SharePoint Vs. Google Suite for business, which one wins?

23 July 2019

Microsoft has dominated the workplace environments for a long time simply because of the high adoption of Microsoft productivity apps for businesses. 

But recently, the wind has shifted in the favor of Google Suite for Business, which offers similar features for a much cheaper price. It is becoming quite popular among startups who wish to do more in less. 

So, as a company looking to meet their data storage, office collaboration and documentation needs cost-effectively, which is the right option? It’s a subjective question as everyone has their own set of requirements. Hence, we’ll compare the two platforms piece by piece to see which one will suit you the best. 

Pricing

 

  • SharePoint

 

Let’s look at the standard tier first

SharePoint 1 – $5 per user per month

This plan offers various SharePoint features with 1 TB OneDrive Storage for every user. It does not include licenses for Office applications such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. 

If you already have licenses for Office applications, then this plan isn’t so costly. For a business size of 20-50 people, your monthly bill would skirt around $100-250. 

SharePoint 2 – $10 per user per month

This plan is just an upgrade from the previous ones with OneDrive capacity tweaked to Unlimited per user and certain data validation features. Enterprises that produce a lot of data may benefit from such use cases. Otherwise, you get the pretty much the same thing in this plan. 

Office Enterprise E3 – $20 per user per month

This is the full blown plan that offers everything from Office apps to additional services like MS Exchange, Yammer and Skype for Business. All of it is accompanied by business email and secure cloud hosting for your critical business data. 

Such a plan is although lucrative for users but ends up being costly as for just 50 users, you’re looking at a price of $1k per month which may exceed the amount you’d pay to your cloud services provider. 

The Small Business Tier 

The small business tier offers discounted plans for a commitment period of one year. The prices have been reduced to $8.25 per user per month containing access to Office Apps and $12.50 per user per month containing access to resources offered in the $20 plan.

Overall, this plan is better paced for the average user but still costs a significant amount as compared to other productivity suite providers. You can always consult a SharePoint development company for more information on pricing and which plan to choose. 

 

  • G Suite 

 

G Suite is offered in three tiers. 

Basic Tier – $6 per user per month

The basic tier offers 30 GB of Google drive storage and Google Docs for creating Word documents. Every user also gets Video Conferencing via Hangouts and business email through Gmail. 

Further, you can also share calendars with teams and make sure that everyone stays in touch with the latest developments. If your business needs are limited to creating and sharing documents on the fly, this is the best plan for you. 

Business Tier – $12 per user per month 

The business tier covers everything in the basic tier with the lucrative prospect of all the office apps one requires. You get Google Spreasheets, Docs and Slides for carrying all kinds of office related tasks. 

Apart from that, you get introductory archival of communication that takes place inside your office. Using the Google cloud, you can save chat histories, email conversations, and files, so that your documents are unaffected due to employee turnover. 

Enterprise Tier – $25 per user per month  

This is a grand plan that specifically targets the enterprise use case scenario. You get advanced functionalities of integrating Gmail with BigQuery and tons of data additions for Gmail. 

You can also control access over documents and specific GSuite resources using Cloud Identity Premium, which is a powerful tool when you have more than a hundred users in your office. 

Document Handling and Collaboration

 

SharePoint 

 

Storing documents is one thing but when it comes to sifting and sorting through them, whole new set of dynamics come into play. 

Thankfully, SharePoint comes with a refined system for document control. You can collaborate on a single document with multiple users accessing the same document in real time. 

Further, you can also effectively track the versions that a document has gone through. There’s a system that tracks the complete history of changes made to a document, allowing easy interpretation. 

Finding your key documents is also easy as SharePoint offers advanced search capabilities for all the documents. Documents can be protected using member access restrictions and can be shared easily via email. 

All of these points make life easier for employees who have to go back-and-forth on reports and charts with their managers. 

 

  • G Suite 

 

G Suite automatically saves all the documents in Google Drive as everything runs by default in the cloud. Therefore accessing documents is a breeze if you’re a regular G Suite user. You can always use it offline but can’t save documents on local PCs. 

For sharing documents, you just have to add the email address of the user whom you wish to share the document with. It automatically appears in their Google drive section. 

Multiple users can edit and collaborate on the same document in real time with version control built into all Google Office apps. 

You can also create a SharePoint-like interface for quicker access to files using Google Sites. 

Customization 

 

  • SharePoint

 

In a number of scenarios, workplaces require more than just document sharing. They need a full-fledged employee portal or a social media platform for their office. SharePoint is built to suit such needs. 

