As technology is increasingly linked to all aspects of the business, CNET @ Work can help you – prosumers for small businesses with fewer than five employees.
While Every Small Business Is Different There are a number of applications that almost every small business needs.
These applications are typically grouped in Office "suites" and consist of e-mail, calendars, word processors, and spreadsheets. They are sometimes outfitted with other tools, such as a presentation manager, database, or form manager, and more. One such office suite is Microsoft Office, which is now primarily sold as Office 365. Another is Google's G Suite.
The office suite market has been dominated for years by Microsoft in the form of its Microsoft Office suite of products. Before we became a mobile and web centric world, people had to install the apps on their individual computers, either by inserting a CD-ROM (back in the day), a DVD (back in the day) or by downloading and starting an installer
There was no doubt that Microsoft's Office desktop applications were powerful and powerful, but for many users too large, complex, and a challenge for maintenance and license management.
Microsoft Office is still here. In fact, it is one of the most successful products in history. It was introduced in 1
Why am I talking about Office if it's a G Suite article? Office is the 800-pound gorilla in this room. To understand where G Suite is for your business, it's helpful to learn about Office.
Most small businesses choose Office 365 or G Suite. I use both because they are both cheap at low business rates. I have several client projects that require different tools, and I have favorite features that I use from both products.
I regularly give big presentations, often with 60-70 slides or more, and I do them in the desktop version of PowerPoint. The webcast software we use contains only PowerPoint slides and I have 20 years of muscle memory.
But I also use G Suite.
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G Suite has the standard Office apps
I use Gmail as my primary communication tool and live in it all the time. In 2014, I switched from Desktop Outlook to Gmail and did not regret the move for a moment.
The core of G Suite is Gmail for me. The three biggest advantages are that it's available everywhere, I do not have to worry about where my mail file is (which was a problem in the days of Outlook), and the searchability is excellent.
I have 18 GB of email back to 1997. When I switched to Gmail, I moved all my Outlook messages to my Gmail mail store. Although I've only been with Gmail since 2014, I can search all my mail history in about a second, which is 21 years ago.
Knowing that some of you are asking, I used a service called YippieMove (seriously, that's her name). It took about a week, but all my messages were perfectly transferred from my Office 365 account to Gmail.
Beyond Gmail, these are G Suite's standard apps:
- Calendar: Because Calendar manages multiple calendars so well, it's my entry-level tool to free up time for projects
- Word Processor: G Suite's Word processor
- Spreadsheets: a spreadsheet
- Presentations: a basic presentation pack
- Keep: a great little tool for taking notes
- Web sites: a site builder
- Forms: a tool for creating faster but surprising powerful forms
- Hangouts: a chat tool like Slack
- Hangouts Meet: Hangouts video conferencing
To be honest, this core -G suite business apps are what I would l "good enough". For most users, docs, spreadsheets, and the rest are great for most applications.
That is, if you're a power spreadsheet user performing high-level mathematical modeling, you probably want to use desktop Excel. If you're writing a book that needs to work with a production system, you might want Microsoft Word or a traditional desktop publishing package. As I mentioned earlier, I produce huge presentations, so the desktop version of Microsoft PowerPoint is the only option for me.
However, the vast majority of users are not power users with very specific, deep constraints.
The simplicity of G Suite has a strong appeal. Nick Leffler, owner of the California-based digital marketing company Exrance, said to me, "I've been using G Suite for many years and it's been great on every step of the way, rather than wrapping useless features that complicate things (like Office 365) it's clean and simple. "
Nick opted for G Suite because" it's familiar ground to most people so there's nothing to learn, it just stays out of the way and does the job. "
Why would you pay for G Suite if Google's apps are free?
Most people know that Gmail and the various Google apps, such as Google Docs and Sheets, are available for free. Then why would someone in the form of G Suite pay for it?
The G Suite offers a variety of business-oriented features and functions. I'll cover most of these features later, but here's a quick summary of why you should buy a G Suite subscription instead of using Google consumer versions:
- G Suite provides user management and management capabilities Multiple users  The G Suite adds some very interesting secure and private collaboration features.
- G Suite provides significant storage expansion.
- G Suite offers a variety of audit and business eDiscovery layers. You can use your own e-mail domain.
- In G Suite, you can dial a number and get an actual, useful, human support representative.
Some of them are incredibly useful, I personally appreciate the addition of s Tarage, the personalized email domain and support. The benefits that are important to your business depend on what you need.
I've been picking social media and asking some people how they use G Suite. Samantha Avneri is Marketing Director at Regpack, an online registration software company with less than 30 employees.
