6 Reasons You Might Choose Office 2010 Over Google Apps for Business
July 25, 2011
Both Microsoft Office 2010 and Google Apps offer an array of business-friendly features, but the latest Office offers unmatched features—if you’re willing to pay the price.
Microsoft Office 2010 became available for corporate customers in May, bringing with it an extensive set of new features that extend across all of the applications in the suite. One of the most prominent features is the new focus on collaboration and accessibility, which puts it in direct competition with Google Apps for Business and Google Docs.
Let’s not discount the value of Google apps. SMBs with data needs that do not stray from word documents, e-mail and light spreadsheet needs, could manage very well with Google Docs. For small businesses and those with little resources to invest in infrastructure; hardware, software licences and IT staff to manage them, Google Docs is an ideal business solution. And, let’s face it, there are plenty of you out there who just don’t want to use Microsoft products.
These considerations aside, however, there are some concerns, which, if they apply to you, make Office 2010 the obvious choice. Here are 6 reasons your company might pick Office 2010 over Google Apps for Business.
- Number-Crunching and Complex Spreadsheets: It’s wrong to assume that all small businesses have small needs. Accountants, insurance underwriters, and other data-warriors require features like Charts, Sparklines, and advanced Pivot Table capabilities, which make Excel 2010 a powerful tool for those in finance verticals. Excel 2010 is also 64-bit, meaning businesses can use it to create spreadsheets larger than 2 GB (the limit in 32-bit Office 2007) and that it will perform more efficiently. Google Docs, on the other hand, lacks those features and is limited 256 columns, 200,000 cells, or 100 sheets (whichever is reached first).
- Data Security: Google Docs, like any cloud-based service, stores your information remotely. That may not be of much concern for everyone, but if your business has compliance regulations like PCI DSS or HIPAA, having data reside locally makes it much easier to meet certain regulation requirements. Although Google Apps (which includes Docs) is SAS 70 Type II certified (A CPA auditing standard) it is not officially compliant with HIPAA, PCI or other standard regulations: “Google doesn’t certify or identify Google Apps as being compliant with any specific set of regulations,” according to a quote from an official Google blog thread. If you have your own local Sharepoint server, you have more control over your business’ adherence to compliance regulations.
- Graphics and Editing: If a large portion of your business content consists of graphics-heavy presentations and documents, Office 2010 will prove attractive, as it has more graphics tools than Google Docs. In-document editing of images and videos is now part of Word and PowerPoint 2010. One of the handiest new features is Broadcast Slideshow (a part of PowerPoint 2010), which lets users broadcast slideshows to remote viewers via a browser. Google Presentations, while improved, with new drawing and diagramming abilities, remains feature-thin compared to PowerPoint.
- Web Applications/Database Needs: There is still no true relational database offering from Google. For SMBs needing to create custom databases and components like forms, or applications, Access 2010 is robust and powerful tool featuring a VBA programming environment that now delivers a way to push apps to the Web. You’ll need to buy the $499 Office Professional version for this, however.
- Familiarity: Office is still the most widely-used productivity suite, and is firmly rooted in the SMB and enterprise space. This means there won’t be much of a learning curve, or need for massive re-training of employees, should a company upgrade to Office 2010. That can be a massive hidden cost for companies making the switch.
- Collaboration: Yes, Google provides a collaborative environment, but it’s limited, in that administrators can’t granularly control it (for example, it was only just recently that Google added folder sharing for Docs). Conversely, Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 allow administrators to control collaboration, and report on changes and activity within the organization.
Source Article: PC Mag