Cloud Hosted Email and Collaboration

Hentsū provides cloud solutions to the hedge fund and asset management industry. We are partners with AWS, Microsoft and Google, and have to be agnostic when it comes to the choice of cloud platforms. However, we also need to be analytical and to choose the right solution for a customer challenge. Recently we had a number of clients come on board with the G Suite, and a number of discussions around moving to/from G Suite and Office 365.

“Which one is better, G Suite or Office 365?”

To help us understand the differences better, as well as summarise them for our clients, we put together a comparison of the two. We dug into our past experiences with migrations, as well as our current client base and how they are using the two platforms.

Google G Suite

If you are a Gmail user and love how Google revolutionised email, there is a natural tendency to love the broader G Suite. Google launched their offering back in 2006, then known as Google Apps. It is a robust platform, slick user-friendly interfaces, rapidly evolving features, and with some clever AI. From our client experience, we have found G Suite to be favoured by startup funds, especially quant funds and users bringing their experience over from academia. On the entry packages it is extremely affordable for the functionality it provides.

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft was relatively late to the game of cloud hosted collaboration and office applications. For many years Microsoft had its focus on the Windows desktop and the Office applications it sold for that desktop experience. It has since made huge strides towards cloud applications and platforms. It is also unique in that it extends its desktop application footprint with its cloud packages. The Office 365 offerings come with licenses to use the desktop applications, also on mobile devices.

Feature Comparison

We compiled a number of categories to compare the two platforms. This is by no means an exhaustive comparison, but it is one which we tailored to our hedge fund market experience, regulatory and security requirements, and user mobility. We covered these categories:

  • General service features such as security, resilience, storage limits and support
  • Basic collaboration and office application functionality
  • Security and compliance features, such as multi factor authentication, data loss protection, and encryption
  • Mobility and usage of the applications across mobile devices

We also included some of the entry level packages from G Suite, purely to highlight what is not included with them. We have had a number of startup funds come along with the entry level G Suite products, which will only work up to a certain level. Once a fund grows, after which G Suite Enterprise is a far better choice and this is our recommended package for any hedge funds. We have included only the Microsoft Office 365 E3 package for comparison as this is the core offering of all Hentsu cloud products and services. There are more economical packages, but again not what we would recommend for hedge funds.

We have tried to avoid getting into details around the interface, and to minimise subjective analysis. We recognise that there are some significant differences between the two interfaces, and at times hugely personal affections with one or other. However, it is also necessary to cut through the external view and look at what is functionally available, what is overall best for the firm and all its users. We included a price comparison only as a general steer, this is not a TCO type analysis.

Results

We have worked with both G Suite and Office 365 for many years. Nonetheless, it was surprising to actually see spelled out how far Office 365 has come in recent years. Another surprising element is how much Microsoft has managed to offer with their cloud platform what was traditionally considered only enterprise-ready when done on-premise.

The entry level G Suite Basic and Business packages fall far short of what would be usable in a security conscious and regulated firm. The are significant gaps when it comes to security and auditing, which would require complexity and investment in third party products to mitigate. Hentsū would recommend G Suite Enterprise for a firm with financial regulations and security requirements.

The battle of features between G Suite Enterprise and Office 365 E3 is a far more interesting. Office 365 has some obvious advantages, such as licensing for Microsoft Office across a range of devices is included in the price and its offline capabilities. There are some less obvious advantages, and these were highlighted for us recently. For example with S/MIME end to end encryption Office 365 is the clear leader here, and it is far more capable to be locked down to create a security sandbox similar to on-premise.

About Hentsū

We are experts in designing, building, and managing public cloud solutions for asset managers. We cater to firms across the globe, serviced out of our primary offices in London and New York. We are partners with all three major cloud platforms AWS, Microsoft and Google.

Looking to start small or deploy large environments, coming from a discretionary, quant or multi asset background, or migrate from your legacy private cloud environment – Hentsū can help with your technology requirements:

hello@hentsu.com