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Thread: GSuite vs. Office 365 vs Open Office. Which do you use?

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    Default GSuite vs. Office 365 vs Open Office. Which do you use?

    Until recently I used MS Office since 2003. Back when it was like $700 and was a multi disk install. It was just one of those things you had to have because everyone else you did business with had it and you needed to be able to send and access files back and forth on a common platform. Today Office 365 is about $99 yr,.

    I've honestly never cared for Office. I mostly used Word and Outlook and I thought those were kind of over complicated. Outlook especially had many bugs that existed for years. Very frustrating.

    I tried Open Office for a while, but it only has some features and not everything I need.

    Lately I've been using GSuite and love it. Much simpler to use, Hangouts is much better than Skype, Drive works better than One Drive, and since I use Android phones the entire experience is just easier.

    Google also makes it easy to have a work profile and a personal profile and to be able to switch between either easily, on all your devices. On your phone you don't even have to switch accounts you can have work apps and personal apps side by side. I'm kind of hooked on the Google services and how easy they are to use and keep the same access and experience across all your devices.

    Just wondering what everyone else uses out there, and why it's the best solution for your particular business.

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    Open Office here. I only needed a word processor and a spreadsheet and Open Office fit the bill as I was too cheap to pay for MS Office and I don't want to use cloud based software until I have no other option (I may have the odd trust issue).
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

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    I am not a fan of cloud based programs either and will hold off as long as I can using them. I am using Office 2010 and use Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint but PowerPoint is something I use about once a year and access is used for one thing one one old computer. I also have Adobe CS-3 and will hang onto that as long as I can. I do spend tons of hours using PhotoShop but that is about the only application I use. When they become too obsolete or won't run any more for me I would likely use Open Office and Gimp.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
    www.TurboTurf.com www.IceControlSprayers.com

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    I of course looked at photoshop at the time but it was very expensive for someone bootstrapping. I learned to use GIMP and have been using it ever since. It does the little photo editing and graphics tasks that I need just fine.

    I know how you feel about cloud based software. I was one of those " I want to own the software out right, and store my own files" people. But looking back over 2 or 3 hard drive crashes over the years, and how ridiculous Windows back up system still is, and learning more and more about security...I recognized the benefits. Of course I have a NAS device too.

    It took some getting used to, but not much. It also helps that you can use the basic GSuite apps for free (which is a mirror of the MS office stuff), and for additional features it's $5 mo. which gives me pretty much everything I was paying $99 year for MS Office and then another $100 mo. for additional tools.

    That's what really started me looking into it and deciding if I could make the switch and go all Google. I was tired of paying $20mo for this, $10mo for that...I mean those little charges add up and are irritating. Especially for stuff that I wasn't using all the time, just needed to have it available every now and then.

    Of course I'm a one man show so I don't have to worry about other employees, or teams and departments or anything like that.

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    I've used MS office for years. I did upgrade to the monthly online version from the installed version. I use Word constantly, excel often and PP rarely. I use QBs for accounting, oddly not for myself but I do tap into client's versions. I used to use Sony Movie studio but recently found Kizoa online to be good enough for the very simple video stuff I do. I do use one drive (I think that's what I use), but only so I can occasionally work on the same doc from a different computer.

    Sometimes I collaborate on documents with others BUT I just send back and forth by email using the redline editing tools. I don't want anybody able to tap into a doc I'm working on.

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    I have access to the MS Office suite through my day-job, and have 2011 installed on this computer right now ... Of the MS apps, I mainly use Excel in my businesses (and in my day-job). I use PowerPoint a lot in my day-job, but not at all for my businesses. I don't use Word for my own writing unless I have to, preferring a different word processor (Mariner Write). I use the Adobe products (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat) a fair bit (in both my day-job and my businesses), and am still using CS6 versions. Quickbooks, TextWrangler, web browsers, an e-mail client, and an FTP client, round out my most commonly used bits of software (and ~once a year, TurboTax).

