Google Apps vs SharePoint
Last updated: February 24, 2017
Web-based email, calendar, and documents for teams. Google's web-based messaging and collaboration apps require no hardware or software and need minimal administration, creating tremendous time and cost savings for businesses. End users can use the familiar Microsoft Outlook interface for email, contacts and calendar as they transition to Gmail and Google Calendar.
SharePoint's multi-purpose platform allows for managing and provisioning of intranet portals, extranets and websites, document management and file management, collaboration spaces, social networking tools, enterprise search, business intelligence tooling, process/information integration, and third-party developed solutions. SharePoint can also be used as a web application development platform.
Latest news about Google Apps and SharePoint:
24.02.17. SharePoint Framework is generally available. Microsoft has released SharePoint Framework, that allows developers and administrators to build and deploy parts that are used by Office 365 users in their production environments. In practical terms, this means using web technologies to build apps on SharePoint that are agile, responsive and, more to the point, mobile friendly. SharePoint has been used as an application and development platform for a long time. It offers numerous sets of development and customization options. But the release of Framework is a big step in improving the SharePoint developer experience, which has often been characterized as clumsy and difficult.
15.11.16. Microsoft connects SharePoint Team Sites to Office 365 Groups. Microsoft is introducing SharePoint and Office 365 team sites integration - the new feature that allows to create connected SharePoint Online team sites in seconds. Here's how the new integration works. When someone creates an Office 365 Group, the service will automatically create a SharePoint team site (with the appearance controlled by the team site administrator) that can include pages, lists, libraries and team news. SharePoint team sites provide a place where teams can communicate, share documents and work together on projects. They are easy to use and enable users create a site for every project the team is working on. Team sites are accessible on all kinds of devices so can be used by mobile workers too.
06.10.16. Microsoft released SharePoint for Android. Though Microsoft is not actively competing on the mobile OS market already for two years (i.e. not pushing its WindowsPhone), it's still very slow in releasing Android apps. Only now the company is unveiling SharePoint mobile client for Android phones and tablets. The app provides the functionality to work with team sites, documents stored in SharePoint under the main categories of Sites, Links and People. To use the SharePoint app organizations need to have an Office 365 subscription that includes SharePoint Online, with support for SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint 2016 to be added later. Earlier this year Microsoft released SharePoint mobile apps for iOS and WindowsPhone (though the second app is still in preview).
30.09.16. Google Apps rebranded as G Suite. Google rebranded its online office suite Google Apps for Work as G Suite. Google says the new name better reflects the mission of helping people everywhere work and innovate together, Blah Blah Blah... So at first sight it seams that Google marketers have nothing to do except changing titles. But from the other side, this move shows that Google is again interested in Enterprise collaboration market, and may be soon we'll see the real innovations in its office suite. In particular Google promises more machine intelligence features, for example the ability to interact with Drive, Docs and Spreadsheets with natural language commands and queries. The pricing of G Suite remains the same - $5/month per user.
21.06.16. Microsoft brings SharePoint to iOS. Microsoft launched a new mobile app for SharePoint customers aimed at bringing a company’s SharePoint-powered intranet portal and its content to users’ smartphones and tablets. The app is initially available on iOS – meaning it will work on iPhone and iPad – but it will arrive on both Android and Windows platforms before year end, Microsoft says. The app works with either SharePoint Online in Office 365 or SharePoint Server 2013 or 2016 in on-premises or hybrid scenarios. It features a Sites tab that lets you visit the SharePoint sites you frequent, so you can see recent activity, files, and access these files, lists, pages, and other content on those destinations. The app also works with other Microsoft mobile apps, the company notes. For example, when you click an Office document in the app, it will launch the corresponding Office mobile app; and when you view a document library on a team site, you’ll be taken to the OneDrive mobile app for iOS.
18.06.16. SharePoint adds new document libraries. Now that SharePoint 2016 is here, Microsoft is slowly releasing SharePoint Document Libraries to its commercial Office 365 subscribers using SharePoint Online. The new document libraries take SharePoint in a more user-friendly direction. They make it easier for users to access documents, edit document metadata and push content to the top of the document library. It's a big deal — which addresses persistent complains about previous editions of SharePoint around the difficulties of use. In the long run-up to the release of SharePoint 2016, Microsoft promised to focus on user experience.
03.09.14. Google for Work: why Google makes big rebranding of its business products?. Usually Google doesn't use to rename its products all the time, like Microsoft. But this time they decided to take this step and renamed the group of business services Google Enterprise with Google for Work. From now Google Apps is called Google Apps for Work, the enterprise search engine - Google Search for Work, etc. Why did they do this? Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, explained this rebranding with the change of the way how people work now. Previously, people worked only in the Enterprise-cubicles, where their computers with business programs were installed. Now they can Work anywhere using cloud applications. In addition, Google is now positioning (or selling) its services not as tools for Enterprises, but as tools for people that help them to do their favorite Work.
