Which is the best email for small businesses?
There are plenty of names on the list of business productivity tools, but G-Suite and Office 365 are at the top of most. Both are anchored by popular and established email services in the form of Gmail and Outlook.
Small businesses rely on a cost-effective and easy-to-use email system that fits the unique needs of their organization. Gmail and Outlook are comparable in many ways, but that doesn’t make either a one-size-fits-all solution.
Before making a choice, compare these four features to make the right decision for your small business.
Both providers offer three-tiered pricing plans for email. G Suite plans range from $5 - $25 per user per month. Office 365 plans cost $8 - $35 per month with an annual commitment.
For $5 per user per month, G Suite Basic includes Google’s other productivity tools like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides as well as video and voice conferencing. Compare that to the Office 365 Enterprise E1 plan for $8 per user per month, where users can access cloud-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Skype for Business.
If you’re looking at price alone, Google presents the most affordable email option. However, the ubiquitous nature of Microsoft Office in today’s business world may be enough to push the needle to Office 365.
G Suite comes with 30GB of cloud storage per user shared across Gmail and other apps. To put that number in perspective, Apple’s iPhone 7 storage starts at 32GB.
On the other hand, the Office 365 Enterprise E1 plan offers email hosting with 50GB dedicated to Outlook mailbox storage, not to mention the 1 TB of file storage that’s also included. You can upgrade to an unlimited storage plan in Gmail for an additional $5 per user per month, which makes it more expensive than Outlook at that point.
If you are only looking at email storage, either option offers more space than most small businesses will ever need. G-Suite’s 30GB also extends to their other apps, which is still a good amount of space for most small businesses.
While Office 365 offers a whopping 1TB of additional file storage, this is also more space than many clients will ever require. In short, don’t be swayed by the promise of large, or unlimited storage capacity. Unless you are storing a large number of sizeable documents, specifically photos and videos, you may not need that much room.
Gmail’s interface has a straightforward search function, which is a good thing because Gmail lacks the ability to group email or create rules like the feature-rich Outlook. However, it does automatically and accurately sort email into Primary, Social, and Promotional tabs.
Outlook does everything except brew your morning coffee. The desktop version, in particular, has many features that Gmail lacks, including instant actions (mark or delete emails fast), integrated photo viewer, and enhanced flagging capabilities.
Like storage requirements, it comes down to a question of what you realistically need. Outlook offers a more robust solution for your email needs, but if you aren’t going to take advantage of those features, they can be confusing, if not intimidating.
If you intend to use your email client to send and receive emails with little need for additional bells and whistles, you will likely find Gmail to be more user-friendly and intuitive.
Gmail was the first to use two-factor authentication and it continues to pioneer security with machine learning technology. It alerts users to suspicious logins and proactively scans email attachments before downloading them. However, your Gmail account is not backed up for data loss prevention unless you have G Suite Enterprise.
Outlook also uses two-step verification for logins and includes features to protect your email against attacks in real time. For example, Outlook color-codes messages perceived as spam for added protection.
Both services are backed by powerful brands (Microsoft and Google) which prioritize security and continue to enhance their features.
Time to Choose?
The unique needs of your small business are the deciding factor for choosing an email provider. If you need an easy-to-use, no-frills solution, G-Suite may be the way to go. Small businesses that need enhanced functionality and increased mailbox and file storage should go for Office 365.
If you’re unsure which solution is best, ask us! Complete Technology offers managed IT services in the Kansas City area. We can help you plan your office technology needs with a robust, managed solution that works for you! If you are a small business considering outsourcing your IT or needing IT support, contact us today to see how we can help.