Google Workspace is a cloud-based productivity suite used in small to large businesses around the world. With affordable plans and demonstrated cloud technology, it allows for traditional and collaborative tasks to get done with great efficiency. In this Google Workspace review, we hone in on the pros, cons, features, and support available, so you can evaluate its relevance to your business.
In this Google Workspace review…
- Google Workspace Summary
- Google Workspace Pros and Cons
- Prices and Plans
- Customer Support
- Google Workspace Review Summary
Google Workspace Summary
Google Workspace, formerly called G Suite, consists of a set of Google’s productivity tools that would typically be used in a personal context. The platform is intended to refine these services for business class users. The provider wanted to allow for a central point of management with reporting features and more comprehensive support for administrative users.
Google Workspace Pros and Cons
Google Workspace Features
Google workspace has a host of features that a business can capitalize on for efficiency and functionality. as we are going through, we want you to bear in mind that Google’s biggest competitor in this space is Microsoft 365. Let’s zoom in on each of these below.
These are offered through Google Workspace, but they appear no different on the user end from the personal version of Gmail. Unless you purchase the Business Standard plan or higher, each user is only going to have 30 GB of cloud storage. This does not compare well to Microsoft 365, which offers 50 GB of storage per user at the lowest-tier plans.
Another of the challenges with this storage amount is that it’s meant to be shared between all data that a single user would store. In other words, if your mail and your Google Drive were each to measure 15 GB, the entirety of your allocated space would be used up. Microsoft 365 on the other hand separates the pool of storage for mailboxes and other components of Google Workspace.
This feature wasn’t always present with Google Workspace, which necessitated a roundabout way of being able to send messages to a group of staff members using a single address. The best way to imagine a distribution group is by using a department as an example. What if there were an accounts email address that you could use to send an email to your entire accounts department?
These addresses don’t have their own mailboxes like users do, instead forwarding the message to the mailboxes of all users present in the group. While this is a useful offering, Microsoft 365 implements distribution groups on a higher plane, allowing for tighter controls in areas such as who is allowed to send to the group, delegating administrators, and even allowing for an approval mechanism where any messages being sent to the group must be approved by a moderator.
User account management
User account management becomes centralized in Google Workspace, allowing administrators to do a series of tasks, such as creating, modifying, and deleting user profiles. Of course, this means that there is greater support in account maintenance since this task is shifted to your IT department, freeing up the rest of the business to do its assigned tasks.
If desired, any user account in the tenant can be made on administrator, allowing for the same kind of control over existing user accounts. For the most part, the offering from Microsoft 365 is not much different in the feature set it offers. However, it does allow you to turn off individual components of a user license on a per-user basis.
Custom e-mail address
Considering this offering is from Google, you may not be too keen to use it, as the idea of having your business run on Gmail addresses may not sound too convenient to you. Most organizations use custom domain names. For example, let’s say a business is called Blue Sky. That business may purchase the domain “bluesky.com” for its website.
However, the purchase of that domain also allows it to be used for email purposes. Assuming an email provider such as Google Workspace is chosen, that business could theoretically have all its user’s addresses end with “@bluesky.com.” This is great for identification, branding, and segmentation purposes.
With Google workspace, you can use your custom domain to end your email addresses if you wish. All this requires beyond the domain purchase is a few simple setup steps by your administrator. You could even choose to purchase the domain directly from Google if you don’t already have one and you don’t want to go searching for another provider. Microsoft 365 also has this feature.
Sometimes, it may become necessary to create a special kind of mailbox for equipment or rooms. While these may not be sending an email, they are useful for booking time. A boardroom is one of the most common examples. Its having a resource mailbox eliminates any time conflict that may be present. Once someone creates a meeting and includes the meeting room, no one else is going to be allowed to do so for the same time slot. of course, Microsoft 365 has this functionality baked in as well.
Beyond the email, this is one of the most likely reasons you would be using Google workspace in your business. you may wish to have a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application. These are offered in the forms of Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, respectively.
There are others in the arsenal that are responsible for other tasks too. There is Google Drive for storage, Google Meet for meetings, Google Calendar for keeping track of appointments, Google Chat for instant messaging, Google Forms for surveys, etc.
Unfortunately, these are almost always inferior to Microsoft 365’s offerings across the board. The Microsoft Office productivity suite is world-renowned for its interface and tremendous features. When you view almost any of Google’s Productivity tools, by comparison, they appear to be budget versions of Microsoft Office products. The exception to this is Google Forms, which is not that much different nor is it inferior to Microsoft Forms.
Storage is the final element, and it was briefly alluded to above. The biggest downside with Google is that its cloud storage allocation is not a separate space where the mail and Google Drive are concerned. The 30 GB allocation at the lowest licensing tier for such a shared space is simply not enough.
This is especially true when Microsoft 365, at a similar tier, is offering users 50 GB of mail storage with an additional 1 TB for individual storage via Microsoft OneDrive, and even more gigabytes of storage for Microsoft SharePoint, which is a separate cloud space built for collaboration.
It is important to note though that in the Business Standard and Business Plus offerings, the allocations start to become better competitively. The enterprise license offers unlimited storage, which is also possible with higher tier licensing in Microsoft 365.
Google Workspace Prices and Plans
Now it’s time to shift gears and look at the pricing options 4 Google workspace. These are:
This $6 plan is as limited as it gets. You can take advantage of a custom domain name, meetings with up to 100 participants, 30 GB of per-user cloud storage, security and management tools, and standard support.
Google alludes to this $12 plan being its most popular plan, which is understandable since it’s the first that can adequately support an enterprise. The features here are all those offered in the standard plan with some slight enhancements. Meetings can now have 150 participants and recording is allowed. Storage is bumped up to 2 TB per user, and you are allowed a paid upgrade to enhanced support.
Retention and eDiscovery are introduced with this $18 plan, which is important for minimizing data loss and being able to search for items in mailboxes and drive for legal reasons from the administrative side. Attendance tracking is added to meetings and the participant limit is increased to 250. Cloud storage now sits at 5TB per user, and a greater array of security tools have been added.
You are going to have to contact sales to get this plan and its cost. Email encryption is added, as is noise cancellation and live streaming for meetings. Storage becomes unlimited, and data loss prevention policies, as well as device management policies, become more diverse.
Google Workspace Support
As is the case with Microsoft 365, more comprehensive support options are not included with higher plans and must be purchased separately. Standard support is the base offering and offers a four-hour service level objective (SLO). Enhanced support cuts response times to an hour and is available 24/7. Premium support is at the top of the charts with the SLO at 15 minutes. These cases are handled by subject matter experts.
Note that Microsoft 365’s standard offering offers a response time of 15 minutes.
Google Workspace Review Summary
Google Workspace has a place in the enterprise world with its centralized management and simple user administration. It would be best suited to businesses that want some enterprise-class features and may not necessarily be able to afford the comparative plans in Microsoft 365, which is the superior offering.
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