Google G Suite is the New Google Apps for Business

This Office 365 Alternative Has More Than Just a New Name

Pros and Cons of Google G Suite Office Software for Business
Pros and Cons of Google G Suite Office Software for Business. (c) Getty Images / JPM

Google Apps is out to pasture, with Google G Suite taking its place. The cloud-based alternative to suites like Microsoft Office is a business version of Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, and other Google tools you may have used as an individual, through your Google or Gmail account.

So is this alternative to cloud suites such as Office 365 right for you? Here is an overview to help you decide.

All About Productivity in Microsoft Office 365

You may also be interested in: G Suite: Office Software Meets Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence?

Think Subscription (Per Person, Per Month)

While G Suite comes with a bunch of "free extras" like Gmail, the suite itself is not free. You will need a paid subscription (not just your Google account[s]) to use G Suite for your business or organization.

Subscriptions bill monthly by default but you can find annual options.

How Much You'll Pay for Google G Suite Plans

G Suite prices are in the same ballpark as Office 365 prices for enterprise or business. Once you get into feature sets, your use will vary depending on your needs, so think of this as a price overview, to help you know whether you would like to look into G Suite further.

Office 365 offers many plans for business: Quick Comparison Chart of Office 365 Plans and Subscriptions.

Google offers just two plans at the time of this writing, which makes it that much simpler to evaluate.

These two plans don't have clear-cut names to distinguish them; rather, they sport two different price points and feature sets. At the time of this writing, those monthly prices broke down as follows.

G Suite at $5 Per User Per Month

  • Business email addresses (name@yourcompany.com)
  • Video and voice calls
  • Integrated online calendars
  • 30GB of online storage for file syncing and sharing
  • Online text documents, spreadsheets and slides
  • Easy to create project sites
  • Security and admin controls
  • 24/7 phone and email support

G Suite Unlimited Storage and Vault at $10 Per User Per Month

  • Everything in G Suite above plus the following:
  • Unlimited Storage (or 1TB per user if fewer than 5 users)
  • Advanced admin controls for Drive
  • Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing
  • Google Vault for eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files
  • Easily search and export to different formats
  • Archive all emails sent by your company
  • Set message retention policies
  • Place and enforce litigation holds on inboxes

Always check Google's G Suite Pricing site for latest information and features, but hopefully this give you some perspective regarding these two plans.

Also, keep in mind that G Suite for Education replaces Google Apps for Education, which means qualifying academic can take advantage of this free option.

Or, check out Microsoft's education plans, as well as these extras for Office 365.

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G Suite Training Options

Office 365 offers a lot of support to get you working collaboratively, including training. You will find similar resources for Google's business tools, and you may even prefer their approach.

The G Suite Learning Center provides one-stop shopping for training needs on the entire system or specific tools, making it easy to find the right learning tools for your team.

You will also find a helpful Tips Library on the Learning Center site. Here are a few examples of tips featured on that page today:

  • Keep your team up to date and get real-time updates with dynamic project plans and schedules
  • Access stored files without the internet
  • Easy online registration for events, courses, and other activities
  • Automatically add citations, quotes, or images to your research papers and proposals
  • Track your team’s projects, schedules, and more with a team calendar
  • Improve your work with easy sharing and targeted feedback from your team

I suggest searching these topics by product, which opens up a lot more than you'll see just on the featured page of this library.

Consider G Suite Partnership

Some businesses may qualify for Google's G Suite Partner program.

Build Your Business For The Future And Partner With Google Cloud. Here is additional insight from that partnership division:

"We’ve designed the Google Cloud Partner Program to enable you to sell, service, and innovate by leveraging our products and platforms across the Google Cloud suite. Partners are a fundamental part of the Google Cloud mission, to empower billions of people to work the way they choose and build what’s next."

You will find different partnership types available: a services track and a technology track (with a placeholder for what I assume is an upcoming sales track). From there, partners can specialize in specific products, as mentioned in the lineup at the top of this article. Exceptional partnerships may be awarded a Premier Tier status.

Extend G Suite Beyond the Basics

You can also expand G Suite with suggested services that include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, Project Management (PM) tools, phone service, document management help, and more.  

For those options and recommendations, visit the Extend G Suite site.

Free 30-day Trial for Business Users

As with other productivity tools, you can try Google G Suite free for 30 days by visiting this free offer site.

For additional perspective on Google G Suite, check out the company's "together" campaign. This link provides a wonderful, visual overview of what you can do with specific tools to make sure your team or organization is on the same page and working collaboratively toward your goals.