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Cloud Migration Guide: Migrating from Office 365 to G Suite

Cloud Migration Guide: Migrating from Office 365 to G Suite

There can be many reasons that organizations today who are invested in Google’s G Suite environment choose to migrate to Microsoft’s Office 365 SaaS environment.

A lot of ground has been covered in the cloud migration series. Migrating to the public cloud and between public clouds is certainly not a trivial matter. Proper planning and consideration for business-critical data and services along the way is essential to ensure a smooth transition between environments. In the last part of the series, the migration from Google’s G Suite environment to Microsoft Office 365 was covered. There can be many reasons that organizations today who are invested in Google’s G Suite environment choose to migrate to Microsoft’s Office 365 SaaS environment.

These reasons included the familiarity with Microsoft applications that most organizations have. Microsoft Office suite of applications has been a staple of the corporate enterprise environment for decades now. This familiarity with Office applications can drive businesses leaving other public cloud vendors, including Google’s G Suite for the Office 365 public cloud.

Additional reasons included Microsoft’s robust File and Email Storage platform, powerful offline file access capabilities, desktop application entitlement, and Microsoft’s seemingly superior threat and security protection. However, there are certainly reasons that organizations may look to leave Microsoft’s Office 365 public cloud for Google G Suite. What reasons may be behind the move from Office 365 to G Suite? What challenges may be encountered with the migration from Office 365 to G Suite?

Mobile, Simplicity, and Price/Features

There are many aspects that need to be considered for organizations looking to migrate from Office 365 to G Suite. What are some of the features and functionality considerations that may sway businesses who are currently in the Office 365 public cloud to move to Google’s G Suite environment? Well, one thing is for sure, either public cloud offers a wealth of features and capabilities that can empower organizations today with cutting-edge productivity tools. However, there are a number of strong suits that can fall in the favor of Google’s G Suite environment. We will take a closer look at the following benefits for organizations who may currently be housed in Office 365 who want to move to Google’s G Suite environment.

  • Strong Mobile integration and features
  • Streamlined apps
  • Unlimited File and Email Storage with G Suite Business plan
  • Supports Multiple Devices and Operating Systems
  • Strong Collaboration Tools and Integrations

Google’s G Suite environment provides a powerful platform for businesses todayp class=”mb40″>

Google’s G Suite environment provides a powerful platform for businesses today

Strong Mobile Integration and Features

While Microsoft certainly has very strong offerings with Office 365, including the full-blown applications that can be downloaded and installed, Google has built their entire G Suite application so that it is very light and mobile centric. While Microsoft has the Windows operating system and the Office suite of products that have been used in enterprise environments for decades now, Google has the Android operating system as well as cross platform technology that allows them to certainly have some advantages in the mobile space.

Google’s accounts and applications are built right into the Android OS loaded on Android phones which have a massive market share across the board. With the Google apps and suite of products built into the Android platform, users have seamless access to the Google G Suite ecosystem built right into their mobile platform. G Suite also feels equally at home on IOS devices as well.

Streamlined Applications

Microsoft’s Office 365 applications and fully installed Office applications may hold the advantage of sheer numbers of capabilities found in the applications themselves that power users may need or like to see. However, this can also be the “Achilles heel” for Microsoft and Office 365 as it certainly makes the applications much more complex and makes for a much steeper learning curve than with G Suite. G Suite applications have the look and feel of a streamlined application that lets you accomplish tasks very quickly and easily and in an intuitive way.

Especially if organizations are new to either platform without any experience with either, G Suite certainly has an advantage here when comparing the features, functionality and learning curve involved when comparing Office 365 and G Suite apps. Google has baked in all the most commonly used features for the majority of end users.

This has added benefits as well when thinking about IT departments and the amount of time spent supporting end users. With the more intuitive learning curve with G Suite web and mobile based applications, IT departments will generally spend less time with end user support in G Suite deployments.

