Office 365 vs Google Apps - Microsoft

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Office 365 vs Google Apps - Microsoft Powered By Docstoc
					           office 365 vs net as know
   Feature the end of the google appsit




    Office 365 vs
    Google Apps
    Mary BranscoMBe puts the two
    leading cloud-based office suites to
    the test, to discover which one is best
    suited to business




    A
               few years ago, the suggestion     Usability
               that Google could produce a       As cloud services, both Google Apps and
               viable alternative to Microsoft   Office 365 are managed online. Despite
    Office would have been laughable – but       the simple layout, the Google Apps
    its Apps suite has become a valid and        control panel is confusing until you learn
    useful business tool. But the release of     where everything is. Options are
    Office 365 has dramatically changed the      scattered between Domain Settings,
    online apps landscape again.                 Settings, Advanced tools and the various
        Office 365 isn’t a new version of the    links from the Dashboard tab. To make
    Microsoft’s desktop suite: it’s a cloud      matters worse, the Dashboard is               Management, Records Management,
    service that includes online versions of     cluttered with adverts for optional tools     Unified Messaging Management and
    the tools that IT professionals the world    in the Google App marketplace, as well        other tasks in the Exchange control
    over have come to love and, more             as adverts for new features.                  panel. It’s more complex than Google
    importantly, rely upon. There’s Exchange         Office 365’s admin console is much        Apps, but enterprises will welcome the
    Online complete with Forefront malware       cleaner, with a pane for switching            option.
    and spam protection; SharePoint              between managing users, services and
    document management; and Lync                domains, plus clear explanations of what      WINNER: OFFICE 365. Microsoft’s
    Online for real-time communications          the main management tools are for.            administration interface is better
    (think presence, instant messaging and       There are also handy shortcuts at the         organised, and easier to handle when
    audio and video calls).                      bottom of the window, and links to            delegating management rights to others.
        You also benefit from online versions    relevant resources and community
    of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and      discussions.                                  Setup and user management
    Outlook – and some subscriptions                 Google Apps has two levels of             Google Apps’ setup guide walks you
    include the desktop-based Office             administration rights: the “Super             through tasks such as verifying the
    Professional Plus 2010.                      Admin” who has full access, and               domain you’re using, creating user
        Google Apps for Business provides a      standard administrators to whom you           accounts and changing your MX records
    similar suite of products and services.      can delegate administration tasks. You        to point to Gmail (you need your own
    There’s Gmail with Postini spam and          can give different users a different mix of   domain to use Google Apps). It’s mostly
    malware filtering, Calendar and              rights, but you have to remember who          clear and simple, but duplicated
    Contacts, Google Docs, Chat, Groups          can do what.                                  instructions and a sometimes circuitous
    mailing lists and Sites (for both intranet       Office 365 has five named admin           interface make setup a fragmented
    and public websites).                        roles. You can give someone the rights to     experience.
        So to the big question: which is best    manage billing, passwords, users or               The Postini spam service setup
    for your business? That’s what this          services separately if you don’t want         wizard tells you it may take up to an
    feature aims to find out, as we put both     them to have full admin rights. If you        hour, and again you have to change the
    through real-world tests and pitch them      need more granularity, you can also set       MX records to redirect mail to the Postini
    in battle in all the key areas.              up administrator roles for Discovery          service, and configure some settings in


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                                                                                              the end of the net as know it Feature




