According to a whitepaper from the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps, 31% of respondents suggested that Google Apps would allow them to reduce their investment in Microsoft Office products. But for that to happen, you need a simple way to move your data from the desktop to the cloud. Here are a few apps that can assist.
The Best Google Apps Plugins To Help You Transition From Microsoft Office To The Cloud
If you’re using Microsoft Exchange or Outlook...
Use GAMME for large-scale migrations. It’s a free tool provided by Google to help you migrate email, contacts, calendar, and Public Folder data from on-premise and hosted Microsoft Exchange servers. If you’re transitioning a small number of users from Microsoft Outlook, GAMMO performs the same task. Check out this helpful guide to learn about all of Google’s official data migration tools for Google Apps. Both GAMME and GAMMO are focused on email and contact management services—so if you need to move something else, keep reading!
We have to give a shoutout to The Gooru, which is one of the best resources for companies that are going Google. This tutorial on Google Apps migration for Microsoft Exchange provides a structured checklist for your migration. That way, you won’t miss any important details.
If you’re using Microsoft Visio...
Use Lucidchart. It’s a third-party diagramming app that allows users to easily integrate with their Google Apps domain. Once that’s done, it only takes two clicks for your users to access the program; just click the App Launcher and select Lucidchart. As a Visio alternative, one of its most attractive features is Microsoft Visio import and export, which allows you to upload legacy files to Lucidchart. They remain editable, of course, but now you’re able to collaborate on your diagrams, publish them online, export to Visio format, and more.
If you’re using Microsoft Publisher...
Try Lucidpress; it’s made by the creators of Lucidchart and offers a similarly intuitive experience. Just drag and drop your objects onto the canvas for truly easy publishing. Although it doesn’t offer Publisher import (yet), it’s the top-rated app of its kind in the Google Apps Marketplace. Like Lucidchart, it offers a free premium trial so you can experiment with paid features before committing to a subscription. After trying several Publisher alternatives, we think Lucidpress is your best bet for making flyers, brochures, posters, and other design and layout projects.
If you’re using Microsoft Project...
You’re in luck. In our opinion, the best project management software out there, Smartsheet, offers Microsoft Project file import (along with import for Excel files and Google Spreadsheets). Aside from importing old documents, you’ll be able to share files, set deadline alerts, and create documents specific to project management, like burndown charts and Gantt charts.
If you’re using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint...
Try Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides; they offer file import for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, respectively. It’s hard to beat Google’s built-in products for basic business needs, especially if you want a comprehensive software package. For 80 - 90% of users, Google Docs and Slides work just as well as Microsoft’s offerings. Power users of Excel may be disappointed in its Google counterpart, since Sheets lacks features like Goal Seek, add-ins, and keyboard shortcuts for formats and filters. But Sheets partially makes up for it with powerful collaboration and ongoing product development.
Another consolation prize is Google Forms, for which there’s no real Microsoft comparison. This program comes standard with Google Apps integration and lets anyone create and analyze surveys for free. Use it to collect information in a far more user-friendly format than a mass email.
If you’re using Microsoft Lync...
Use a combination of YouCanBook.Me and UberConference. Used together, they allow you to schedule appointments and make conference calls in record time. YouCanBook.Me integrates with your Google calendar and is perfect for setting job interviews and team meetings. We’ve even seen users schedule individual feedback sessions with product testers—all with the click of a button.
UberConference is also easy to use. Created by the makers of Google Talk, this audio conference software offers smart features like earmuffs, audio recording, and no-PIN dial-in. The visual interface shows you who’s talking at any given moment, which is nice for crowded calls.
If you’re using Microsoft OneNote...
Try EverNote. This is the only recommendation that doesn’t integrate with Google Apps, but for good reason: EverNote is a fantastic note-taking app that happens to be a personal tool rather than a team one. It does, however, import OneNote files in a few simple steps, allowing you to transition previous work to the cloud. The program also supports integration with Gmail accounts.
Do you have a favorite Google Apps program that helps users transition from Microsoft Office? Share it in the comments!
About the author
Eliza Wright is a marketing manager at Lucid Software. She enjoys writing about tech, dissecting the latest digital marketing trends, and learning how to be a leader. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.