2013. Microsoft's social networks: Yammer vs SharePoint Newsfeed. Last year, when Microsoft acquired Yammer (the service for building enterprise social networks), it already had own the own social network based on SharePoint (now it's called SharePoint Newsfeed). And that's OK, because Microsoft bought Yammer not for the engine, but for the customer base and the image of social vendor. But now, it seems, Microsoft doesn't know what to do with two almost identical solutions. In June, Office 365 users got the opportunity to replace SharePoint Newsfeed to Yammer, and Microsoft continues to insist that Yammer - is its future and that soon Yammer will become the platform for all its business apps. But on the other hand SharePoint Newsfeed also continues to evolve. For example, today SharePoint Newsfeed app for Windows 8 has been launched. And it's very similar to Yammer app for Windows (guess where is what on the screenshots).
2013. Google Groups adds features for collaboration and customer support. Just before the closure of Google Reader, Google has rolled out unexpected update for its another service - Google Groups. Yes, this forum / mailing list is still alive and even updating. And this despite that in Google Apps this service competes directly with Google+, which Google offers to use as an internal social network. Well, it's useless to try to understand the logic of Google. But let's get back to the update, which is called Collaborative Inbox. Now, in Google Groups you can create a group that will operate as a support forum / task list. Users will be able to post questions/tasks, administrator can assign task owners and when task is complete - change its status to Closed. In addition, you can assign an email-address for the group (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org) and all customer emails to this address will be automatically converted to topics in this group. And the task owner will be able to post the response via email directly from the Groups interface.
2013. Video: How to build company website in Microsoft Office 365. Perhaps for many people it will be a surprise, but Microsoft Office 365 allows to create a public website for your company (thanks to SharePoint Online component). The practice of building websites on SharePoint existed for a long time. But it was quite expensive (due to the cost of SharePoint licenses and Windows hosting). Second, SharePoint was originally designed for intranet portals, and for public sites it's not very appropriate. Therefore, only large companies (for whatever reasons) used SharePoint as a website engine. But with the appearance of Office 365 things changed to better. Having Office 365 subscription, small business owner can create a company website for free. And the only technical skills he needs - is Word editing. Watch the video:
2013. Google discontinues YouTube, adds revolutionary features to GMail and Google Apps. Google continues to close good services and invent stupid things. Youtube was very useful service for business. It was the primary channel for video marketing and hosted a lot of training videos. But it turned out that Youtube - was just a contest to define the best video in the history, and now when the contest is over - Youtube will be closed. In order to compensate this loss Google introduced two big updates for GMail and Google Apps. The first of them - Gmail Blue - it's the new revolutionary inbox interface that is completely blue. Blue buttons, blue icons, blue text. They say it's the interface of the 21st century (see video above). And the Google Apps adds "Levity" mode, which makes calendars, messages and documents more interesting and relaxing and increases the efficiency of team work. Video:
2013. IBM kills Lotus. Microsoft kills SharePoint. Perhaps the two most famous brands in the history of enterprise software, Lotus and SharePoint, will soon disappear. We mean brands, not specific products. Because by renaming their products, vendors try to erase the association with outdated technologies in customer brain. For example, Lotus appeared back in the 80-s years of last century. In 1995 IBM acquired Lotus Development and began selling their products Lotus Notes/Domino. In the following years most IBM collaboration systems moved under the Lotus umbrella. But last year the revolution occurred. The last child of the Lotus family - SaaS suite LotusLive was renamed to SmartCloud for Social Business. And then the name Lotus was removed from other products. The final nail was the recent launch of Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition (without Lotus).
2013. Office 365 for Business: new pricing quest from Microsoft. A month after the release of Office 365 home version, Microsoft is launching the updated version of Office 365 for Business. Just like in its previous incarnation, the business version besides the office editors (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, InfoPath) contains the email server Exchange, SharePoint portal and communications system Lync. Plus all sorts of IT-friendly things like Active Directory integration and the Admin Console. And as usual, Microsoft comes up with confusing variety of subscription plans. For example, some editions don't include desktop Office apps and some - include. Some editions can be installed on 5 computers, some - just on one. Some prices are per month, some - per year. And of course, every edition has different limit in the number of users. The price of Office 365 Small Business Premium, which provides the same functionality as Google Apps, is $150/year per user (Google Apps costs $50).