Google Apps email by hand. It screams             the help pages often refer to old tools                                  familiar to Exchange admins. You get a
for automation and indicates that Google          that have been replaced.                                                 comprehensive set of tools for setting up
still hasn’t fully integrated the Postini             What Google Apps calls “groups” are                                  features, such as role-based access
acquisition with its platform.                    merely mailing lists. To control who gets                                control, transport rules (such as adding
     Office 365’s Forefront Online                what Google services, you need to set up                                 disclaimers to external email) and
Protection for Exchange, SharePoint and           organisation units (OUs). These cover                                    reports to help you track down any
Lync Online are running by default, so all        both the core offerings, such as Gmail,                                  problems, along with auditing logs for
you have to do is create or migrate users.        and the range of other Google tools –                                    compliance. If you don’t need them, then
You only need to configure settings if you        such as YouTube and Picasa. Note that                                    you can stick to the basics and be set up
want an optional vanity domain, to get            your business will be bound by such                                      in minutes.
finer control, or if you’re integrating with      services’ terms and conditions if your                                       Gmail has vastly fewer options
on-premises servers. Thankfully, the              users sign in with their work Google Apps                                because you don’t control a mail server,
guides to doing this are clear and                account, so OUs are useful for disabling                                 although you do have some control over
detailed.                                         access if you don’t want to accept those                                 routing and mail gateway settings. The
     You can create Office 365 users              terms.                                                                   options are mostly on the level of setting
individually – assigning admin rights                 You can also use OUs to restrict                                     up a custom URL for users, choosing
and turning on services for them at the           which domains users can send email to.                                   whether they can use Gmail Labs and
same time – or as a batch by importing a          You can’t use them to control any other                                  Chat, and allowing Docs results to show
CSV file. You can also connect to an              settings, though, so they’re not as                                      up in a Gmail search. With Google
existing on-premises Exchange server              powerful as AD groups. You can’t delete                                  looking after the mail server, most
and migrate users and mailboxes, or               an OU without moving or deleting the                                     businesses won’t need more admin
synchronise with your Active Directory            users first, but deleting a user does give                               options.
(AD) to manage Office 365 users with              you the choice of deleting their                                             Both Google Apps and Office 365
roles and policies the same way you               documents or moving them to another                                      have a mailbox limit of 25GB. There isn’t
manage existing users (so that you can            user.                                                                    an archiving option in Gmail, but with
delete a user in AD and they’re removed               Both Microsoft and Google promise                                    Office 365 you have a choice between
from Exchange Online). You even get               single sign-on. If you have AD and                                       third-party archiving services, or a
PowerShell cmdlets that let you                   ADFS2, Office 365 users can use their                                    specific Office 365 plan with unlimited
configure Office 365 from the command             Windows login to sign onto the local                                     storage for email archiving.
line.                                             network (including any business apps                                         Google Apps for Business includes
     To create Google Apps users, you can         you’ve integrated with that login) and to                                Postini for spam and malware detection.
set them up one by one in the control             Office 365 services. Your Google Apps                                    The Postini admin console is separate
panel or import a CSV file, but most              login gives you access to all the online                                 from the main Google Apps console, and
enterprises will use Google Apps                  Google services, plus services that aren’t                               has tabs for viewing messages detected
Directory Sync to get user details from AD        part of Google Apps, so long as the                                      as junk or viruses in the past three days,
or Lotus Domino (which the setup guide            administrator allows this.                                               a week, or for as long as it keeps records.
doesn’t cover). This is a one-way sync,                                                                                    The only option for virus blocking is
and you have to leave the tool running            WINNER: OFFICE 365. Microsoft’s                                          whether or not you get email
on your local server, make changes to             product is easier to set up and integrate                                notifications that a mail has been
users in AD and propagate them up to              into your company’s existing                                             quarantined, so that you can check and
Google Apps.                                      infrastructure.                                                          release it if it’s a false-positive.
     To migrate mailboxes, you have to                                                                                         For spam, you can whitelist individual
run an Outlook sync utility for each user         Mail server, malware and spam                                            senders, domains or mailing lists, and
individually, and you can’t migrate               Office 365 has a simple interface for                                    block specific addresses or domains.
distribution lists, so you have to recreate       basic admin options, such as managing                                    You can also set up inbound and
them. It’s initially confusing which tools        passwords, but you can also use the full                                 outbound content filters for specific
you need for synchronising and                    Exchange Online interface. This is                                       words, phrases or patterns, and create
migrating different information and               identical to the web interface for                                       attachment filters by size or type. You
settings to Google Apps, especially as            Exchange Server, so it will be very                                      can choose five levels of spam blocking,




The Google Apps admin page is cluttered with adverts for new features and            By comparison, the Office 365 dashboard is clear and well laid out; you can see
third-party tools                                                                    immediately what to do



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           office 365 vs net as know
   Feature the end of the google appsit




