Running a business naturally leads to masses of information, which in itself isn’t a huge problem – any good quality hard drive or filing cabinet will solve that problem. When it can become an issue however, is when that information needs to be shared amongst colleagues and updated. That opens its very own can of worms and then there are issues with version control and privacy that need to be addressed.
Here is a comparison of Microsoft Sharepoint and Google Apps to help you decide which option you want to go ahead with.
Sharepoint vs. Google Apps
Fortunately, for electronic information there are many solutions available for managing documents within an organisation. Two of the most popular are Microsoft SharePoint and Google’s suite of Apps known as Google Apps.
Both of these packages have a host of features and come from well-known and established technology firms, so how to choose the right one? To assist with any decision we have put together some of the main pros and cons of each that should help guide you in your quest for document sharing harmony.
Google Apps – Advantages
- Google Apps has a basic package which is free – they also have a Google for business package which costs $50 per user per year, making it one of the most cost effective solutions.
- Everything is stored in the Cloud, access documents from anywhere there is a web connection, edit them and do what you need to do with the minimum of fuss.
- Easy to share work and collaborate on documents – This has been one of the stand-out features for Google, nothing beats opening a document then seeing it being edited in real-time by a colleague who is situated 500 miles away. Again, a slick, no-fuss way to manage version control.
- 99.9% uptime guarantee – Google uses multiple secure data centres to keep all of your private data safe. If one data centre is unable to serve your requests, the system is designed to instantly fall back to another data centre that can serve your account with no interruption in service. It’s Google, would you expect any less?
- Installation is easy – Everything is in the cloud so there’s no hardware set-up, no install disc, sign-up and get on with making your business great.
Ok, that sounds very impressive, but what about this SharePoint offering? Some would argue that Microsoft are the leaders in the game of CRM systems, SharePoint is no Bing and they’re not just entering the market playing catch-up in this arena.
SharePoint 2010 – Advantages
- It’s not free – that’s right, it’s doesn’t compete on cost with Google Apps but this does mean that it comes with a good level of support, there are companies that offer SharePoint development and support and help is never too far away.
- Highly Customisable – SharePoint can be customised to fit the exact business needs of any business. Custom modules, views and reports are all possible and if you can’t create this yourself you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a Microsoft SharePoint developer who can help you out, such is the popularity of the platform.
- Using an interface you are used too –Even if you are not a big Microsoft Office fan, when it comes to using anything that isn’t Excel or Word it can be very frustrating. SharePoint goes with what you know and as a result is often seamlessly integrated into businesses that already use the popular Microsoft Office suite of applications.
- Real-time editing is now available in later editions of SharePoint (ok, so maybe they are playing catch-up in some areas) but at least this shows that innovation and development is on-going.
That all sounds great, but what don’t they do?
Google Apps is not as customisable as SharePoint nor can it open a wide variety of file types, and for a company that has made its name in the search game there isn’t one big search function that will simply search everything (Gmail, calendar and docs etc.).
It is a cost-effective solution however, SharePoint does require a level of investment in both terms of cash and time – installing, setting it up and getting it set to fit your business will likely require assistance and a certain level of training. Investing time and money is something you will need a fair amount of to really harness the power of SharePoint.
In conclusion, both are great options for businesses and will allow for secure sharing of information with sophisticated version control. Smaller businesses may find Google Apps a good bet as it is easy to set up and well-priced. Larger organisations will benefit from the advanced customisable features offered by SharePoint, the ability to create custom views for employees and are less likely to be put off by the cost and time investment needed to get it up and running.
We hope this Google Apps vs. Sharepoint comparison helps in reaching decision easily.