She said to me, "We use extensive G Suite tools in our organization to complete tasks and keep documentation for collaboration in one place, easy to edit, and easy to find and find." She went on to say, "Docs is invaluable to my content marketing projects, and Sheets is the only way to upload, edit, and share reports, budgets, and more."
Anita Williams Weinberg is Principal and Creative Director in Seattle-based VerbStudio, a creative agency. Anita said to me, "My team is using G Suite products extensively because we work a lot with startups, and many are boosting blockchain, AI, or IoT companies, so the Google solution is really super-cheap for them."
Speaking of cost: Let's talk about pricing.
The prices of G Suite are clear and understandable
The pricing of Office 365 can be confusing – confusing at the Microsoft level. There are so many different Office subscriptions – depending on whether you're an individual or a small company or a company, or have an existing Windows licensing or Azure plan – that it's almost impossible to have all the options in one describe articles
In contrast, G Suite has three plans: Basic, Business, and Enterprise. Here's a quick summary:
- Basic is $ 5 / month per user. You get all applications 30 GB of memory per user.
- Business is $ 10 / month per user. You get 1 TB of storage per user. If you have five or more users, you will actually get unlimited storage. I'll talk more about that below. It also adds an eDiscovery capability.
- Company is $ 25 / month per user. Business plans include everything contained in the business plan, as well as a range of enterprise-level management and administration tools.
That's one of the things I particularly like about the G Suite. It is clear and understandable.
G Suite is online and does not require installation
Office 365 is an interesting product because it's a hybrid. When you purchase an Office subscription, you'll have access to full-featured downloadable core Office apps (which apps you receive, depending on your subscription), as well as limited versions of apps for mobile and the web.
G Suite is what we call geeks a SaaS app instead of Software as a Service Unlike old-school installable software, such as the core Office applications, do not install G Suite on your computer, just sign in to your G Suite account (similar to signing in) Gmail)
Es are some mobile apps that you can install on your phone, and there is an offline mode so you can work on projects in G Suite without being connected to it e Internet. This is helpful when traveling. Although I personally lose my internet connection, I just sit there and cry pitifully until the parts flow again.
Candy Bellau is the owner of Kramerica Business Solutions LLC, an accounting and business services provider based in Metairie, Louisiana, just outside of New Orleans. She told me, "I love G Suite, everything is bound together, email, calendars, photos, drive, bedding, everything is there, I can access everything from my laptop, phone or computer "What I need to do is login. For my business and my life, it makes things so much easier."
G Suite Gmail, Calendar, and Your Own Email Domain
One of the benefits of G Suite is it allows you to set up your own personal domain as a mail server. This means that you can have email addresses with addresses that are more unique than email@example.com. Instead, you can retrieve and send emails as your firstname.lastname@example.org.
With gmail, you can now also receive and send emails from a personalized domain. The difference is that you need another e-mail server to host this domain. G Suite will host the domain, significantly reducing complications.
I absolutely rely on Google Calendar to manage all my projects and appointments. I am writing this article in Google Docs (although I also use Word – it depends mainly on what works best for my clients). I use Hangouts to communicate with my work teams. And I saved terabytes of data on Google Drive.
G Suite offers a very simple collaboration
G Suite also includes Google+, Google's social network. What makes Google+ so interesting in the context of G Suite is that you can create your own private, secure, corporate social network. While Google+, as a competitor to Facebook, may not have gained so much of its power, it could be very helpful to leverage the power of Google+ in your own organization.
I do not use Google+ very much, but I use the G Suite app Collaboration Simply put, you can open a spreadsheet or word processing document on your screen and share it with as many members of your team as you like. Anyone can edit it, and changes are displayed as they type.
My teams use this frequently in telephone meetings and sometimes keep two or three documents open at the same time and on the screen. Team members can add their own notes, edit table cells, or edit text. I often write headlines right on the phone call and then point it out, and customers can make changes live. It's a huge time saver.
Shawn Breyer operates Atlanta-based Breyer Home Buyers, a home-shopping service. Take a look at their website, because they have an interesting business model in their home market. Shawn told me, "We can accelerate our production with the collaboration capabilities of G Suite, and I can have five people work on the same Google Sheets file at the same time."
Well, to be fair, the online versions of Microsoft's core applications also provide excellent collaboration, but that does not diminish the collaborative power of G Suite. I think G Suite is much easier to set up, reach and enter.
Google apps are also being used more often for collaboration. In the hundreds (if not thousands) of phone conversations in which I shared live documents, the only time we used the online Office 365 apps was the Microsoft client.
