Microsoft Office 365 facilitates team work in real time, independent work, and everything in between. People can collaborate productively using the social capabilities in SharePoint, user presence across the suite, and the real-time meeting capabilities in Lync. They can also work independently and, when the time is right, share information, gather input and approvals, and consolidate feedback, all while protecting sensitive information.
The Google Apps offering is a one-scenario collaboration feature posing as a full collaboration suite.
What's Missing?Google Apps, on the other hand, has some tools for working together but struggles to support many aspects of work and collaboration needs. According to Amit Singh, Google's Vice President of Enterprise, “We don’t worry so much about individual productivity in a PC one-to-one environment.” In fact, Google touting that it offers a great collaboration experience is a bit of a red herring.
So what’s missing? For the purposes of this blog post, I am going to focus on a few key capabilities Google Apps fails to provide related to working on documents:
Tracking Changes: How do you know what’s changed in a document when you’re collaborating with others on a document but not working at the same time?
Document Reconciliation: What do you do when a document gets copied and one or more version is floating around? What tools are available to bring the divergent versions back together?
Notifications: Is there a proactive way to find out if a document has changed or been updated?
Workflows: For more complex projects, are there easy tools to help improve productivity without having to code or buy additional software?
Security: Can you easily make sure that sensitive content is protected and isn’t shared outside of your team or company?
Compliance: For collaborative work that’s sensitive in nature, is there a way to mark it for retention or legal hold?
Eyes Wide OpenWhen you look at the evidence above, it’s not surprising that Google focuses so much of its marketing on a few real-time collaboration features. There are so many gaps when compared to Office 365.
By focusing on just one collaboration scenario, Google Apps misses the larger needs of organizations. The reality is that most businesses face a full spectrum of collaboration needs. Don’t be misled! Make sure you choose a collaboration solution that meets the full range of your needs.
Real-time collaboration: Can you see changes instantly?
Microsoft Word/Office 365 Word App, Excel App, Powerpoint, Sharepoint Online
Google Apps Web, Mobile
Even "co-authoring" is mix and match within the Office 365 line.
The above seems to me like a big list of lawyeresque document reconciliation features which most small businesses could care less about. It is glossing over the key missing feature.
LucidChart also allows real-time collaboration. Any version of Visio online yet?
I have to agree with Ian. The advantages of real time collaboration available with Google Apps is far superior of Office 365.
Your first comparison of 365 v. Google Apps is not accurate. Google Docs has full revision control and the ability to easily see what has changed in a document and by whom. You are also easily able to restore old versions.
Check your facts.
Also note Microsofts questionable ethics of focusing their time on bashing Google's products instead of dedicating resources to improving their own. Google doesn't participate in the smack talk, they simply keep their heads down and continue to innovate at a pace much faster than MSFT.