                                                                                                                   Exchange calendars), and in any Office
                                                                                                                   app where you’re collaborating. It’s
                                                                                                                   possible to start a chat, voice or video
                                                                                                                   call from there or from the Lync client.
                                                                                                                   Microsoft is also promising Lync clients
                                                                                                                   for a range of smartphones, offering IM
                                                                                                                   first and voice features later.
                                                                                                                       Lync Online automatically federates
                                                                                                                   with Windows Messenger and AOL for
                                                                                                                   instant messaging. It can also federate
                                                                                                                   with on-premises Lync servers, if
                                                                                                                   permitted by the server admin. Google
                                                                                                                   Apps can federate with any XMPP
                                                                                                                   service, but to make it work you have to
                                                                                                                   edit the SRV record in your domain by
                                                                                                                   hand (or ask your domain host to do it
                                                                                                                   for you). You then get federation with all
                                                                                                                   the services Google is connected to –
                                                                                                                   you don’t get to choose which are
                                                                                                                   allowed or blocked.
    from lenient to very aggressive, and use      where they can blog, share links and             SharePoint          Lync Online also incorporates the
    category filters to put more emphasis on      documents, and access their files on the     Online combines     features of Live Meeting; you can switch
                                                                                               workflow,
    blocking explicit, “racially insensitive”     move. The range of options is more           document            from an IM chat to an online meeting
    and financial spam. Oddly, IP whitelists      complex than Google’s offering, but it’s     management and      with up to 250 people, with audio, video
                                                                                               web publishing –
    to avoid spam filters are set up in the       also far more powerful.                      and it looks
                                                                                                                   and web conferencing, and you can
    email settings pane, not in the Postini           Google Docs has no direct equivalent     professional from   schedule meetings in advance through
    configuration page.                           to SharePoint Online. Sites is a nice        the start           Outlook. If you want to let people phone
        The Forefront admin console is            simple tool for creating internal or                             into a meeting without needing Lync
    separate and has a very different             external web pages, while Google Docs                            (customers, for example), you can buy an
    interface from the rest of Office 365; it’s   allows you to control whether users can                          audio-conferencing service for Lync
    confusing for anything except checking        publish or share documents outside the                           Online from BT.
    quarantined email. In return, you get the     business, and whether documents
    powerful Forefront Online Protection for      default to being private or public.                              WINNER: OFFICE 365. Apps’ messaging
    Exchange tools. These not only provide        Otherwise, sharing is all ad hoc and                             and chat features are fine for most users,
    malware and spam filtering, but also          under users’ control.                                            but for manageability, Office 365 is
    give options to whitelist-specific IP                                                                          better.
    addresses, options for auditing and           WINNER: OFFICE 365. This isn’t clear cut,
    tracing messages, and extensive filtering     however. Office 365 has much more                                Online apps
    rules for both inbound and outbound           capable sharing features, but these are                          Online apps are primitive compared to
    email. You can therefore write rules to       correspondingly more complicated to                              the richness of the full Office suite. In
    stop your users from emailing                 manage. Some will prefer Google Apps’                            general, the features of the Office Web
    confidential information, such as credit      simplicity.                                                      Apps and Google Docs are broadly
    card numbers.                                                                                                  similar, but while many like the sparse
                                                  Chat & talk                                                      interface of Google Docs for its simplicity,
    WINNER: TIE. Gmail is perfect if you want     Google Chat is the same, simple but                              the Office Web Apps have the edge in
    to get up and running as quickly as           powerful tool available to the public;                           sophistication.
    possible, while Office 365 provides           users can see presence for Google Apps                               Create a PowerPoint presentation in
    fine-grained controls and capabilities        contacts inside Gmail and start a text,                          the Office Web Apps and you get
    that will suit more demanding                 voice or video chat from there, once                             good-looking themes, with the images
    organisations.                                they’ve downloaded the plugin.                                   you place automatically sized to fit. A
                                                      Alternatively, they can use the                              Google Docs presentation starts out in
    Document management                           Windows Google Talk software for text                            plain black and white, and the designs
    SharePoint Online combines web page           and voice chat or file transfer.                                 aren’t as appealing.
    authoring for external sites with a full      Management is minimal; you can block                                 Office Web Apps make inserting
    document management tool. This                chat outside the organisation or warn                            images from your hard drive the same
    includes libraries, lists, templates,         users, but you can’t block file transfers.                       simple experience that it is in a local
    discussion tools, shared calendars, RSS           Microsoft’s Lync Online is more                              app. Google Docs gives you a wider
    feeds, workflow, check in/out options         powerful. The extensive management                               choice for inserting images from a URL or
    and version control – plus powerful           options let you choose whether users                             a Google image search in a document,
    search options. It’s an instant way to        can transfer files, make audio or video                          but it’s overall a clunkier experience.
    make your business more intelligent –for      calls, and talk to colleagues or people                              Sharing is better integrated in Google
    example, by avoiding such annoyances          outside the business.                                            Docs, with a big blue Share button on
    as file duplication.                              Users can see each other’s presence                          the page that opens a pop-up dialog
        It also aids communication. Your          and status in Outlook and Outlook Web                            box. The Office Web Apps make you save
    Team Site includes pages for each user        Access (including information from                               the document and take you away from


