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The Cloud Reseller’s Guide to Office 365 & G Suite

By R. J. Stangle / Aug 22, 2016

Change is occurring at a phenomenal pace in the telecommunications industry. 

While revenue from core services such as voice, messaging and data slows, demand for cloud services is surging, driving service providers to rethink their product portfolios. Given these realities, it’s no surprise that the leading cloud-based office productivity suites, Office 365 and G Suite, present an attractive opportunity for service providers to expand into the SaaS reseller market and extend their services footprint.

The catch? SaaS offerings require highly specialized technology and skills to ensure successful cloud deployment and adoption among customers. Combine this with the reality that data migration, implementation support and cloud management services are required to sell and support these solutions, service providers must be properly prepared before moving forward.

As SMBs flock to the cloud, service providers can be their wings

  • Worldwide public cloud service spending will double by 2019 to more than $141B (IDC)
  • One third of small businesses are planning to outsource cloud migration services (TechAisle)
  • Cloud adoption services are among the top managed services that customers purchase today (Microsoft)
  • 73% of SMBs would expect their usage of cloud services to increase if they were offered by their main service provider (Skyhigh Networks)

OFFICE 365 AND G SUITE: GETTING TO KNOW THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Modern SMBs realize that the ideal environment for meeting all of their IT needs can be fulfilled by a wide variety of best-in-class cloud applications from several market providers. For service providers, understanding these two major players will enable you to provide custom solutions that fit your clients’ individual needs. Here are just few examples of when Microsoft or Google might be suited for a particular business case:                                                                               

  • If customers have been using Microsoft Office for years, it might make sense to keep applications consistent: Office 365 comes with the entire Microsoft suite of productivity tools that organizations of all sizes have been using for decades, meaning that employees won’t have to make any effort to adapt to a new ecosystem. The benefits of this can be as simple as collaborating, using familiar and effective Word templates in the cloud, or as complex as retaining old Excel macros that aren’t possible in Google Sheets.
  • For organizations with particularly sensitive data, Office 365’s hybrid capabilities are appealing: Unlike G Suite, which is based entirely in the cloud, Office 365 has a local component. This is crucial for more regulated organizations that have strict security compliance guidelines requiring them to store sensitive information offline. It is also helpful for individuals who find themselves without an internet connection. Although G Suite allows you to work offline, it requires either an internet connection before work can be saved (synced to the cloud) or an external application that allows them to be saved.
  • When business complexity requires powerful customization: Whether it’s creating complex accounting algorithms in Excel or having full control over headers, footers and formatting in Word for legal firms, there is a level of customization and control afforded by Office applications that will be required by certain organizations.                                                                                   
  • For SMBs looking for a fully cloud-enabled solution:G Suite has been making inroads with non-traditional companies such as born-in-the-cloud start-ups that are attracted to low-touch technology. Apps for Work was designed as a simple, user friendly, cloud-based software and as such it eliminates the need for IT departments to spend time and money maintaining desktop components and the need for an internal system administrator – companies can simply focus on what they do best. This makes G Suite ideal for many start-ups, as well as for organizations with a minimal IT team.
  • For businesses that desire simplicity: Every Google application has been drilled down to its core; G Suite has sifted through all the features of Office 365 that many organizations feel are unnecessary and redundant and have streamlined capabilities based on the features that end users use most. If it becomes necessary, Apps for Work is fully compatible with Office 365.
  • For a seamless experience across browsers and operating systems: Real-time collaboration among team members on Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides and Sites through Google Drive gives users the ability to view and edit a shared document, and enables teams to collaborate wherever, whenever. Also, because the function exists solely in the cloud, the user experience is seamless across devices, operating systems and web browsers, creating a simple and practical working environment for organizations whose team members may not be using the same operating systems (such as organizations with numerous freelancers).

THE SHOWDOWN: G SUITE VERSUS OFFICE 365

While we at AppHelp are firm believers that G Suite and Office 365 can work together, a couple of us are passionate about our preference for one cloud office system over the other. Below are some thoughts from our highly talented, highly opinionated staff on why you should choose one cloud office product over the other.

Paulo de Tarso Carvalho, Cloud Migration Specialist at AppHelp and G Suite Enthusiast

  • “When compared side by side with Office 365, G Suite’s range of operations matches up in terms of functionality – Gmail to Outlook, Docs to Word, Sheets to Excel and so on. Google does this while providing a more intuitive, less complicated cloud experience.”
  • “My favourite Google applications and features are the ones that center around their collaboration capabilities. Sites is Google’s answer to an enterprise intranet platform giving businesses the ability to create a team- oriented site where members can collaborate. Tools like Research, allow you to remain in a document while accessing the web for Google’s top results of images and information. Revision History allows anyone to see the changes within a document as well as the details of who changed the document and when. Ideas are at the heart of collaboration, and Google Docs Suggestion Mode allows users and teams to make “suggestions”, giving users working on the shared document the ability to add, delete or make an alternative suggestion while also highlighting, user- and date-stamping the change.”

Yan Gauthier, MCSA, Office 365 Deployment Advocate and Specialist at AppHelp

  • “I love Office, and have used it for years. My colleagues and I are still using macros that we wrote over a decade ago, and Microsoft has gone to lengths to ensure that they work in the cloud. Not only does this represent a significant learning curve should we decide to switch to Sheets, but the ability to script fully customized macros doesn’t exist in the G Suite ecosystem like it does in Office 365.”
  • “With Office 365 in the cloud, your entire productivity infrastructure is managed for you, both online and off.”
  • “Security: Unlike Google, Microsoft never accesses email stored in Outlook. With 2 data centers now in Canada (Toronto and Quebec City), your data will never cross borders. Office 365 has received ISO 27001 certification and is audited under the SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 SOC 1 and SOC 2 standards.”

OFFICE 365 & G Suite COMPARISON CHART

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HUMAN-ASSISTED ONBOARDING, APPHELP AND THE SERVICE PROVIDER MARKET

For most service providers, finding the necessary resources to deliver a high quality onboarding service for the SMB market is a challenge.

This is what makes AppHelp’s white label support services so attractive. From pre-purchase, onboarding, all the way through to support – we act as a wrapper around the cloud services you sell, enabling your brand to offer a high value differentiation by providing a full human-assisted onboarding solution for your customers.

If your organization is looking to reduce app churn and increase ARPU from business users, talk to one of our sales reps about how AppHelp can help you deliver on all your cloud reseller requirements through premium technical support that includes onboarding, migrations and ongoing support – always delivered with a human touch.

To learn more about how AppHelp can help you, download our whitepaper Supporting SMBs in the Journey to the Cloud