Can You Actually Save Money by Moving to Google for Work?

March 16, 2016 Jiordan Castle

Save Money by Moving to Google for Work

Google is known for many things: an intuitive interface, a seamless experience from mobile to web and back again, self-driving cars, nap pods, and of course, the world’s best search engine. But it’s time Google also became known as a great business investment. Last June, Google commissioned Forrester Consulting (the services branch of the all-knowing Forrester Research) to conduct a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study examining the value Google customers get from using Google for Work.

Forrester measured the total economic impact over 3 years for 6 organizations that moved from legacy on-premise infrastructure to Google for Work and found the following results:

  • Google for Work generated a (risk-adjusted) $17.1 million in benefits, outweighing the total costs of $4.2 million. That comes out to a (risk-adjusted) return on investment (ROI) of 304 percent.
  • Real-time collaboration tools like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and Drive save employees up to 2 hours per week, resulting in over $8 million saved over 3 years.
  • Google for Work allows workers to collaborate in real time from anywhere — no physical office required. Forrester found that the ability to work and “meet” remotely saves the composite organization more than $5 million in just 3 years; forgoing legacy servers, software, and phones saves another $4 million. That’s $9 million in mobility benefits and legacy IT cost savings.

Google Apps for Work vs. Microsoft Office 365

Once upon a time, I used Outlook for my work email, to-do list, and calendar. I instant messaged with coworkers using Lync — its poorly designed emojis (was I sending a sheep or a horse? Who knew?) and lackluster UI in the forefront. In my opinion, Outlook has great functionality in very stale, outdated packaging. The subpar aesthetic doesn’t just affect the style of Office products; it affects their substance as well. I don’t know about you, but if a system isn’t intuitive (or if it doesn’t have the potential to become intuitive when implemented and taught effectively), I know I don’t make the best use of it.

Truth be told, not much seems to have changed with Office 365. The colors are more vibrant… There’s that. In the Google for Work vs. Office 365 debate, it seems that, for a long time, people have equated familiarity with quality. But as PopSugar (a network of news and entertainment sites, like catnip for millennials) found, Google did what Microsoft couldn’t seem to: it allowed their production team to collaborate in real time; to work in the same document at the same time — without syncing, without waiting.

Problem was, only PopSugar’s LA production team had made the switch. PopSugar’s Director of IT, Bjorn Pave, knew that canceling the company’s contract with Microsoft would be costly. Still, their IT department ran a test environment side-by-side; Google won. And in fact, PopSugar had been paying Microsoft ~$100K a year for an enterprise volume software license that included things they had no use for. After the switch, PopSugar paid just $30K a year for Google for Work. And as many companies that make the switch come to find, there were even more savings to be had (e.g., by using Google Hangouts instead of a conference call line, PopSugar saves even more).

There was one group of holdouts; PopSugar’s finance team wanted Microsoft Excel, so they kept updated Office licenses just for them. But the company’s Microsoft usage remains minimal. PopSugar doesn’t run its own data center; they keep all of their data and apps in Amazon’s cloud — not Microsoft’s. And who knows? Maybe one day they’ll store it in Google’s cloud.

Use Forrester’s Google for Work ROI estimator and learn what your business could save by switching to Google.


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