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                                                                                                                to controlling who can distribute a file, to
                                                                                                                asking people to update a database by
                                                                                                                replying to an email. One great feature
                                                                                                                for businesses is that you can host
                                                                                                                PowerPoint presentations online and
                                                                                                                present to a group of people on the web,
                                                                                                                letting them ask questions and make
                                                                                                                comments – ideal for training or sales
                                                                                                                pitches.
                                                                                                                    Also available are the publicly
                                                                                                                accessible Office Web Apps: Word, Excel,
                                                                                                                PowerPoint and OneNote. All but
                                                                                                                PowerPoint let multiple users edit the
                                                                                                                same document at the same time.
                                                                                                                SharePoint synchronisation neatly takes
                                                                                                                care of making documents available
                                                                                                                offline, as well as accessing them from
                                                                                                                anywhere online.
                                                                                                                    Although offline access to Gmail and
                                                                                                                Google Docs is only available (for the
the editor to choose who to share it with,   WINNER: TIE. Microsoft’s Web Apps are             The Office       time being) to Google employees,
and take you back to viewing, but not        more sophisticated than Google’s              365 Outlook Web      Google recognises that offline document
                                                                                           App has good
editing, the document. Updates appear        equivalents, but Google Docs has better       self-service         access matters. You can run software to
live in Google Docs; this also happens in    sharing and collaboration features.           features for users   sync Outlook with Gmail, Calendar and
                                                                                           – and you only
the OneNote Web App, but the other           Exchange Online has a plethora of             see the admin
                                                                                                                Contacts, and to move Outlook Notes to
Microsoft Web Apps make you save your        configurable options, but many will           links if you’re an   Google Docs (although they’re read-only,
own changes to see edits by other users.     prefer the simpler approach of Google         administrator        and it doesn’t sync notes filed in
    There are many features in both          Apps.                                                              folders).
Outlook and Outlook Web that are                                                                                    There’s a connector toolbar for Office
missing from Gmail, from macros to           Office & working offline                                           that lets you sync documents to Google
Quick Steps. Gmail equivalents tend to       Depending on which plan you sign up                                Docs, but it isn’t as polished as the
have fewer features, which some prefer       for, Office 365 can include download                               SharePoint integration, and converting
because they’re simpler. Gmail’s stars,      rights for the Professional Plus version of                        files into Google Docs for editing online
labels and priority buttons let you do the   Office 2010, which includes OneNote,                               doesn’t preserve all document features
same things as Outlook’s flags,              Publisher and Access, as well as Word,                             (the same thing happens when you open
categories and folders, with the             Excel and PowerPoint. You can load and                             an email attachment in Google Docs).
advantage that a message can have            save documents from all of them into the                               You can’t edit watermarks, Smart Art,
multiple labels instead of being in only     SharePoint Online site, included in Office                         charts or footers in Office Web Apps, but
one folder.                                  365, and use the online collaboration                              you can see them in the read-only
    Google Calendar can include shared       features to edit documents at the same            Apart from       viewer, and they’re preserved in the
                                                                                           creating
resources – such as meeting rooms –          time.                                                              document so you get them back when
                                                                                           resources using
which you create by typing in the details        This is a huge strength: you get the      Google’s complex     you open it in Office 2010. Google Docs
one at a time. Oddly, there isn’t a          full power of Office and the back-end         naming structure,    doesn’t show those details, and doesn’t
                                                                                           you have only a
dropdown picklist to ensure the              servers that enable all the features, from    few controls for     keep them if you edit the document.
resources are given consistent names, or     using Information Rights Management,          calendar sharing     Even fonts and line spacing can change
a wizard to help with the complex
naming conventions, so you could end
up with six “conference rooms” and one
“meeting room”.
    Exchange Online has templates for
creating resources such as rooms (as
well as equipment that isn’t in a fixed
location); you can even say which users
can reserve rooms without permission
and how often.
    The Google Calendar features for end
users aren’t as powerful – or complex
– as Outlook’s, but you get the important
options, such as overlaid calendars and
recurring appointments. The Quick Add
tool lets you type in a sentence,
including the day and date of what you
need to do, which then sets an event on
the right day at the right time. This is a
phenomenal time-saver.


