Picking an Office Productivity Product for your Calgary or Southern Alberta Small Business—Office 365 or G Suite?

They say that variety is the spice of life. For many years, small business office staff in Calgary and Southern Alberta had the choice of two basic programs to meet their word processing needs—Word or Word Perfect. At the time, spreadsheets were only accessible through Excel. There wasn’t a lot of choices, and the options within these programs were fewer still. But today, companies like Microsoft and Google are hard at work to give you better and more advanced tools.

Introducing Microsoft Office 365 and G-Suite

Microsoft has expanded, combined, and perfected its offerings into one comprehensive offering known as Microsoft Office 365. Not to be outdone, Google has revamped its original Google Apps to be a more comprehensive, user-friendly software alternative and has named it G-Suite.

How do you decide which one is for your Alberta Small Business? Let’s start with some comparisons.

Overall Common Features

As with any two programs designed for similar functionality, there are some overall basic commonalities.

Both of these powerhouse options offer great solutions for your busy office. They also have some distinct differences. A thorough understanding of what these programs can and cannot do for you will help you in determining which product is the most compatible with your office needs.

Office 365, a product that originated as Microsoft Word, is a tool that is built on power and flexibility. It is available for both desktop and mobile applications and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and all mobile operating systems.

Office 365 has desktop apps that are much more powerful than the simpler mobile apps alone making it a leading choice for people whose primary mode of workforce technology is a laptop or stationary computer terminal.

Also, for those whose offices make use of Windows phone, Office 365 is the only all-inclusive software solution that is completely compatible with it.

In comparison, G Suite, which traces its origins back to the original Google search engine, markets itself as a collaboration tool. It is a web-only product that can be accessed offline or via Chrome with file sharing enabled. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android systems.

What Your Small Business in Calgary or Southern Albert Can Expect with Each Product

Both Office 365 and G Suite offer solutions for day-to-day internal business operations, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two options.

Both programs offer their users access to the following critical applications:

  • Word Processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Email
  • Communication
  • File
  • Storage and Syncing
  • Content Management

Word Processing

Office 365’s word processing feature is the much revered Microsoft Word. It is a full-featured word processing program that is tremendously powerful. Recent upgrades to this well-respected software include more collaboration functions – making it an excellent choice for those involved in team-driven projects.

By comparison, G Suite’s Docs is a more minimalist word processing program that was designed with collaboration in mind. It does not have as many bells and whistles as the more powerful Word, but its main advantage is its user-friendly approach to document creation.


Microsoft Excel is Office 365’s answer to all of your spreadsheet needs. Like its word processing counterpart, Word, it is a robust, full-featured program. It offers advanced formatting – allowing for more technical work processes.

G Suite offers Sheets as its spreadsheet solution. It allows the user to create spreadsheets, but they are bare bones at best. One great feature that Sheets offer that Office 365 does not is a real-time chat window that allows users to discuss changes to any collaborative projects as they proceed through their workload.


Office 365 comes equipped with PowerPoint, a robust presentation software with strong media integration tools. It proudly offers many formatting options and many templates to its users. For those who pride themselves on design, Office 365 is the program that truly delivers.

Office 365 also allows you to add files from YouTube, local media, and other media outlets which can be downloaded into presentation slides and still viewed even when offline.

G Suite offers Slides as its presentation tool. It allows for native YouTube integration. Though its formatting is much more limited than Office 365, it is much simpler and is easy to use.

There are very few templates available for Slides; however, for those who do not view themselves as “tech-savvy,” this can be a great advantage.


When it comes to email, both Office 365 and G Suite share some things in common. Both products offer leading-edge security through their two-step authentication process. G-Suite led the way with this, and Office 365 has just recently added this important security feature to their software suite.

Office 365 also has recently expanded its malware detection tool which makes use of real-time link scanning to approve safe links and reject potentially harmful ones. This is a feature that originated with G Suite and has been added to the Office 365 offering.

Both services also offer spam filtering, calendar integration, customizable themes, and legal holds on inboxes for advanced confidentiality matters.

Outlook is Office 365’s email program. It is desktop software that is bundled with Office 365 at E3 pricing. Its main strengths include an intuitive folder organization system and its ability to set rules and quick steps.

Outlook email is available both online and offline from any browser.

With Outlook, there is no time limit with regard to how far you can go back to view previous emails.

By comparison, G Suite offers Gmail. It is a browser-only application unless third party software is employed. It also offers default smart sort categories. Offline browsing is available but only using the browsers Safari or Chrome.

Gmail only allows users to view material that is one month old or newer.


Both Office 365 and G Suite have instant messaging, voice and video calls, screen sharing, and archived chat log tools to offer their users.

Office 365 makes use of Skype for Business. Skype for Business is an advanced telecommunications tool with the capability to be fully integrated as an enterprise-class telephone replacement.

It has a maximum participant capacity of 250 people, making it a wise choice for larger scale operations.

It is a clean and simple program that is easy to navigate.

Google Hangouts is G Suite’s communication tool. It allows users to sync conversations across devices and is built into many G Suite apps.

The maximum number of participants in a Google Hangouts chat is 25.

File Storage and Syncing

Both programs share many commonalities in this department. Both products allow for file syncing between the cloud and local computing systems. They also have the capability of file sharing both within and outside the company organization.

Each system is equipped for both online readers and editors to allow for quick viewing and editing.

Content Management

Office 365 offers content management through its SharePoint software. SharePoint has many strengths. It is equipped with metadata tagging and has a strict check in and check out systems to prevent simultaneous changes by multiple users.

SharePoint also has an advanced records management system which allows for viewing of versions histories and related documents. It also has automated workflow processes to enable more efficient work practices.

G-Suite’s Sites has a quick deployment. It is much more user-friendly than its Office 365 counterpart, yet it is limited in its customization features and search capabilities.

Other Tools Your Calgary or Southern Alberta Small Business Might be Interested to Explore.

Office 365 offers a note-taking program called OneNote. OneNote is a very robust, thorough notes program. It offers the option of preparing indexed notes and notebooks.

G Suite also has a note taking tool which goes by the name Keep. It also a great software solution for notetaking and gives users the opportunity to take simple, individual, stand-alone notes to preserve for future reference.

Office 365 also offers three programs that are unique to its suite. They are Delve, Flow, and Bookings.

So, now that you have a better understanding of the two programs—which one is the one for you?

Maybe you’d like to make use of a combination of the two. CTECH Consulting Group is your expert IT team with great solutions for Office 365 and G Suite. We can custom design a package to both meet and exceed your Calgary or Southern Alberta Small Business needs.

Contact us now at (403) 457-1478 or info@ctechgroup.net to get started.