Note From Larissa For Donna… Every business owner has an extremely important question to ask themselves as they design their virtual business. Google, Apple, or Microsoft? Thankfully, the industries that require Apple products are in the media and content creation space. For everyone else, there are realistically two choices. Google, or Microsoft?
For context, I have been using Google Suite’s product line for nearly a decade, and I have spoken with Donna who opted to use Microsoft’s line for her business. This is a good basis for comparison, but as a small business owner, you’re probably not looking for a simple comparison of features. Looking at the big picture, I can safely say that the difference between G-Suite and Microsoft-Suite is a question of security vs. convenience. As business owners and tech savvy people, we should look at these questions before investing our time into learning the offered products. However, I will be going over a few features between the two products to help with the decision making process.
I would compare Google Suite to the Death Star, it’s a large powerful tool that has a flaw baked into its structure. Simply put, Google doesn’t prompt its users to validate their identities enough. In fact, because the suite works better on the company’s browser, anyone with access to a team member’s desktop has access to nearly everything. While some of us are rightfully concerned already we should remember that Google’s priority is convenience and accessibility. The company is generous with the storage it offers, boasts simple and powerful collaboration tools, and the entirety of the G-Suite pairs with a host of other devices. As the owner of a Google Pixel, I can safely say that having access to everything without needing to download documents through my network is a god-send. All of this combines into a free suite of products that are convenient, easy to use, and require nearly zero training. If we take our Profit First tenets into consideration, we would see that using anything but G-Suite could be seen as not taking our profit first.
On the other hand, Microsoft is no slouch either. For industries with highly private information like financials, Microsoft could be a better service. If Google Suite is the Death Star, then Microsoft Suite is a Mission Impossible style vault. Microsoft automatically logs users out if the system has security concerns, and requires 2 factor authentication to reenter the site. Not only that, but Microsoft has an audit log for nearly every file hosted inside its platform. All of which is tied to the Windows operating system. Additionally, Outlook and Onedrive, the services’ email and storage solutions both require additional login tokens. Using Microsoft suite, I know that I could only be more secure if I encrypted every file on my system to a physical disk. However, that level of security directly translates to a loss in ease of use. It was complicated to set up my account with Donna, and even now I am struggling with getting locked out of the system. Not only that, but Microsoft isn’t free. In fact, if you do go with Microsoft, you are almost guaranteed to run into licensing issues and you could rack up a large monthly bill fairly quickly.
Finally, we need to go over the features of both products. Of course, any document creation, spreadsheet, email, and presentation creation features are baked into both products. However, the products vary on an individual level between both products. For example, Microsoft’s spreadsheet solution Excel has features to pull information from different files saved locally. Each product will have features that aren’t present in its counterpart. However, all basic functionality is present for the majority of both product lines. The real differences between G-Suite and Microsoft-Suite are video creation, and communicating with our team. If you are working with video, and need to upload those videos to YouTube consistently then G-Suite is your best option. This goes for any industry that works with media across the web, especially if your company uses Google Chrome as its primary browser. However, after purchasing Skype, Microsoft has created a masterful application with Microsoft Teams. The Teams app is perfect for internal communication and video calling. Those two options are really the big difference between the two product lines offered applications.
It’s difficult deciding on which applications to default to when we aren’t necessarily trained in all things IT. Between purposefully confusing marketing, and jargon that most people would need a dictionary to decipher, we can’t be faulted when making this fundamental decision becomes stressful. Hopefully if we simplify the decision into a more large picture discussion, we will be more capable of knowing which application suite suits us better. When we delve deeply into this topic it suddenly makes sense why so many industries switched to Apple if only to safeguard themselves from choice paralysis. Remember, it’s fairly easy to switch between the two with a proper implementation strategy, and there is no wrong choice. Every application will have its flaws and exploits baked into the coding that will cause both security risks and remove the ease of use. The goal then is to be consistent in our own businesses and ensure a healthy compatibility between applications.