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How difficult is it to move from G-Suite to Office 365?

It’s completely impossible! Why? Because neither of these things exist anymore! The correct question would be ‘How difficult is to move Google Workspace to Microsoft 365’. We’ve used the terms G Suite and Office 365 as these continue to be the recognised terms for the Google and Microsoft productivity suites that we are going to talk about. Now we’ve got that out of the way for the pedants let’s move on!

So back to the question ‘how difficult is it to move from G-Suite to Office 365?’ In short it is doable, but it’s not an completely straight forward task. If it’s just you, then it’s something you could have a go at yourself, but you’d need to be pretty technically savvy. If you’re running a business and have a number of staff using G Suite then please, please, please seek professional help. And do it before you start, not when something has gone wrong!

If you really must have a go yourself there are a lot of guides available online. Here’s a step by step video, it runs to 52 minutes and if its doesn’t put you off then maybe nothing will!

Why move from G-Suite to Office 365?

We’ve previously published a comparison of the two products and given our conclusion on which is ‘best’. G Suite v 365 used to be a ‘Apple v Android’ type situation, you were either one or the other. However the fact we’ve seen an increase in requests to switch indicates this is no longer the case. Peoples reasons for wanting to change have varied.

Pricing is a chief consideration. G Suite was seen as the ‘cheaper’ option in comparison to Office 365. But a price rise dating back a couple of years called that into question. Microsoft 365 Essentials (£4.50) is now slightly cheaper per user than Google Workspace Basic (£4.63). These two are pretty comparable products. Above this Workspace Business is £9.26 whilst 365 Business Premium is £11.30 per user per month. But it can be argued that you get a lot more with the 365 package. One of the main advantages is 365 Business Premium offers desktop, or offline, versions of it’s apps.

Microsoft also allows mixing of licences. So you can have a mix of Essentials licences for remote workers who would use online versions of apps, and Premium licences for those requiring downloaded versions of Word, Excel etc. This can save money and provide flexibility.

Another reason has been familiarity. Growing businesses find it harder to recruit staff with G-Suite knowledge and experience. But the vast majority of people have used Word, Excel and Outlook. The G-Suite products are certainly very similar. But most businesses will have specific software they need new staff to get to grips with. Adding in a G-Suite as a further learning curve complicates matters.

The final reason revolves around remote working. Whilst Teams has stepped up as a major Zoom rival, Google Hangouts just hasn’t! Working collaboratively is easy in both suites but Microsoft has pushed the remote working capabilities of 365 hard during the pandemic. Rightly or wrongly people perceive Teams as a ‘proper’ collaborative tool to allow staff to work on and offsite moving forward.

The (slightly)Technical Bit…….

Just how difficult is it to move from G-Suite to Office 365? This article is not meant as a how to guide (we might get one of the techs to do that at some stage for those that want it). So here is a brief, as non-technical as possible, overview of the process. In order to carry out the migration you’re going to need to understand IMAP migration and have a good working knowledge of Microsoft 365 at an Admin level.

Step 1 – Sign up for Microsoft 365 – the easy bit!

Step 2 – Validate you own the domain you use in Google Workspace, add users, and set up basic security in 365.

Step 3 – Set up security policies for Windows devices in the Setup page of Microsoft 365 admin centre.

Step 4 – Add your Google Workspace domain to Microsoft 365.

Step 5 – Install Office apps and Microsoft Teams.

Step 6 – Run an Exchange Online migration to move everyone’s email, calendar, and contacts from Google Workspace.

Step 7 – Connect domain to Microsoft 365.

Step 8 – Move everyone’s data from Drive to OneDrive and from shared Drives to Team sites.

Step 9 – Discontinue Google Workspace but keep your domain. You can also choose to move it to another DNS host if you want.

We’ve called this the slightly technical bit, because the majority of those steps require much greater technical input. It takes knowledgeable, experienced engineers to undertake these kinds of tasks.

This overview comes from Microsoft themselves, each step links to additional guidance and it only covers everything gong smoothly – troubleshooting if things go wrong is another story!

Seek Professional Help!

How difficult is it to move from G Suite to Office 365? For a professional IT engineer not that difficult. It takes time, planning, experience and knowledge. If you’re considering making this move then talk to an IT company and factor in the cost of the migration to your calculations.

We’d be delighted to answer your questions about moving from Google Workspace to Microsoft 365 – we are experts we even know the right names for these things! You can contact us with a form or a phone call on 0115 8220200 . We look forward to talking to you!