from one project to the next without any unnecessary steps.
- Anywhere Access: Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based service, giving you and your employees access to your data and M365’s tools and software at any time. No need for downloading apps or carrying a flashdrive to access information; it’s all available online from anywhere in the world as long as you’re connected to the internet. M365 is designed to work with hybrid and remote work environments, giving you a peace of mind that your workers can remain productive and connected no matter where they’re working from.
- Automatic Updates: Since Microsoft 365 is cloud-based, you will never miss another update thanks to Microsoft’s automatic update feature available for its subscribers. You’ll have access to the latest and greatest form of Microsoft’s Office suite offerings, as well as any software updates or security patches that roll-out. You will never use an out-of-date version of any of Microsoft’s tools and platforms, ensuring that you and your business can focus on the tasks at hand, rather than worrying about running updates and the issues that can accompany that process.
What’s the Difference?
You know the basics, now it’s time for the big decision: should your business go with Google Workspace or Microsoft 365? Good news is, the choice is entirely up to you! If your business already utilizes programs like Word or Outlook and are more comfortable using Microsoft products, then feel free to choose Microsoft 365. If your business is more favorable of Google programs like Docs or Gmail or wants a more simplified office suite, then your best bet would be to pick Google Workspace. If your business uses one of these platforms or has no preference, don’t panic! There are many factors that can play into your choice, including company size and industry, as well as assessing the individual needs, preferences, and existing technology infrastructure of your business in order to make the best choice.
Need help making a choice? Our team of professional technicians here at Monmouth Cyber are here to assist you! Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians to learn more about both of these great office suite packages, get help in choosing the best plan for your business at different price points, gain insight into what the process for integrating one of these platforms entails, and for tailored advice on what the best solution is for your business. Once you’re ready to make the next step and start integrating one of these platforms into your business, give us a call to schedule an appointment! Our field technicians will be able to assist you in the migration and onboarding process, and will be there to answer any questions and to ensure a smooth transition.
Of course, we can’t cover every single feature, tip, and trick to using these two services, so be sure to check out the additional resources below for more information and give us a call to speak to one of our IT professionals to learn more about these services, how to choose the best one for your needs, how to choose the best plan for your business based on needs and cost, and how they can best serve you and your business!