At the end of last year, Microsoft indicated that it was in the process of developing migration tools that would make it easier for people to move from G Suite to Office 365. The roadmap indicated that the new migration tool would be available in the second quarter of 2019. Over the past couple of weeks, Microsoft has started unveiling the new tools and will finish the roll out over the coming weeks.

Why Leave G Suite?

The roll out comes at an interesting moment in the productivity suite space, particularly for the ongoing rivalry between Google and Microsoft that pitches G Suite against Office 365. Google was forced to increase the price of G Suite recently — the price differential was one of the main reasons enterprises would go with Google rather than Microsoft — pushing the G Suite Basic and G Suite Business productivity suites for the first time ever. G Suite Basic rose from $5 per user per month to $6. G Suite Business, used mainly by SMBs, went from $10 per user per month to $12, while the $25 per user per month for the enterprise edition remained the same.

Ongoing improvements to functionality, which have been characteristic of the suite since its inception, are what Google justified the price changes on. Only two weeks ago, for example, it upgraded again to make G Suite more secure and easier to use — it now offers enough functionality to keep any enterprise leader happy.

So why would enterprises migrate from G Suite to Office 365? There are a number of reasons:

  1. Familiarity -  Most workers are familiar with Microsoft apps.
  2. Email Support - Office 365 comes with Exchange Online, which employees are familiar with and which easily syncs with the Outlook desktop client.
  3. Better Offline Support - G Suite is web-based so for employee’s who edit files offline, the offline capabilities of Office combined with OneDrive for Business are better.
  4. Scalability - Office 365 offers scalability more efficiently that G Suite, owing to its in-built integration with Azure and centralized Admin Center.

Related Article: Don't Know Which Microsoft Collaboration Tool to Use? You're Not Alone

Migration Gets Easier

But will enterprises bother to make the change? G Suite is still cheaper and migration is messy, even though Microsoft has offered migration to Exchange for years, said Mary Leigh Mackie, VP of product marketing at AvePoint. However, the new migration capabilities will make it more attractive and easier to move from G Suite to Office 365. “It’s great to see Microsoft continuing to invest in first-party capabilities, as these tools are always appealing to organizations looking to make the switch to Office 365. For larger organizations, the existing method of migrating Gmail via IMAP just wasn’t cutting it — with the need to reset all passwords and manually compile all source access details,” she said.

She added the fact that the updated and upgraded capabilities are, or will be available to anyone with access to the Admin Center, is doubly appealing (G Suite Drive migration is currently only included in the Fast Track program, for organizations with over 500 users).

She believes the earliest adoption of this tool will likely come from the partner community, who are always eager to test out the latest and greatest. “Not to mention, this provides a great opportunity to grow their margins on migration services,” she said.

Related Article: 12 Productivity Tools Baked Into Office 365

Executive Reluctance

The CEO of AODocs, Stephane Donze, added that for many enterprises in the regulated industries, implementing G Suite to manage document creation, access and storage across the organization is often a nonstarter. Its perception as a consumer product makes execs feel like it doesn't have the right permission levels or compliance features to function for the enterprise because:

  • Organizations don't dig into existing capabilities due to preconceived notions.
  • They don't consider G Suite add-ons for compliance/security.
  • There's a lack of understanding surrounding existing integrations/how G Suite can fit into workflows.
  • There's not enough concern for Shadow IT.

The real question, however, is: Should Google be worried about the release of Microsoft's migration tool? “In short, yes because it reduces the friction disgruntled users of G Suite have for switching to Office 365,” said Ayman Ayoub, VP of sales and marketing at SACA Technologies. "Knowing that Microsoft has developed this tool and will support those who switch might be the straw that breaks the camel's back for those on the fringe of switching."

Learning Opportunities

G Suite Advantages

G Suite is a powerful suite that is cheaper and offers strong collaboration capabilities, according to Andrei Vasilescu, CEO and digital marketing expert of money saving platform DontPayFull. Collaboration and communication, he said, is one of the vital parts of any modern tech business and Microsoft’s Teams, Google’s G Suite and Slack are the most widely used tools for professionals.

Google’s G Suite, he pointed out, is a complete solution for keeping all the in-house and back-office management for any business. It is basically a combination or suite of some of the most useful apps made to help you to manage any business. The versatility of G Suite made it unparalleled to any other collaboration or communication tool for office management. Some of its unique features are:

1. One Email for the Whole Suite 

One Gmail account is the key to accessing all of the useful apps in G suite, that single login allows you to get all the benefits of top class collaboration, communication and office management at the same time. With G Suite you can efficiently and successfully deal with your employees and business associates.

2. Cloud Service Provides Remote Access

Being powered by its own cloud service, Google Drive, G Suite apps are accessible from any location and this cloud compatibility feature allows any legitimate user to remotely access any information anytime. This fast and easy remote access feature makes G Suite apps a very useful collaboration and communication tool for business administrators. Moreover, users can access the required information offline if no internet connection is available.

3. Fluidity in Handling Documents

G Suite apps have resolved the problem of tracking the latest edited version of any document. All the apps in the G Suite are interconnected and every document can be shared and simultaneously edited by different editors from different locations. G Suite allows you to edit any office document without having specific office software and save it in the central cloud store to be available for others.

4. G Suite Apps Are More Secure

G Suite is compatible with Windows, Android and iOS, which run most of the mobile devices and desktop computers in the world. To keep the confidential and valuable data of the users, Google has empowered G Suite with an extremely strong security system. G Suite also offers an efficient team of digital security experts to provide 24/7 help as needed.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that G Suite is still cheaper for the enterprise than Office 365 and Google spends a lot of time and effort developing it and its capabilities. However, for enterprises where both Microsoft and Google are present, these new tools will provide a way of organizing data and productivity apps into a single suite, which in itself is a good reason to avail for the tools. However, there is nothing here that would make an enterprise that is already using G Suite on its own take advantages of the migration options and move to Office 365.