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   Feature office 365 vs google apps




                                                                                                Despite          for volume pricing (including transferring
                                                                                            frequent warnings    existing Exchange and SharePoint server
                                                                                            about a problem,
                                                                                            Apps didn’t          licences to Office 365).
                                                                                            record any                Google Apps is in a constant state of
                                                                                            disruptions to the
                                                                                            service
                                                                                                                 flux, not helped by the whole service
                                                                                                                 being migrated to a new platform.
                                                                                                                 Getting continuous, instant
                                                                                                                 improvements is one of the benefits of
                                                                                                                 using a cloud service, but if you’re
                                                                                                                 supporting users you might prefer
                                                                                                                 Microsoft’s approach where updates
                                                                                                                 come at regular intervals, and you can
                                                                                                                 choose whether to adopt them
                                                                                                                 immediately or by a specific date.
                                                                                                                      This underlines one key difference
                                                                                                                 between the two services, which has
                                                                                                                 little to do with features: Office 365 has
                                                                                                                 the professional feel of a service planned
                                                                                                                 in advance and designed for
                                                                                                                 administrators; Google Apps has the feel
    when you move Office documents in and        is also available, with response times                          of a service that has grown by leaps and
    out of Google Docs.                          from 15 minutes to four hours,                                  bounds, but sometimes in a rather
                                                 depending on severity.                                          haphazard way that’s not always
    WINNER: OFFICE 365. Microsoft’s offline           Google Apps also has 24/7 phone                            consistent.
    support is far from polished, essentially    support, but only for critical problems                              Both services are powerful but they
    being dependent on SharePoint and            that involve more than half your users                          suit different audiences. If your business
    subscription access to the full Office       and affect the Google Apps web services.                        already uses Microsoft tools, Office 365
    suite. However, it remains far more          If the problem is with mobile emails                            is the logical progression, giving you
    capable than Google’s crude offline          you’re stuck with email support, which                          server workloads that integrate with and
    tools.                                       doesn’t cover weekends.                                         make the most of your existing
                                                                                                                 investments. It’s a comprehensive,
    Service levels & support                     WINNER: OFFICE 365, but only just. It’s                         powerful, end-to-end cloud platform for
    The Google Apps dashboard repeatedly         tough to judge how reliable a cloud                             business that doesn’t make you do
    told us that there might be a problem        service is, but Microsoft’s support has                         everything online, which many
    with an unspecified Google Apps              better availability.                                            businesses find a step too far. You can
    service; whenever we clicked through to                                                                      have all the power of Exchange and
    the dashboard all the services showed        Verdict                                                         SharePoint without the bother of
    as having no issues, but seeing the          Google Apps has a flat price of £33 per                         configuring and running them.
    warning virtually all the time was           user per year; Office 365 has a range of                        Google Apps, meanwhile, is a better fit
    concerning. Office 365 has a similar         prices from £6.50 to £17.75 a month,                            for businesses starting from scratch
    service health dashboard; neither            depending on whether you want Office                            online, with no legacy systems, who can
    service had any major outages or failures    2010 Professional Plus, Office Web             Issues with
                                                                                                                 benefit from its simplicity without having
    while we were testing them, but Office       Apps, SharePoint, Lync or archiving. As    Office 365 can be    to keep the service in sync with
    365 didn’t keep warning us of non-           such, it can be much more expensive,       broken down by       on-premises tools. But, as we’ve seen
                                                                                            exactly which part
    existent problems.                           but you can choose which services you      of the service is    throughout this feature, it definitely has
        Both services promise 99.9%              want to pay for and there are discounts    affected             limits.
    availability. Google Apps measures this
    on a monthly basis, with a credit of three
    days of service if the SLA isn’t met in a
    month; Office 365 credits 25%, 50% or
    100% of the service cost if the SLA falls
    below 99.9%, 99% and 95%
    respectively.
        Google Apps has no planned
    downtime; Office 365 does schedule
    maintenance when usage is likely to be
    low – for example, Lync might be
    unavailable for five minutes at 1am on a
    Saturday morning – and dates and times
    are listed five days in advance in the
    support area.
        Support is definitely better with
    Office 365. You can request support via
    the admin console and your requests are
    managed there, but 24/7 phone support


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