    In general I think I prefer to have the software -- and my data -- reside on my computer rather than in "the cloud," but I am not sure I have really tried cloud-based applications. We use an online reservation system for some of our businesses, and I submit payroll data to our processor online, and I do a lot of online banking -- but these are all more about interfacing with databases, and not so much about the creation or manipulation and processing of data.... right? I don't know -- it's all becoming pretty seamless I guess. I do (in the back of my mind) worry about bandwidth, reliability, and security of networks and of cloud storage.

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    So here's my take on cloud services and storage today. I stress the "today" part because my stance has evolved over the last 2 years.

    No matter how much I learn about network and cyber security I will never have the knowledge that the hundreds/thousands of engineers and security experts have at Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and Amazon. Those 4 companies provide cloud services for Fortune 500 companies and governments. They have also never been hacked or had any catastrophic failures, data losses or security breaches. I can't do better than that on my own.

    If I store all my files myself, and the only copies are on my computers and NAS devices, I alone am an easy target that can eventually be breached by any kid with a copy of Kali Linux if they were gunning for me specifically. But to get at my critical files they have to hack Microsoft, Amazon or Google.
    Much tougher. Especially with 2 factor authentication.

    I've learned to let go and NOT store important files on my computer. Just the ones I need for quick access. It's just not safe because it's a single point of failure and the most vulnerable one at that. If something happens to that drive, or my home or business (fire, flood, robbery and so on)...all is lost. If I get hit with ransomware all is lost. If all my drives fail on the same day all is lost. If for some strange reason the feds raid my business and take all of my devices all is lost.

    I've wasted a lot of hours recovering lost files when a drive failed. Thankfully because of backups I was able to recover from the 2nd and 3rd failures. But I never want to do that again. Sure as rain is wet, a drive will fail. It may be next week or 10 years from now, but they will all eventually fail. I also hate Microsoft's back up and recovery process. System images, recovery disks..it's ridiculous.

    Without going into too much detail about how I have everything set up, I basically employ a 3-2-1 backup plan with a few twists. So if my main drive fails big deal. I install a new one, fresh copy of Windows (or any Linux OS) and I'm up and running. If my office burns down, buy a new computer, plug it in somewhere and I'm back at work.

    I used to think of my computers as my office in a box where my entire business and all of it's files resides. That without it I'd be dead in the water. But that's not true anymore. Now I think of it as a tool. A graphical interface. Most of the things I do or access are outside of the computer. or can be.

    "Out there. That-a-way"- Capt Kirk, Star Trek, The Motion Picture.

    The cloud is just someone elses computers, however that someone else is an expert. I know it's difficult to trust "it" and by no means am I saying that should be your only backup/storage but it should be one of them. A plan B if you will.

    You already trust cloud computing and data storage with your money. Your bank (or investment firm) doesn't keep everyone's cash in a safe, nor do they keep your account information in file cabinets behind the counter. It's all digital now and we've been trusting our it with our money, 401k's, investments and health records for years.

    Heck, our entire identity..credit, drivers license, property records ( that may still be on paper), SS#....all digital. And who do you think provides the cloud services to store and secure that info? Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Amazon, and Apple. The same people who offer it to you.

    If one day you can't access your cloud account because the entire internet is down for any significant time, we're all going to have far bigger problems to worry about. If that does happen, grab some cash, food, some personal protection, and get out of the city.

    JMO of course.

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    Thanks for that insight, Harold!

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    At Evolving Digital (Digital Marketing Firm) we use iWork (Apple) for all our internal needs. However, we have to use MS Office on a few client projects. For example, one of our clients needs all analytics graphs and charts generated in MS Excel.

    Personally, I think Apple's 'Pages' and 'Keynote' are great for creating visually appealing documents and presentations. On the other hand, MS Excel is still the king of spreadsheet, and for a very good reason. I don't think Google or Apple are even close (features and flexibility).

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    I use G Suite for work! G Suite essentially allows the employees to have their own Gmail accounts with email addresses with the business domain name. By using Google Drive, we can store, access, and share the files in one secure place. We can have easy access to them from any device. G Suite Basic plans come with 30GB of storage for every employee. :-)

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