Gmail Vs Outlook: Best small business email?

There are over a dozen email service providers in the market geared towards towards small business. Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook are the primary options. Both provide similar features, but their suitability for companies depends on the specific needs of the business. Let us examine different features of these products which would help you in choosing the right product.

Pricing

Most businesses would prefer to buy customized domains (email@companyname.com) which are not offered with free services by Gmail or Outlook. To get customized domains, organizations need to sign up for premium accounts. Office 365 Business Essentials plan which is Microsoft’s paid service for outlook is priced at around $4 user/month, but it does not include office applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.). To access outlook along with office applications, the price is around $8 users/month. On the other hand, Google offers G Suite with other business apps like Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Sheets at $5 user/month. Clearly Gmail is cheaper option as compared to Outlook.

Business application

If your employees use Microsoft suite frequently because of the nature of the work, then outlook can be a better option as it provides seamless integration with MS office applications like Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc. Users can send the documents using ‘share’ option from within the application as they are integrated. This is better suited if users have designated laptops/desktops. Whereas Gmail is a better option if your employees don’t use MS suite often and also your business needs an online storage space to store the official documents. Gmail offers a storage space to store MS documents like Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc. In addition to secure storage, these documents can be edited online which makes it very convenient to share the edited documents instantly without sending them through email. Your business processes and the workplace integration need can help you decide either of the two.

Storage

Gmail offers 15GB free storage space across Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photo for free accounts, whereas premium paid platform ‘GSuite’ provides 30GB at basic level ($5user/month). Outlook on the other hand offers 50GB specifically for your inbox, with their cheapest plan (Office 365 Enterprise E1), and 1TB for the rest of your linked cloud office suite.

Plug: TeamWave – CRM, Project Management & HR Software for Small Business

Instant messaging

Gmail provides instant messaging and video conferencing service through Google Hangout, but the unpaid version allows only up to nine individuals in a video chat. The participants can be increased to 25 with paid service (Gsuite). Outlook provides video conferencing and instant messaging through Skype, again up to 25 users can join a conference at a time. In fact, in both the applications, external users can join if provided with a meeting link. In terms of service quality both of them are similar.

User experience

Gmail provides a lot of customization options like labels, automatic sorting, primary, social and promotion segregation for mails, different kinds of flagging etc. which enable tweaking the inbox as per your needs. Considering Google is the best search engine in the present time, Gmail’s search function is also superior. Apart from that Google’s recent advancement in artificial intelligence provides automation features like reply suggestions. Coming to Outlook, it provides most relevant buttons on the top horizontal bar (basic three-panel design) where they are clearly visible and let the users add plugins as per their requirements. Gmail is a winner here in terms of the customization features it provides as compared to Outlook.

Offline email access

Outlook provides a clear advantage here by enabling users to access mails offline and they can even save their responses to emails offline. As soon as the internet connection is established, the saved emails from outbox are sent out automatically. Gmail provides access to only last month’s email offline by changing the settings to save mails offline, but you can access Gmail offline only on Google Chrome and Safari browsers. There is no such restriction for Outlook.

Security

Gmail has been in the limelight mostly because of its pioneering efforts for security. It came up with two-factor authentication before Microsoft did for any of its email clients. With Outlook 2016, Outlook also implemented two-factor authentication. Hence, in terms of signing in signing in both of them have similar approach at present.

Google uses its robust machine learning capabilities to detect suspicious logins and block most advanced types of spam. Note that Google also automatically scans every email attachment before a user downloads it in order to prevent spread of viruses.

Office 365 comes with Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) – a new email filtering service that provides additional protection by targeting specific advanced threats like unknown malware and viruses, real-time, time-of-click protection against malicious URLs.

Conclusion

Both Gmail and Outlook are powerful platforms. Gmail is cheaper, and if you’re choosing which office suite platform to use, that’s a huge consideration. Apart from that there are numerous integrations with third-party apps (example: TeamWave) and extension support via Chrome that put Gmail far ahead of Outlook. In our experience Gmail offers better returns for small businesses.


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Top 7 Gmail Add-Ons for Business

Last year, Google launched third-party add-ons for Gmail.

Sitting on the sidebar on the right side of your inbox, these third-party add-ons can be used directly with Gmail to improve your productivity. The biggest advantage of “add-ons” (over chrome extensions, etc) is that they work seamlessly with all browsers and mobile devices. You can install multiple add-ons from different vendors without compromising performance or experience.
When launching add-ons, Google itself described email as “mission control” for your working life, and the best add-ons make Gmail feel more like centralized command center!

Here is a selection of Gmail add-ons for business that are popular, ones that we rely on to get things done, have great reviews, and make Gmail more powerful than it already is:

Dropbox – The add-on lets you save and share all files, big or small—including photos, videos, presentations, docs, and project work—without leaving Gmail. And now you can attach files from Dropbox when you compose an email.

RingCentral – Users can access the cloud-based phone system from within their email. RingCentral’s contacts, messages, call history are displayed in your Gmail message threads. Users can also see the on/offline status of their connections, send SMS messages and make outbound calls.

TeamWave – Integrated Software to Run Your Entire Business – CRM, Project Management, HR & MoreTeamWave’s Add-on for Gmail currently offers only CRM. Ideal for small & mid-sized businesses.

