Is Google G Suite Or Microsoft Office 365 Right For Schools?

Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 offer a plethora of great services for students and teachers alike. The truth is no one program is inherently better than the other; however, your exact needs, modus operandi, the number of students your school has and other factors will all have a bearing on which product is the best fit for your educational institution. 

Adam Mahoney, an IT support NYC professional in the education market shares following breakdown of Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 can help you make the right decision for your situation.

Google G Suite: The Good and the Bad

Google G Suite currently has 80 million users and it's not hard to see why. It's free and comes with a full suite of applications, including:

  • Gmail
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Google Keep
  • Google Sites
  • Google Hangouts

G Suite's Google Classroom is particularly handy. This online app allows teachers to manage students, give out homework, grade assignments and provide students with important updates. Other benefits of using G Suite include its clean, intuitive user interface, unlimited fire storage space in Google Drive and advanced encryption system to keep cybercriminals at bay.

At the same time, educators should be aware that G Suite doesn't offer full offline functionality. Additionally, Google Hangouts doesn't provide a high-quality video call platform, file sharing capabilities and instant messaging like Microsoft Office 365 does.

Microsoft Office 365: The Good and the Bad

Microsoft Office 365 has more than 100 million active users. Following are some of the most important features and amenities it offers for educational institutions:

  • Online only access to Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word, OneNote and Outlook
  • Exchange
  • OneDrive
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Skype for Business
  • Yammer
  • School Data Sync
  • Flow

Microsoft Office 365 offers up to 50GB in Outlook storage space and 1TB of OneDrive storage space. Additionally, many of its programs contain useful features that G Suite doesn't offer. Microsoft Word, for instance, allows students to edit images and autocorrect their coursework. Chat and call capabilities are integrated as well to allow students working together on an assignment to communicate with each other quickly and easily. Skype for Business, which is included in the package, allows for up to 250 participants in conference calls and offer high-quality video.

Not all Microsoft 365 plans are free. Two plans, the A3 plan and the A5 plan, offer additional features in exchange for a small monthly fee. These features include access to additional programs as well as the ability to use apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint offline as needed.

Perhaps the biggest downside of using Microsoft Office 365 is that Microsoft's classroom management features don't measure up to those offered by G Suite. What is more, it can take time for those who are not technologically savvy to master Microsoft Office 365 as the plan isn't particularly user-friendly.

Creating the Perfect Set-Up For Your School

It's wise to carefully look at the pros and cons of each program before making a decision regarding which plan to use. At the same time, don't shy away from getting professional help if doing so will enable you to make the best possible decision. IT management services aren't just for businesses, NGOs and the healthcare industry; there are also some that offer services and packages specifically tailored to meet the needs of schools, high schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States. What is more, a good IT management company will tailor its offerings to meet your specific needs, enabling you to order only the products, services and amenities your school needs at any given time.

Network Solutions is a reputable IT management service that specializes in working with educational institutions throughout New York State. We offer support when glitches come up with your service plan, enabling you to solve problems before they hinder student and teacher progress. We provide the enhanced protection your school needs to avoid the damaging ransomware attacks that are becoming increasingly common throughout the United States. Other services include mobile device management services, VoIP systems and cloud sharing collaboration systems to lighten your workload and enable you to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Get in touch with us at your convenience to learn how we can work with you to provide the top-quality education your children need and deserve.

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