Google Workspace Business Standard Review

Google Workspace, formerly known as GSuite, remains one of the best business-class email hosting choices. You get a maximum of 300 users, 2TB cloud storage per user, 150 video conferences with recordings through Google Meet and the Google suite of tools that make the platform so popular including Drive, Docs , Sheets, Slides, Forms, and of course Gmail. Workspace isn’t better than Microsoft 365 Business Premium, but it’s a first-class alternative that joins this platform along with Intermedia Hosted Exchange to earn our Editors’ Choice designation.

Google Workspace pricing and plans

Google Workspace starts at $ 12 per user per month for the Business Standard edition we tested. In addition to the features mentioned above, the package includes video meeting hosting with up to 150 participants and dedicated management and security tools for IT administrators. A 14-day free trial is available on the Google website.

If that’s too rich for your blood, there’s a Business Starter plan that costs just $ 6 per user per month. This also includes access to the Workplace productivity suite, but with some feature disparities, such as a cap of 100 video meeting attendees and no noise cancellation. In addition, file storage is reduced to 30 GB per user.

Overall, Google Workspace is good value for money, but only because it includes one of the leading online productivity suites. If you compare it to our cheapest competitor, IceWarp Cloud, Google’s offering certainly looks expensive – IceWarp’s lowest tier starts at just $ 2.50 per user per month and even its mid-tier plan doesn’t. ‘increases to $ 3.90. Then again, IceWarp’s productivity suite lags far behind the capabilities of Workspace and its next productivity competitor, Microsoft 365.

To start

During the registration process, you must provide a domain name. I have mixed feelings that this is such an important and visible item, as creating a domain tends to be somewhat painful the first time you do it. However, Google provides enough instructions that experienced IT pros shouldn’t have too much trouble handling them. Once you’ve added the correct information and verified your domain, you’re off to the races.

Unfortunately, I was unable to test the account management part due to the restrictions of my test account, but it is done through the same app that you set up a domain in (called Google Domains). Permissions can then be set to indicate whether you are adding a standard user or an administrator. You can also customize specific roles in case you don’t want to give each admin keys to the realm.

Much of the magic of Google is how little configuration you need, but you still get the same kinds of options you have elsewhere. Policies, quarantines, and retention policies are all fair game, although I haven’t been able to test them much due to my account restrictions.

Google Workspace Business Calendar

While Workspace extends to a wide range of tools, the most popular is probably Gmail. Love it or hate it, the interface is intuitive and modern, with almost anything you want to see on screen. Hangouts, meetings, and your emails are all right at your fingertips with the rest of Google’s app menu. Google has paid attention to the details of a typical workflow and understands that many of us live in our email. For this reason, the most popular items like Google Chat, Tasks, and Google Meet are quickly accessible from one screen.

When you need to open an attached document, you click to save it to Google Drive and start working on it. If necessary, you can share this document with others and work at the same time. Combine that with Google Meet and Jamboard for the whiteboard, and you’ve got a great set of tools for remote working, with the ability to quickly share ideas and get traction on your documents at the same time. . For those who need to improve collaboration, Google Chat lets you create virtual rooms that allow you to have conversations with shared files and tasks, similar to Microsoft Teams.

Collaboration of Google Workspace documents

Google also offers unique messaging features. One of the most annoying things about email is the person who never remembers to answer. Gmail has the ability to “push” someone about an intact message as a reminder to get them back on track. This seems to be an effective strategy for people who are only looking at things at the top of their inbox.

The calendar has also undergone a major upgrade. Like in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, calendar entries can be public or private, so only the right level of information is available to your colleagues. I especially liked the automatic message that you can set directly from the calendar when you report yourself as out of the office. There is also a one-click option to add Google Meet video conferencing to a meeting. Of course, like with almost every other calendar app, you can set reminders for a specific time or snooze reminders if you’re inclined to snooze alerts like me.

Perhaps one of the most useful features is the appointment slots component. Sometimes you and your team have a busy schedule and it’s hard to find a time when everyone can meet. You can give Google Calendar a meeting duration and a set of attendees, and it will try to pick the best time for you. This only works, of course, if everyone keeps their calendars up to date.

Chat on Google workspace

Google Workspace Security and Integration

Google’s data centers are among the best in the world. In addition to being geographically distributed, they have performed all relevant SOC audits and meet all the standards necessary to ensure the security of your data. While that doesn’t mean that an attacker couldn’t steal your password and read your email, it does mean that no one is going to break the door to Google’s data center so they can steal your server’s hard drives.

On the software side, Google supports several forms of two-factor authentication, and the website says data is “encrypted when stored on disk, stored on backup media, or traveling between data centers.” . New to the service is the ability to send secure emails, which adds additional legitimacy to Google’s growing presence in business. For those who are not on the Google platform, you will get a hyperlink that will ask you to validate with a password to view the contents of the email. This is very similar to the secure messaging feature of Microsoft 365.

In terms of integration, Google Workspace, just like its Microsoft counterpart, is well integrated with a wide variety of products and services, including all of the popular ones, like Slack and Salesforce. It is almost more surprising to find a service that is not integrated with Google than one that is.

Everything you need for email hosting

Google Workspace has everything you need for a productive office environment, both on-premises and for employees working remotely. Also, since many people are already used to using Gmail for their personal correspondence, it is not very difficult to switch to the business edition. With video conferencing, document editing, and collaboration tools included, Workspace is a serious competitor to Microsoft 365 Business Premium at just over half the cost.

The only real downside is the lack of 100% compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. This really mostly applies to Excel and some data-centric operations, but as long as you have to take Microsoft’s software out for something, Google Workspace will never completely replace this suite, although the online giant is constantly working on fine-tuning. this process. For this reason, Google Workspace is a close second to Microsoft 365 Business Premium, but joins it as a winner of the Editors’ Choice award for bargain hunters.

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