When thinking about transitioning from the Office 365 platform over to G Suite, most end users will feel right at home with the G Suite based applications that will feel very familiar and intuitive coming from Office 365. G Suite applications can also open Microsoft file formats which is a powerful feature for organizations moving from Office 365 to G Suite and certainly will make the transition between the platforms much easier.

How do Microsoft Office 365 applications translate to G Suite applications?

Office 365 G Suite
Word Google Doc
Excel Google Sheets
PowerPoint Google Slides
Outlook Gmail
One Note Google Keep
SharePoint Google Sites
Skype Hangouts
Teams Google Keep

Lower Cost Unlimited File and Email Storage with G Suite Business Plans

In today’s data-driven world, storage is a key component and an integral part of maintaining and carrying out business-critical operations. In looking at and comparing public cloud provider offerings, organizations must consider the differences between storage platforms and the costs associated with the various plans. When comparing the Office 365 Business offerings with Google, when it comes to provided storage, Google certainly displays an advantage here with select G Suite plans offered.

While Microsoft holds an advantage on G Suite with the entry-level plans found in Office 365 with the 1 TB storage offerings that can be found even in the lowest plans, G Suite provides both unlimited storage for email and file storage in their Business offerings for lower prices than Microsoft. Even though Microsoft now has unlimited offerings in Office 365 E3 and E5 offerings, Google’s G Suite was the first to have unlimited offerings in the upper tier of their business plans. Additionally, both providers tie the unlimited storage to subscriptions with 5 users or more.

Unlimited storage is increasingly becoming a necessity for organizations today that are data-hungry. Even 1TB limits for accounts can quickly be used with the sheer amount of data being generated and kept on hand by today’s organizations and individual user accounts. Unlimited storage opens up a wide range of possibilities for business today and it allows today’s businesses to grow their infrastructure and systems without constantly running against potential storage limitations with associated plans. G Suite wins here with unlimited storage at a lower price when compared to Office 365 environments.

  • G Suite Business and Enterprise – $10 and $25 respectively per user
  • Office 365 E3 and E5 – $20 and $35 respectively per use

What about email? Size limitations with email are often overlooked when businesses are considering storage. File storage is often the highlighted feature that organizations look to when considering price vs feature. However, when you consider that email is generally the core communication platform in most enterprise environments today, ensuring you have enough storage associated with email is critical. Microsoft’s Office 365 environment only offers 100GB inboxes at the highest enterprise plans available. In comparison, again, the unlimited email storage provided by G Suite certainly dominates Microsoft’s offering in this space.

  • G Suite Business and Enterprise – Unlimited email storage $10 and $25 respectively per user
  • Office 365 E3 and E5 – Only 100GB email storage for $20 and $35 respectively per user

Organizations who may be currently bumping into storage limitations with their Office 365 plans, especially on the lines of email, will most likely find the unlimited plans found in the G Suite business plans very appealing. Additionally, there are certainly cost savings to be had for organizations who may be paying for the E3 or E5 Office 365 offerings for the unlimited storage aspect. G Suite offers unlimited storage for less per user than Office 365 so this could certainly add up to significant savings for organizations who migrate from Office 365 to Google’s G Suite environment.

Supports Multiple Devices and Operating Systems

Google has built their ecosystem of products on a web-based platform. This allows for many advantages across the board when thinking about interoperability across platforms. As mentioned earlier, Google of course has built into the Android platform all of the hooks you would imagine for Google apps, etc. However, the web-based platform approach for G Suite allows for ANY device, regardless of make, type, operating system, etc, to be able to use and interact with G Suite apps. Google’s web-based interaction with their applications is stronger than Microsoft’s Office 365 environment. This can be tied back to the fact that G Suite apps are more streamlined, simpler, and provide more basic functionality than Office 365. However, if you are looking to provide support across an absolute maximum number of devices in your organizations with a cloud suite of applications, G Suite comes out ahead in this area.

Strong Collaboration Tools and Integrations

One of the strong suits of Google’s G Suite offering is the powerful collaboration capabilities that are offered and the integrations within the G Suite of apps for collaboration. G Suite was built from the ground up as a cloud-only, web-based offering. This means that from the start, Google built G Suite with strong cloud collaboration capabilities in the G Suite portfolio of applications. G Suite has easy sharing and communication built into G Suite for easily collaboration between teams.

