Cost breakdown toolkit: Google Apps vs. Office 365

Cost breakdown toolkit: Google Apps vs. Office 365

Summary: The biggest names in online productivity suites are Google Apps and Office 365. Determine the costs of each using a comparison toolkit.

TOPICS: Google Apps

The biggest names in online productivity suites are Google Apps and Office 365. But it can be a minefield to figure out the array of functions and the costs of each for a handful of users versus a corporation with 500-plus users.

Narrowing down the costs of each suite based on the number of users is easy with the Google Apps vs. Office 365: A side-by-side cost analysis.

Topics discussed include hosted email, mobile email from an array of devices, ability to host a public website, ability to use a company's own domain name and email addresses, ability to manage user accounts, calendar sharing, encrypted connectivity for security, 24/7 phone support, and a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee.


The cost analysis includes a toolkit in the download to allow for quick comparisons of Google Apps for Business, Google Apps Vault, Office 365 Small Business, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Enterprise E3, and Office 365 Enterprise E4.

Read more about the two productivity suites and options in the cloud with ZDNet's recent article on Office in the cloud and previous TechRepublic articles summarizing the features of both options.

Download the full cost comparison toolkit here: Google Apps vs. Office 365: A side-by-side cost analysis. This toolkit is available for free to all TechRepublic Pro subscribers.

TechRepublic Pro, ZDNet, and TechRepublic's premium service provides information that IT leaders need to solve today's toughest IT problems and make informed decisions.

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Topic: Google Apps

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  • Enterprise doesn't trust google

    Google apps are half-ass solutions, virtually useless for medium and big business. Office 365 is suited from a one man business to the biggest enterprise...

    Renaming some consumer apps to business apps is simply not enough.
    • Meh!

      "First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure."
      -Mark Twain

      We don’t give a HOOT!, Owl.
    • Have to agree

      All Google apps and services have one purpose. Accumulate more information on their users. Google makes their money from advertising, not from selling apps and services, and certainly not from respecting user privacy.
      • exactly

        not sure when these people understand that. google apps are not worthy paying
  • you can have lot of fun in 49$

    and when we talk about enterprise solutions we are talking about Microsoft. anything from *poodle* is maybe for those who wish to learn from their own mistakes
  • Advert

    Advert for TechRepublic and their toolkit.
  • Flawed Analysis

    Unfortunately, the March 2013 document by Scott Matteson is not without significant errors.

    In the feature comparison chart, he indicates that Google limits the number of Sites, which is not the case. Also, IM is provided by Google Talk, not Gmail, and Google Drive supports all desktop productivity tools as a file service.

    Additionally, Google Talk provides IM to phone capability via SMS and Google Apps + Vault includes eDiscovery services.

    With respect to the cost chart and graphs, several of the cost options for Office 365 are invalid, as you are providing costs for 100 and 500 users on licenses that restrict companies to 25 users.

    Also, the report fails to mention that if you pick a license with a user count limit, you cannot upgrade to another license -- you will need to start over and migrate.

    • My responses

      Hello, Allen - I am the author of the Google Apps vs. Office 365 analysis. Thanks for reading the article. I'd like to respond to your points.

      1) Google Site limitations

      While gathering the details on Google Site limitations I found the data discussed here:!topic/sites/8CjmPgATtBk

      (these were just three examples of the sources I checked)

      I just accessed the Google Sites page and there is no reference to a per-weekly site limit now, however, so your comment appears to be correct:

      Given this I would agree the "y-5/wk" Google Site limitations specified in the spreadsheet should read "y as of 4/13" and I've requested this update in the file. I will concede this point; there was a weekly limit when I did my research, and things change quickly, especially with Google.

      2) Gmail IM capability

      Gmail provides built-in IM using Talk through an icon in the lower left of the Gmail window which brings up chat capabilities including IM. I think this is a case of tomato/tohmahto.

      3) "Desktop productivity tools" doesn't apply to Google Drive because the term refers to the Office suite and its possible Google alternative. This is something of a non sequitur. There is no "productivity tool" set for Google Apps that you can install on the desktop to allow users to create docs, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. since that is done entirely within the browser. What Google offers is basically a series of shortcuts which launch in the Chrome browser:

      4) Google Talk IM to phone capability

      Google Talk only lets you make audio calls to other Google talk users via computers/devices (via a PC-to-PC audio chat, essentially, which is not a phone call per se). You cannot use Google talk to place audio calls to a land line or cell phone. The context of "IM to phone" in my article refers to the PBX integration available through Office 365 E4.

      5) Google Apps + Vault eDiscovery options

      Not sure where this one came from; it is already stated in the side-by-side cost analysis that Google Apps Vault does include eDiscovery options.

      6) Invalid cost options for Office 365

      The only Office 365 plans which restrict users are Office 365 Small Business /Office 365 Small Business Premium (25 users each) and Office 365 Midsize Business (300 users). This can be verified here:

      Our cost spreadsheet does indeed reflect the maximum user limitations (where applicable) and notifies you if you enter a count higher than the plan can support. For instance, if you enter 305 users in to calculate the costs, red fields appear under the appropriate plans telling you that you've exceeded the maximum user limit.

      7) In terms of changing Office 365 plans, Microsoft states this (

      "You can transition your account within plan families, for example, from Office 365 Small Business to Office 365 Small Business Premium, or from Office 365 Enterprise E1 to Office 365 Enterprise E3 or E4. You cannot transition between Office 365 plan families, that is, from an Office 365 Small Business plan to Office 365 Midsize Business or an Office 365 Enterprise plan, or vice versa. In order to change from a plan in one family to another (for example, from a Small Business plan to the Midsize Business plan, or from the Midsize Business plan to an Enterprise plan), you must first cancel your account with the plan you currently have, and then sign up for a different one."

      Whether this actually involves "migrating" and what migrating entails is ambiguous. The Microsoft rep I spoke to made no mention of this; do you have a source involved?

      Thanks again for your time.
      Scott Matteson
      • GTalk calls to land lines

        Scott, need to correct you on this. You most certainly can make land line calls from Google Talk. In fact, domestic calls within the US and Canada are free of charge.
        • Thanks MC

          You are correct; the Chat plugin adds this functionality and I just tested it out successfully. I will request that this be updated accordingly in the comparison spreadsheet to detail this fact. Thanks for the clarification!
  • Cost breakdown toolkit: Google Apps vs. Office 365

    Office 365 all the way. You know that your documents will be compatible and won't have to spend countless hours doctoring them up to work on a competitor.
  • Microsoft just can't do anything right anymore

    A good example is how their malmare-detection engine they use in Security Essentials and their System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection for corporations is now degraded to complete rubbish. AV Comparatives has it ranked dead last and AV-Test no longer certifies it. You'd think if anyone would how best to protect Windows, it would be Microsoft, but even mediocrity is now too much for them to aspire to. Yeah, trusting your email lifeline to Microsoft without IT guys giving up their social lives herding Exchange Servers would be such a wise and well-thought-out idea these days.
  • Cost breakdown toolkit: Google Apps vs. Office 365 vs. New Ones

    Now since the talk is about these two, lemme say that though these two are fighting it out, there are many other web apps which are doing fantastic. Like Zoho docs, CollateBox .. Do have a look at these, de are apt tools..
  • Comparison between Google Apps and Office 365

    Please check out this comparison:
    Google Apps Reseller