The pervasiveness of Google services makes them a natural choice, especially among individual users. However, in business processes pertaining to company communications, data management, sharing documents, as well as the organisation and structure of meetings, Microsoft solutions are an obvious alternative.
Nearly half the corporations in the world use SharePoint, and in 22 percent of the companies all employees have access to the system, mostly due to its good integration with MS Office applications, as well as the clear set of functions offered by the system. For these companies SharePoint OnLine – which is a part of Office 365 – is a natural entryway to the cloud environment, and certainly a more developed tool than the competing Google Sites solutions. In situations where a company cannot store their data in the cloud they can use an alternative in the form of the local installation of the SharePoint system. Additionally, all SharePoint libraries can be viewed directly via Windows Explorer, which further facilitates collaboration on documents.
Microsoft also offers a service equivalent to Google Drive, in the form of OneDrive. OneDrive enables users to safely store their documents in the cloud and share them. It also ensures synergy in sharing Office documents, while preserving all functionalities and the possibility of editing all supported file formats. The space offered for the user documents is 10GB – twice as much as Google Drive. As a business solution OneDrive can be easily integrated with the company’s ActiveDirectory, thanks to which you can, for example, easily share a document with a group named “Management in my company” and be sure that the group is managed by the company administrators.
The popular Google Calendar can be easily replaced with Exchange Online – enterprise e-mail in the cloud, with the greatest advantage being the ability to synchronise all Microsoft applications, especially Outlook. How about other advantages over Google Calendar? Exchange allows you to manage meeting dates (with the ability to book conference rooms or company cars entered in the company’s AD) both internally and externally, and it also offers teleconferences using Skype for Business, secure e-mail and robust spam filtering.
Skype Translator is an interesting alternative to Google Translate – it can translate your messages into over 50 languages and provides great support with voice-based communication in seven languages.
The main benefit of using Microsoft solutions is the synergy of the environment comprising Windows 10 with built-in OneDrive synchronisation, MS Office off-line and Office365, which significantly facilitates your work. Also important is the integration of all Office applications with the cloud, which enables users to work on their documents while they are off-line, as well as when they are connected to the network. Furthermore, the wealth of additional tools available in the Office 365 cloud, such as Delve, Video, Sway, Planner, Power BI and Project Online opens more possibilities for business users.
Thanks to the robust integration of all tools, a user who has a computer with Windows 10 installed, all documents synchronised with OneDrive, who uses e-mail and calendar in Office 365 and a Windows-powered smartphone can take advantage of an up-to-date calendar on their phone, as well as constant access to all the files on the computer. They can also easily find contact details for their colleagues by browsing the company’s Active Directory on their phone, or take part in a teleconference using Skype for Business, even while out of the office.
Big Data Architect, RTOM & Machine Learning Project Manager and a Digital Workplace Expert at Unity Group. Apart from his extensive commercial experience, Maciej holds a PhD and is a senior lecturer the Department of Business Intelligence in Management at the University of Economics in Wroclaw.