Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2012. It has been updated where necessary, along with its associated comparison spreadsheets, to reflect the latest information for both Google Apps and Office 365.

Previously, in my ongoing series comparing Google Apps and Office 365, I’ve compared several feature groups, beginning with their basic productivity applications, and moving on to their email and messaging, calendar and content and document management line of products. In this segment, I’ll discuss the Google Apps Marketplace in contrast to the Office 365 Marketplace. By design, both may seem alike in view of their search and searchable categories functionality. But the fact of the matter is that they are actually discernibly different in the way they’ve focused on providing almost an entirely different set of applications or professional services. Each marketplace has been charged with the tasks to (1) fill in the gaps that are left behind by the core applications they initially provide, and (2) look to foster migration to widespread enterprise use of their on-demand software. Google Apps might be the more aware of the two in terms of the shortcomings seen with their core applications, but Office 365 might be said to better understand what roadblocks might prevent an organization from switching to their cloud.

As mentioned above, the Google Apps Marketplace and the Office 365 Marketplace function pretty much the same. You can search for applications or professional services offered by rating/review, by category, or even by the type of application or service to be integrated with or scaled (e.g., Gmail/Exchange Online). Furthermore, there aren’t any noticeable differences that might lend me to say one marketplace service itself is better than the other. Although Office 365 is built upon Microsoft’s Pinpoint platform, a website for matching Microsoft partners with software users (see my post on how to locate Microsoft partners on Pinpoint), it doesn’t provide that much of a competitive advantage when it comes to finding professional solutions. Again, the only differences that exist are in the actual offerings of applications and professional services for which Google Apps and Office 365 users might be looking. For Google Apps, this concerns the enhancement of its Google Docs applications, which have a limited set of features in respect to what Office 365 advances with its Office Web Apps. For Office 365, their focus is providing professional services for Office 365 setup or initial implementation (not to be confused with migration). In fact, this is essentially the only thing of great substance that they provide on the marketplace. One might find that rest of the marketplace is a barren wasteland of unproven applications/solutions. Reading my chart will give you a sense for all this. There, you will find covered in a little more detail:

  • CRM and ERP Apps
  • E-mail Marketing and E-commerce Apps
  • Productivity, Calendar/Scheduling and Project Management Apps
  • Administration Apps
  • Migration Services
  • Backup, Security and Integration Services
  • Other Professional Services

The chart is very detailed, so for those who prefer a version to save to the desktop and manipulate, you can download the Excel file. If you prefer to view a snapshot version, click the thumbnail below to open to full-size.

Related tool:

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