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Need help migrating from MS to Google Apps

We have about 200 users in a Microsoft environment.  We would like to consider using Google G Suite as an alternative to Microsoft.

I would appreciate links to great documentation on the pros and cons, and what it would look like to begin that migration.

I found this link but I'm sure that there is a ton of great information available - which articles and white papers etc. have you found to be "the best"?


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Developer & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
The documentation you are looking for is here https://support.google.com/a/answer/9476255?hl=en.  You get a free trial and I suggest taking the time to test with a few accounts by going through the process.  You get a test domain just like you did with office365.

Pros and cons

This is going to be about the pros for sticking with what you have.

Change is never easy and it there is going to be a learning curve for users. I work with smaller offices and it takes handholding.  This is probably the least item though.

Next is working with documents. Just about everybody in business uses Microsoft Office.  When you switch to using google docs, you are primarily going to be working in the cloud though there is the ability to work in docs offline. Consider you get a document in word that is sent to the cloud. When you want to edit, Google will create a duplicate document in it's own format. Now you have two versions floating around and can get confusing.  Again, this is something that can be overcome.

Google used to be more difficult to work with as far as dealing with files. In Microsoft you could easily work offline and have files synced to the cloud. In google, everything had to be done in the cloud and working with a lot of files and not being able to drag and drop like you can with the File  Explorer was a real pain point. About a year ago Google changed Google Drive to Drive Stream. DriveStream allows you to work with files in the cloud through your File Explorer. This was big plus for using Google.

So far with the exception of Google Docs vs MS Office, things for the user are mostly similar. For the Administrators however, there is a very big difference. Working with MS Office365 on the administrative level is similar to working with an on prem server. Every year changes that come get closer and closer. There are still small issues like exporting a pst from exchange https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29170288/office365-PST.html but minor.  Anything you can't do via the web interface you probably can via office365 PowerShell. Overall, you have more granular control than you do with Google.

The biggest reason I prefer using Microsoft over GSuite is getting help when there is a problem. This is something we tend to forget about until there is trouble.  I admin for offices that use both O365 and GSuite and I dread  having a problem to solve with Google.  With Microsoft, you start a ticket in the admin panel and get a call back typically within 5 to 15 minutes.  The person that you talk to is the person you are going to work with to solve your issue to the end in all but very few cases. They will do a screen share and help trouble shoot and are mostly very knowledgeable about their products. I have had some sessions that took almost an hour to solve. Sometimes those sessions bleed over to something that is not really office365 and instead windows related which they are knowledgeable about.

With Google, when you call in for help I always feel like I am talking to an intern like the movie.
the-internship.jpgThe answers are very general and feel scripted. If the issue is a difficult one, they assign a higher level tech to call you back within 24 hours. Granted there are not a lot of these types of issues, but when they arise you remember why you like the other guys better.

I would just make sure there is a very compelling reason to switch.
Dwight BaerIT Support


Wow, thank you so much Scott Fell.  You put a lot of thought into that answer.  I thought I'd get multiple answers because - Aren't there all kinds of people interested in this topic?  But maybe being interested and being able to formulate a well-thought-out answer are different.

This means a lot to our organization, thanks again.