2012. Google adds free QuickOffice to Google Apps, improves MS Office documents conversion. We all hope that since Google removed free version from Google Apps, the development of this office suite will become more active. For example, it will get the full-featured mobile version. As you know, in June, Google bought the best mobile office QuickOffice. And only after 6 months (!) it started to tie it somehow to Google Apps. The free version of QuickOffice for iPad (including text processor, spreadsheets and presentations) is now available to paid Google Apps users. The versions for iPhone and Android will be also available soon. QuickOffice for Google Apps unlike the regular version of QuickOffice can save your documents to Google Drive. Why QuickOffice is better than Google's own Google Docs, that already work on iOS and Android?
2012. Google terminates free Google Apps subscription. From today, companies can't sign up for the free version of Google Apps. They are suggested to start the 30-day free trial of Google Apps for Business and then begin paying $50 per user per year. Existing free version users won't be affected. The free version of Google Apps for several years, was, perhaps, one of the main engines of SaaS market. Business owners trusted Google and liked the familiar interface of GMail, Calendar, Google Docs - so they didn't mind to move a part of their business activities to the cloud office. At first, the free Google Apps version had almost no difference from the paid one and was only limited by the number of users in one domain (up to 200). In 2009 this limit was reduced to 50, and in the past year - to 10 users. Today - to zero. Why Google did it?
2012. SharePoint 2013 will integrate Yammer, provide platform around the online version. At the SharePoint Conference 2012 Microsoft revealed some new facts about the upcoming SharePoint 2013. But nothing specific has been announced - just few promises. The exact release date is also still unknown. Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Office Division Kris Koenigsbauer promises a launch during the first fiscal quarter of 2013, which falls between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Now about the Yammer. As expected, Microsoft will integrate this social intranet service (acquired in June) into SharePoint. The integration will be done via Yammer Web Parts and Yammer Open Graph. Got it? And soon (Microsoft says) SharePoint will become a system "powered by Yammer". Ok, let's look what is the real sense of integration between SharePoint and Yammer.
2012. Google offers Google+ as an enterprise social network. Enterprise social networks a la Facebook have become very popular business tool: companies have learned to use it efficiently and vendors are ready to eat each other for a place in the market (for example, Microsoft ate Yammer). Meanwhile Google, in its business suite Google Apps haven't provided the social networking tool so far. So Google decided to fill this gap with Google+ for Google Apps, which has become available for everybody today. It allows you to use your company page on Google+, not only as a front-end in the social network, but also as an internal collaboration and communication tool. Employees can add messages that are visible only within the company and can't be shared to public. They can also start video conferencing meetings via Hangouts, which will be open only for other employees (and invited external parties).
2012. SharePoint 2013 will include SkyDrive Pro. Together with Office 2013 Microsoft unveiled the beta version of SharePoint 2013. This is still an early version, and we won't review it so far (in particular, it's still no information about possible integration with Yammer). But one thing is this beta has already attracted great public interest - SkyDrive Pro. We have previously reported that SharePoint is being attacked by the army of file synchronization services called "Dropbox for Enterprise", and that SkyDrive's technology should help SharePoint to overcome these attacks. And so it happens, but as usual, Microsoft has added an element of chaos to this project. Why was it necessary to create a separate service called SkyDrive Pro? Why they just not added simple file sync functionality to SharePoint without inventing new titles? It's even more confusing as SkyDrive Pro won't replace the existing off-line client - SharePoint Workspace, but will be used along with it.
2012. Microsoft buys Yammer to protect SharePoint. Of course, it wasn't a secret that Yammer (the service that invented social intranet) - is a successful startup. But no one could imagine how successful it is. Microsoft is buying Yammer for as much as $1.2 billion. Most likely, it's too big price, but Microsoft has to overpay in order to protect its flagship product - SharePoint. We have already noted that after the rapid start, SharePoint has stopped in development. And lately two threats for SharePoint have appeared. The first threat is called "DropBox for business" - the new class of tools that sync files between computers and mobile devices. And the second threat - are these solutions for building enterprise social networks (Chatter, Yammer, Socialcast, Jive, etc.). For the first threat Microsoft has an answer - SkyDrive, but the social component in SharePoint it very weak.
2012. Don't use SharePoint while walking!. For Microsoft health and safety of the users - is the highest priority. And to prevent people from falling and being injured while working with SharePoint on the go, Microsoft just doesn't release mobile clients for SharePoint (except one for Windows Phone, which is used by very few users). But there are people for whom money means more than user security. Harmon.ie (the company known for its Outlook plug-in, which allows to collaborate on files stored in SharePoint) has released a mobile application for iPhone/iPad that works as a mobile SharePoint app. Now mobile users with smartphones and tablets can collaboratively edit documents stored in SharePoint, comment them, track the history of changes and versions, agree the documents. It's so easy and convenient that people do this even while walking and because of this already 2675 were injured due to falls and other accidents. The sufferers have already created a web site protesting against the new mobile app - www.DontSharepointWhileWalking.com