Can Office 365 and G Suite work together?
You may have decided to switch to G Suite for your business, but some of your clients, vendors, or employees might still be using Office 365. Don’t panic just yet! There is no need to set up two completely separate systems just to make everyone happy. Using a combination of the Microsoft Office and G Suite has been an effective solution for many companies. If done correctly, you should be able to manage just about everything through the G Suite administrator panel, thus maintaining security as well as keeping everything in one place for easy access and collaboration among your team.
Google has made huge progress in supporting Microsoft Office formats, as well as easing the conversion process between the two giants. Thanks to their efforts, G Suite and Office 365 are compatible for the majority of business needs. In this article, we will outline many of the ways that the two can work seamlessly together.
At Burgmann Anglican School, because of the number of staff as well as a large number of students, they chose to leave the choice in the hands of each person accessing their integrated system:
“When it comes to preference it comes down to the choice of the individual because both platforms have all the tools. We made the decision to go with Office 365 for email over Google Mail, but we intended to let the students choose the rest. Our rationale was Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Presentations are apps similar to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. MS Lync and Hangouts are similar encourage collaboration. The key point is having a choice!”
Google Drive for Microsoft Office storage and sharing
Recently, Google said it had included the ability to comment on Microsoft files, PDFs, and images, without having to leave Google Drive or convert documents. This is great news for companies seeking to integrate their Microsoft Office use with G Suite. It means there is even more that you can do now with Microsoft documents in G Suite.
Microsoft Office file types are already compatible with G Suite and can be uploaded, downloaded, stored, viewed, and shared within the interface. The Google Drive cloud has become an absolute essential for business.
Now, notes can be added and shared among employees to help with communication and organization of files. Documents created in Microsoft Office, as well as those created in G Suite, can both be stored in the same shared company Google Drive, making collaboration simple and files easy to manage.
Word and Google Docs
While Microsoft Word has more bells and whistles than Google Docs, the Google version has kept all of the most commonly used features. The majority of documents can be created in it with little trouble.
However, if you need the more advanced features of Microsoft Word, or if someone in your organization just is not ready to make the changeover to Docs yet, they can create their document in Word and then either upload it to Google Drive or convert it easily into a Google Doc.
To convert a Word document into a Google Doc, simply go to Google Docs, open a new blank document, click file, then click open, and select your Microsoft Word document. It is that easy! With just a few clicks, everything is done.
It can also be done in reverse. Simply download a Google Doc to your computer and open it in Microsoft Word as you would any document. Also, if you need to send a file to a client in a format that they are comfortable with, Google Docs also has options for saving in various formats. Simply select the one your client or vendor prefers and save it to your computer or Google Drive.
Microsoft and Google work almost flawlessly together, especially when it comes to documents. The strides they have made recently have only added to this.
Excel and Google Sheets
Excel and Google Sheets have a similar story as Word and Docs. Excel has more features, but your average user will never find the need for them, although specialists might.
Also, like with Word and Docs, Excel sheets can be uploaded, opened, viewed, and edited using Google Sheets and Google Drive. And, any spreadsheets downloaded from Google Sheets can be opened from within Microsoft Excel.
At Telus International, there are employees that still need some of the added functionality that comes in Excel. They use the macros that are available within Microsoft Excel, but not available (yet!) in Google Sheets. Their solution is to allow those workers to continue to use the on-premise Microsoft Office software while meeting the rest of their business needs with G Suite. They are happy with the setup and look forward to future developments that will let them fully integrate into G Suite.
Outlook and Gmail
You can set up individual user accounts in Gmail so that the user can go directly to the Gmail interface and get the most from the experience, or the users can make changes individually by utilizing their company-branded email account from G Suite in Outlook with only a few simple settings needing to be altered to achieve that. As an administrator, you will be able to control everything within G Suite, while still letting each employee use the interface they are most comfortable with.
An administrator can set up routing for an organization and choose from a variety of email routing options. In addition, the individual user can set up access to their Gmail emails via simple-to-follow instructions for POP email accounts. They just need to go to the settings section in their Gmail account and follow the directions.
While Microsoft and Google are becoming more compatible, there are areas in which the two do not sync flawlessly.
One of the areas in which the two are still limited is the calendar. Google pulled the plug on its utility for syncing the two calendars quite a while ago. There are alternatives, but they include using a third program to combine the two, which takes the final product outside of both G Suite as well as Office 365. This may be helpful for individuals but is unlikely to be an effective solution for an organization, especially if you need to maintain control of a central calendar.
Making the change to G Suite can be daunting for those who are accustomed to using Office 365, but it does not have to be. Whether you choose to switch fully, or continue to run your business using both options, the workflow can continue with the same ease, and communication and collaboration will only increase with the addition of the G Suite features including Google Drive, Google Hangouts, and Gmail.
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