Best Office Productivity Suite
If you spend time writing emails and creating documents or spreadsheets, then you are most likely already using some kind of office productivity suite. And, unless you are a tech-savvy geek, chances are good that you are using one of the two most popular services from Google or Microsoft to get the job done. These two suites are similar in many ways, but there are some important differences to think about if you are at the point that you need to choose one or the other for your business.
It’s important to note that there are other options out there, including one we really like, but we’ll get to that later. Let’s talk about Google and Microsoft first. There’s way too much to talk about to get it all into one blog, so we’ll just skim the surface.
It’s hard to imagine a better office productivity suite to start with for most users than Google. Email and Calendar? Check. Spreadsheets and Presentations? Check. Documents? Web Conferences? Check and Check. If you are just starting out, you may be able to get away with a personal account for a while, but eventually you will need to consider the upgrade to G-suite, which comes with most of the tools a typical small business will need.
One of the key strong points of G suite is the ease with which people can collaborate in real-time with any document. Since the system was built from the ground up as a cloud-based service, your team can quickly and easily review a spreadsheet or a presentation together, no matter where they happen to be on the planet.
One of the key potential downsides to G Suite is the difficulties that can arise when you are trying to work offline, but this seems to be less and less of an issue every year as it gets more difficult to disconnect from the web.
Microsoft Office 365
For many people, Microsoft Office is still the benchmark office productivity suite by which other suites are measured, and there are solid arguments to be made in favor of sticking with the tried and true. You may end up paying a dollar or two more every month for the service, but there are still some things that this suite does better than any other.
There are two key reasons to pick Office over G Suite, and both revolve around their desktop applications. First, there is the power and sophistication of those tools. Take Excel for example. If writing marcos, or creating pivot tables, or some other complex spreadsheet task, excel is the place to be. If splashy presentations are your thing, it’s really hard to beat what can be done with PowerPoint. The fact that these desktop applications work perfectly fine offline can also be a winning factor in some cases.
Collaboration is not as easy with Office as it is with G Suite, and the interfaces are also a little more complex and less intuitive than Google’s platform.
Zoho is a newer company that has a very nice, lower cost productivity suite. Everything you get with the two big guys are present with Zoho’s offer, and while the tools may not be as polished, these guys are working hard to catch up.
We got involve with Zoho when we decided that we needed a cheaper CRM than Salesforce, and the deeper we get into this platform the better we like it. We now subscribe to Zoho One for our CRM, our email and social media campaigns, our internal ticketing system, and have recently started using some of the invoicing and accounting tools. Zoho One is an upgrade to the basic Workplace productivity package, but it’s really nice to have a onestop shop of low cost tools that work well together.
Zoho Workplace is worth a look, but if it was my money I would start with one of the other two suites, and think about adding on or upgrading to Zoho One when the time comes.