Many of us have been using email for a number of years, especially where business communication is concerned. Did you know the very first email was sent back in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson? He was not the inventor; however, he wanted to improve the email technology that was used back in the day. Rather than sending a message to a specific mailbox, Tomlinson wanted the email to go to a person. In order to accomplish this, he had to do some modification to programs that were available, and then combine them in the right way to make them work.
From that time to know, email has become a popular form of communication. While many see this as an old-fashioned way to get in touch, email is still an important business tool today.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the more conventional form of email, and compare the newer, more powerful enterprise versions.
POP (Post Office Protocol) is a more conventional method that allows an individual to send an email directly to a server. The message then sits on the server waiting to be viewed and/or downloaded at a later time. In other words, server is similar to a post office, where mail is stored for a short time. The individual receiver can download the mail from the server. Then, the message is deleted on the server, and the only copy of the message is the one that was downloaded to a device.
This was a problem, because if you wanted to sync the message across devices, you were out of luck. You might have one message on your laptop, and other messages scattered across the various devices you used each day. That’s a real headache, especially if these are business emails.
In addition, there are some other cons to POP including:
- Emails are not synced on the server across devices
- Contacts are not synced
- POP servers may only offer non-encrypted connections
- You will experience delays in the time that emails are sent and you receiving them in your email client
IMAP (Internet Messaging Access Protocol) has become a very popular email tool. This is mainly due to the ease of use and because it’s more flexible than POP. With IMAP, email information is stored on a central server. When an individual accesses and views the messages, they can be stored as long as needed.
Unlike POP, IMAP allows for syncing of email messages across devices and even across more than one user. All the information stays on the server, which is a great benefit for business communications. Nothing is lost or scattered to the winds across a number of devices.
However, IMAP does have certain cons including:
- Number of stored messages may be limited
- This format is very slow (may depend on the hosting company)
- Email boxes are large and sometimes hard to manage
- If your connection drops, then your messages may be lost, unless they’re stored locally
- If you’re website/hosting goes down, so does your email
Google Workspace (Formerly G Suite)
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) offers cloud-based tools for businesses, which include email, presentations, word processing, and more. It’s very similar to Google’s free offering of Gmail; however, Google Workspace includes more tools. This service is reasonably priced and starts at 4.25 GBP for one person and goes up from there. This starter package includes up to 30 GB of storage, which increases with each paid plan.
The 30 GB space limitation is one of the things people have complained about the most. However, outside of this issue, Google’s service makes it easier to send large attachments to multiple people. In addition, messages stay on the server longer before being archived. That’s quite a benefit for users and businesses.
Another pro for Google Workspace is that it’s easy for users to create and share calendars and contacts with the team, who are using the same Workspace account. This makes it much easier to collaborate, and there’s no need for additional tools to gain this functionality.
While Google Workspace has a lot going for it, there some cons to the service including:
- Can be difficult to setup
- Productivity office tools are different and often too basic compared to Microsoft products
- Does not use the conventional folder structure, and instead relies on tags
Microsoft Office 365
Office 365 is a Microsoft product that’s based on collaboration, communication, and working online. This is a service that keeps everything synced across multiple devices. Office 365 is competitively priced at starting at 3.84 GBP and goes up from there. The service uses an email technology called Exchange to make this all happen.
Exchange makes it possible to stay connected to the server all the time. This makes it easy to keep messages, contacts, and calendars synced across devices. Everything is kept on a central cloud server, so you have access to everything instantly, as long as there’s an Internet connection. This constant connection is what makes Office 365 so popular with businesses.
Office 365 also provides some other pros including:
- 50 GB mailbox storage per user (there’s no need to delete emails)
- 1 TB file storage for each user, which makes it easy to share documents and files
- It uses a folder structure that most people are used to
- Works seamlessly with Outlook
- Possible to upgrade to full copies of Office programs including Outlook, Excel, Word, and more
Summing It Up
When considering the type of service needed for your business, it’s best to focus on Google Workspace or Microsoft Office 365. The reason is that these are cost-effective solutions that bring your business the tools needed to operate successfully.
Not only do both cloud services provide various packages that are a great fit for businesses of various sizes, their tools also make it easy for teams to collaborate whether in the same location or working remotely.
The major difference is that Google Workspace offers their services through a web browser interface, while Office 365’s tools are also available on the desktop, for use offline. Google also offers this functionality, but most companies are more familiar with Microsoft office software.
If you’re looking for great connectivity and availability, Office 365 or Google Workspace are great options for your company. The ultimate choice comes down to what your business needs more: a solution that is available on the desktop (as well as other devices), or a completely cloud-based service through apps the company may or may not be familiar with. The best part of both of these services is that they also offer excellent email support.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.