Gartner Research

SaaS Suites for Communication, Collaboration and Content Management: Assessing Google and Microsoft

Published: 22 August 2012

ID: G00234542

Analyst(s): Bill Pray , Guy Creese


Enterprises are investigating and purchasing software as a service (SaaS) communication, collaboration, content and social (3CS) solutions for a variety of reasons, including lower cost, less management and more agility. However, selecting the right SaaS 3CS suite is difficult. Which vendor has the best suite for a specific enterprise? This assessment compares the SaaS 3CS offerings from Google and Microsoft to aid in the selection and implementation of SaaS 3CS technologies.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Google or Microsoft?
  • Concerns About SaaS 3CS
    • Issues With the SaaS Providers
    • Internal Enterprise Issues With SaaS
  • Comparison Logistics
    • Google Apps for Business
    • Microsoft Office 365 (Multitenant)
  • Comparison Methodology
  • SaaS 3CS Services Comparison
    • Email, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks
    • Instant Messaging
    • Web Conferencing
    • Collaboration
    • Social Networking
    • Productivity Tools
  • Cross-Functional Services
    • Hybrid Deployment
    • Mobile Support
    • User Experience


  • And the Winner Is …
    • Legacy Support
  • Choose Wisely
  • Exit Strategy
  • Segmentation

The Details

  • General SaaS Controls and Criteria
  • Pricing and Packaging
    • Google Apps for Business
    • Microsoft Office 365
  • A Shortlist of Missing Features
    • "Other" Email Clients Are Second-Class Citizens
    • SaaS IM Does Not Integrate, and Presence Does Not Federate
    • Web Conferencing Webinar Support Is Weak
    • There May Be Loss of Data or Visual Fidelity After Converting Microsoft Documents
    • Security Logs May Not Be Available
    • Eradication of Client Data Cannot Be Guaranteed


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