It works like a platform for building custom solutions for your office. You can integrate it with ready-made applications to meet certain needs or you can formulate a totally new use case for yourself. 

Developing a custom solution on top of SharePoint requires coding knowledge but it’s much simpler than creating the same thing from scratch. The possibilities are endless. 

A few common use cases of SharePoint are;

  • Employee Helpdesk Portal 
  • Project Collaboration Tool
  • Knowledge Base for your Project
  • Employee Directory Tool
  • Discussion Platform
  • Inventory Tracking System
  • Personal Web Profile for Employee
  • Surveys
  • Business Intelligence

As you can see that these use cases are pretty nifty. SharePoint, hence, gives you a lot of freedom to experiment. The important point to remember here is that you’d need SharePoint developers or a SharePoint development company to enable such a functionality. 

  • G Suite 

G Suite offers customization only in Business and Enterprise packages. 

G Suite offers a low-code App development platform called App Maker. It can be used as a business automation tool that bridges missing links in data flow for your business process. 

App maker supports all Google Apps and you can build custom workflows for easing how work is done in your office. It’s a simple builder but still requires some degree of programming knowledge to make fruitful business apps. 

It’s much simpler than SharePoint but doesn’t offer complete interfaces or fully customized use cases such as an IT helpdesk. SharePoint has the edge in that regard. 

Setup and Installation 

 

  • SharePoint

 

Unfortunately setting up SharePoint is far from a cake walk. As it’s a standalone server application, it needs intricate steps for setting up and using. 

It’s safe to say that in most cases, you will need the help of a developer to do it. You can find a SharePoint development company that offers consultation and support for this purpose. The point in making is that you won’t be able to suffice without a SharePoint developer in case you’re looking to use SharePoint in your office. 

Further, all kinds of complex use cases such as an IT helpdesk or a project management portal using SharePoint will require more developer effort and time. Which makes SharePoint tricky to handle in case you’re not the expert. 

 

  • G Suite 

 

G suite doesn’t require installation as it’s hosted on the Google Cloud Platform. You may need to tweak administrative settings for assigning proper access roles to users in your organization but that doesn’t require coding knowledge. 

Keeping your data on Google’s cloud servers is a prospect that not many organizations would fancy. Although Google offers high-quality storage and backup options, some companies are happy hosting their own solutions on their own intranet. 

Ecosystem

 

  • SharePoint 

 

SharePoint is one of the MS products which means your go to MS apps such as MS Word, MS Powerpoint etc can be directly synced with SharePoint without complex setup. 

You can use other MS products such as MS Azure with SharePoint, and get to enjoy a number of built-in easy integrations. This would be a breath of fresh air for your IT engineers who would be setting up SharePoint for you unless you’re outsourcing it to a SharePoint development company.

SharePoint has a very high penetration into the Office Intranet market. Nearly 80% of the Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint for their intranet requirements. The primary reason for the same being MS Office is the standard document creation and management tool in the industry. SharePoint’s native integration is hence, very lucrative. 

 

  • G Suite 

 

G Suite works with the cloud ecosystem set up by Google wherein you can use G Suite products with other Google services. If your other applications or data resources are on Google Cloud Platform, it would be easier to get around with G Suite. 

All of Google’s cloud apps can work with all of Microsoft’s productivity apps such as PowerPoint, Word, and Excel, therefore even if you’re a legacy user of Microsoft, you won’t face much problem with G Suite. 

Other applications such as native storage or Microsoft BI software may not be as compatible with G Suite as SharePoint is. Therefore, choosing the ecosystem is a decision that must be taken in advance to choosing which option to go for. 

Conclusion

After having compared the five main aspects of every organization’s requirements viewpoint, we have the following results. The aspects are rated on a scale of 1 to 3. The higher the number, the better the service aspect of the given competitor. 

 

Pricing Document Handling Customization Ecosystem Setup
SharePoint ✔✔ ✔✔✔ ✔✔✔ ✔✔✔
G Suite ✔✔✔ ✔✔✔ ✔✔ ✔✔✔

 

In an overview, it can be said that SharePoint is more suited towards the clients who wish to work in a hybrid sort of environment and need offline access to data at all times. These would be big companies with employee number well within hundreds. They have their own servers and the capacity to deploy SharePoint in their large intranet ecosystem. 

G Suite, on the other hand, is more favorable for startups and small offices who don’t require complex workflows and are happy with simple document sharing. G Suite is fully cloud-based and can be easily implemented in places with or without intranets. On a price comparison, it’s an economical option, making it the favorite for small businesses.