Hire – Simplify your recruiting process. Users can review candidate applications, respond to job applicants and schedule interviews from their inbox without going back and forth through applications. It also allows users to view and track team member interactions so you never have to wonder if someone followed up.

Zoom – Users can set up calls or video chat directly through Gmail, using contact info in an email or saved to Google. It also allows you schedule meetings for later and check for any scheduled calls you have coming up without opening Zoom or a calendar.

Docusign – Securely use a digital signature on legally binding documents, the add-on lets you send an attached document in an email over to DocuSign with only two clicks. It then opens the document in DocuSign, too, so you can take care of business right away. And just like that, a convenient service gets more convenient.

Insightly – Build better customer relationships right in your inbox with the Insightly Add-On for Gmail. Save emails to your CRM and link them to the relevant people, deals, or projects. You can also create new leads and opportunities without leaving your inbox, and insert prebuilt email templates to save time and stay on message.

Got a favorite Gmail add-on not on this list? Share it with us in the comments.

Top 10 Email Service Providers For Small Business

According to a report by Gartner (Q1, 2016), 80% of companies using cloud email with revenue above $10 billion have subscribed to Microsoft service and Google has close to 50% market share in relatively smaller company segment (revenue less than $50 million). Although it is early days for cloud email adoption, both Microsoft and Google have achieved significant traction among enterprises of different sizes, industries and geographies.

We have compiled a list of cloud based email providers for small business:

 

1. Google Mail for Business

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Gmail is part of “Google Apps for Work”, so you’ll get Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Drive and more.  If you’re already familiar with the free version, it is easier to customize settings for your business requirement. The iOS and Android apps can be used to read and draft messages even if you’re offline, and they will be sent once the app gets back online. Gmail starter plan gives 30 GB storage for Drive and Gmail for $5 per user per month and the unlimited storage plan is available for $10 per user per month.

Note: TeamWave (CRM, Project Management & HR Software) is fully integrated with Google Apps for Work.

2. Microsoft Exchange Online

microsoft-exchange

Microsoft Exchange Online gives you access to email, calendar and contacts via web browser, Outlook app for both iOS and Android. You’ll be able to collaborate on documents using OneDrive and create work groups for your employees. There is option to buy it a independent service or as part of Microsoft 365. There are two plans – $4 user/month gives 50 GB mailbox storage with ability to send emails  up to 150 MB in size and $8 user/month has unlimited storage using In-Place Archives.

3. Amazon WorkMail

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Amazon WorkMail came out of preview mode back in January, 2016. Email and calendar can be integrated with Microsoft Outlook client (native support on both Windows and Mac OS X) and accessed via web browser, native iOS and Android app. Amazon WorkMail also gives you enterprise grade security and option to choose data storage location by selecting the AWS region. It costs $4 per user per month which gives 50GB storage per user.

4. Aabaco (Yahoo)

yahoo-aabaco-email

Yahoo Small Business was rebranded as Aabaco Small Business in December, 2015. Their unique offerings are 1 TB of free space (1000 GB) for all the plans and a free domain if you maintain an active Business Mail subscription. Price starts from $3.19 for single mailbox per month when billed annually and gradually comes down with purchase of multiple mailboxes ($1.59 for 5 mailboxes).

Plug: TeamWave is an integrated suite of business applications for small & medium-sized companies. Apps include CRM, Project Management, HRIS, Invoicing & Contact Management.

5. Rackspace Email

rackspace-emailRackspace webmail comes with 100% Uptime Guarantee and free migration service while switching from existing mail provider. Gives you access to mail from Outlook and mobile apps via IMAP. There is three layers of scanning for spam and virus protection. Mailboxes come with 25 GB storage and message size can go up to 50 MB. Price starts from $2 per user per month and $3 per user per month plan gives you unlimited storage via archiving.

6. GMX

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GMX provides free email service and positions itself as all-in-one service. It offers webmail with unlimited storage and allows you to send emails with up to 50 MB attachments. You also get online calendar, email archive, antivirus and spam filter.

7. IceWarp Email

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Icewrap offers integrated solution for webmail, document management, calendar, webchat, meeting and webphone. They also offer native support for Outlook 2013, windows 8 & 10 Mail/People/Calendar support, antivirus, spam protection and a lot more. Price starts from $380 per month with 100 GB storage for unlimited users.

8. Kerio Cloud

kerio-connect

Kerio Cloud offering gives you email, calendar, contacts, notes, instant messaging and VoIP phone system. It supports IMAP and POP compliant email clients across Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.  They use direct push synchronisation to keep your mailbox synced in any kind of smartphone OS (iOS, Android to Symbian). $4.99 per month pricing gets you 10 GB mailbox and $8.99 plan offers unlimited mailboxes. Email archiving will cost $3.00/mailbox.

9. Ipswitch IMail

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Ipswitch IMail offers 2 GB storage per mailbox and stores data in Virtual Private Server. Anti-virus and anti-spam protection is powered by Cyren. For a 10 member team, the most basic plan for a year will cost $199Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync will cost $4.99 per user to sync mobile devices with email, calendar, contacts and tasks.

10. Atmail

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Atmail pioneered one of the first businesses webmail applications and they have been innovating  in the email space since 1998. You can manage email, calendar and contacts on the mobile device and get support for desktop clients (example: Outlook and Apple Mail) as well. It costs $79 per month for 50 users with 500 GB storage quota.


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