The small business world has warmed up to the concept of working in the cloud. Credit card processing is one of the earliest cloud applications which became an essential part of transacting business. Many business owners are smartphone users and have experienced the benefits of the cloud which enables them to sync their personal contact lists, calendar and email for on-the-road connectivity. Certainly online banking has drawn the business banker into acceptance of cloud applications when they use remote deposits, online bill payment, transaction reporting and exporting for accounting software packages, and year-end reporting. These positive experiences have paved the way for every increasing acceptance of business applications in the cloud.
Microsoft and Google are now competing for the office productivity market in the cloud. Both the Microsoft and Google platforms allow the upload, import, and editing of existing Office documents, creation of new documents, and saving files in the familiar Office formats. Both offer collaboration tools and mobile access. Here are current prices for their packages.
Google offers two packages to businesses. For $5 per month per user, you will have Google Drive with all the bells and whistles except three features. For $10 per month per user you will have the extra three features - archiving, search, export. I use all 3 of those features.
Microsoft Office 365
Office 365 Midsize Business – designed for medium-sized businesses with 10 to 250 employees. This service includes Office 365 ProPlus and provides midsize businesses with enterprise-quality communication and collaboration with Exchange Online, Lync Online and SharePoint Online – along with the simplified IT tools they need to maintain control while reducing complexity. Active Directory integration, a web-based administration console and business hours phone support are also included. Pricing is $180 per user for an annual subscription, the equivalent of $15 per user per month.
Office 365 Small Business Premium – designed for small businesses with 1 to 10 employees. In addition to the complete set of rich Office applications, this service includes business grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD video conferencing in an easy to manage service that doesn’t require IT expertise. Pricing is $150 per user for an annual subscription, the equivalent of $12.50 per user per month.
Here's the complete review by a Network World technologist, Maria Korolov.