With Office 365, Microsoft has built their cloud platform from the DNA of Microsoft Office for desktop applications. Their collaboration capabilities, tools, and integrations with Office 365 feel more like a bolt-on approach than a native purpose-built feature. The collaboration tools within Office 365 are a bit harder to uncover and it takes more time to understand the collaboration workflow than it does in G Suite. The collaboration tools found in Office 365 are not quite as intuitive as they are in G Suite. Another stand out with Google G Suite is the voice calling with Hangouts seems to be better than Office 365 with Skype.

Organizations choosing to migrate from Office 365 over to G Suite environments will certainly find some really nice collaboration advantages in G Suite as opposed to Office 365. The purpose-built collaboration features in G Suite certainly stand out as teams need to collaborate between applications as well as use voice and video.

Challenges to Migrating from Office 365 to G Suite

As with any migration, there are certainly challenges that are presented. However, one of the major challenges to organizations migrating from Office 365 to G Suite may not be a technical challenge but rather an ideology. This huge challenge involves the reality of migrating away from Microsoft’s strongly entrenched ecosystem of business productivity applications. Microsoft Office suite of applications has been widely used in the enterprise environment for decades now. Often, entire ecosystems of business flows and ancillary applications are built around Microsoft Office. Selling the idea and overcoming the hurdles to ditching Microsoft Office in favor of another business productivity platform can certainly be a hard sell for organizations who have this strongly entrenched Microsoft bias with their application base.

However, there are certainly many nice advantages when considering what G Suite offers in terms of pricing, mobile integration, streamlined apps, file storage, platform support as well as collaboration tools. While getting past the Office suite of applications as a mindset for business productivity may be difficult, many organizations will certainly benefit from the G Suite ecosystem in comparison.

Technically speaking, there are challenges as well with migrating from Office 365 to G Suite, however with proper planning and implementation, these can be overcome effectively. Since G Suite applications are browser-based, there is no additional software that will need to be deployed for end users to use applications which is a huge advantage for IT departments during rollout.

Another challenge to migrations is during the coexistence phase of the process. Organizations can perform a staged migration to G Suite from Office 365 to minimize the impact on the business in the interim. G Suite can effectively coexist with Office 365 during the migration period. This can allow organizations to migrate specific services from Office 365 to G Suite such as email and then work the way through the required suite of applications to natively allow access to these on the G Suite platform.

When considering the migration of data, it is crucially important that organizations have a data protection solution in place during any migration of data from one platform to another. This includes public cloud environments. Spinbackup provides powerful protection for data housed in either Office 365 or G Suite environments. This includes:

  • Automated daily backups – 1x to 3x daily
  • Restore in Time Machine – versioned backups easily restored with one click
  • Deleted items recovery
  • Granular recovery or recovery en masse
  • Easily migrating data from one account to another

Aside from data loss protection, Spinbackup provides a robust API-based CASB solution that prevents attackers from compromising data as well as protects against data leakage and insider threats.

Concluding Thoughts

Businesses today are looking to migrate to the public cloud for business productivity. Both Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite environments allow access to powerful capabilities for businesses to increase productivity and collaboration. For businesses who may have already migrated to Office 365 from on-premises environments, there are enticing features and capabilities with G Suite that may offer advantages when compared to Office 365. Google’s G Suite is purpose-built with collaboration in mind. The native web-based nature of the G Suite platform allows effectively and efficiently working on any device or platform for accessing the G Suite set of applications.

G Suite apps are much leaner and provide streamlined access and performance when compared to Office 365. Additionally, the unlimited storage from both a file and email storage perspective is accessible to businesses for much cheaper than Office 365 subscriptions. All of these advantages may appeal to organizations to consider making the move from Office 365 to G Suite. There are challenges to be considered as well. These include making the move from the well-known and very familiar Office suite of applications. This can certainly be a major roadblock to making the switch.

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