Google Drive stores all your documents in the cloud
Google Drive is a direct competitor to Dropbox, Microsoft's OneDrive, Box and other similar services.
As with the other G Suite apps, there is a consumer and custom version of Google Drive and one that is baked in G Suite. Unlike other Google apps for users, users have to pay for Google Drive – and each version may cost more than a G Suite subscription.
Let's take a look at the consumer version first. Starting today (storage services prices are changing so much that this may change as you read it), customers are getting 15GB of storage space for free. If you use Gmail for end users, all your messages will be loaded into this store, as will any files in your apps. Google also allows free photos storage because the consumer version of Google Drive secures many Android phones.
Afterwards, 15GB of storage space (again in the non-G Suite version of Google Drive) is calculated as:
- Up to 100GB: $ 1.99 / month
- Up to 1TB: 9.99 $ / Month
- Up to 10TB: $ 99.99 / month
- Up to 20TB: $ 199.99 / month
- Up to 30TB: $ 299.99 / month
Like you This will add up.
If you compare those prices with those in G Suite, it will be a bit confusing, but work with me for a minute. For G Suite, Google offers two pricing models: one per user storage allocation and unlimited storage.
Affordable G Suite seats have storage for every user. The Basic Plan offers 30GB of cloud storage (along with all of the other G Suite features described above) for $ 5 per month. If all you wanted was memory, the $ 1.99 / month consumer version of 100GB is a better deal.
It's the business plan where things get interesting. If your business plan has less than five users, you pay $ 10 per month and get 1TB of storage per user. This is basically the same deal as the customer service.
But if you have five or more users (either on the business or enterprise plan), you suddenly have unlimited disk space. That's big.
Once upon a time, many cloud storage companies offered unlimited disk space, but one by one, they withdrew these offerings. Now is the only company that offers unlimited storage at a price that small businesses can absorb, Google.
I have about 13 TB on my Google Drive in the cloud. I have more, but since I switched to Google Drive, Comcast's upload speed is so slow that I've only got 13 TB up there. I still have a lot to do. I use Google Drive as my cloud backup service and keep live copies of all my documents. (More about this soon.)
If I tried to save that 13 TB with the Google Drive consumer price model, I'd pay almost two hundred dollars a month, and all that storage would be tied up just for my account. My little business includes my wife, and she could not easily share that space.
On the other hand, I bought a subscription for five users in the Google G Suite Business Plan. Each user costs $ 10 / month. As such, I pay fifty dollars a month for unlimited storage, rather than two hundred dollars a month for storage with a 20 TB cap.
It's a bit weird because I only have two actual users, but by spending the $ 50 / month amount, Google huge storage resources open up completely. I also know that I can easily add up to three additional people to projects without increasing monthly G Suite spend.
Of course, if you do not need to save or backup terabytes, you do not need this service. Keep in mind, however, that projects like 4K video productions eat up memory very, very quickly. For me, this represents a significant part of my storage architecture.
My only fear (and Google's history of destroying products is reasonable) is that Google will one day change its unlimited storage policy, as Amazon did Has. My only real source of hope here is that instead of spending $ 60 a year on what Amazon charges, Google calculates a minimum of $ 50 / month. As storage costs continue to decline (especially on Google, which buys memory in planet-sized pieces), that might be enough to keep the program running.
Full-text search (also in pictures)
I finish my overview of the G Suite with one of my favorite features. Now that I have most of my documents and files in the cloud stored on Google Drive, I get access to Google's legendary search for my documents.
That's great because Google Drive is not just looking for text in text documents. It recognizes everything, even if you've taken a picture of a character and all you have in this file is Pixel, Google Drive will find it.
Between Gmail for all my mail since 1997 and Google Drive (which does not include all my own – authorities and non-FERPA-restricted documents), I can write, scan or photograph anything I've written, in any document
One thing I should keep in mind: Google Drive from Google Suite Search respects access rights Because I'm the primary user in my small company, I have access to everything in my files, but other employees or partners can just by seeing the G Suite's significant administrative and access controls see what's available to them.
Should you get G Suite?
As with almost every purchase, buying and selling is always up to your unique needs The prices for G Suite are affordable for just about any small business and the benefits are quite high.
I have reservations about that Goo gle can see everything I do? Yes. Up to a point. However, since almost all the organizations I work with (including government agencies) also use Google products and services, I think Google will see my stuff in one way or another. As long as Google protects against the injury – and they're in a better position than ever before – I'm not too worried that my documents will go to the Great Index The Sky.