Modified 04 March 2019 by Vicki Rayner

Which G Suite Edition is right for my organisation? That’s a good question and hopefully this article will help you find the option that’s right for you.

Google offers several editions of G Suite ranging from Basic to Enterprise so there really is a plan out there to suit every organisation.
If you’re planning to implement G Suite or thinking of changing to a different plan, then you need to understand the similarities and differences between the editions.
G Suite offers several editions: Basic, Business, Enterprise, as well as ones for specific sectors such as Nonprofit, Government and Education. Here's a quick overview:

Product Summary

G Suite Basic
Gives you a professional email address at your company, 30 GB storage per person and Google's suite of collaborative business apps - including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs editors, Hangouts, and more.

G Suite Business
Brings an enhanced office suite with additional features built specifically for the needs of businesses, such as unlimited storage, advanced mobile device management and Google Vault.

G Suite Enterprise
Delivers a premium office suite that adds advanced controls and features for the most demanding enterprises and organisations. Features such as data loss prevention (DLP) and email Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) encryption are provided.

Drive Enterprise
Provides the complete range of Drive features, for organisations that don't need Gmail and other core G Suite services. Transforms how your business stores, accesses and secures files. Includes Docs editors, Sites, and Google Vault.

G Suite for Education and for Nonprofits
Schools and nonprofit organisations may be able to qualify for the special editions, which provide features of G Suite for free or at a discounted rate.

Compare G Suite Editions 

G Suite Pricing 

Monthly Plan

£

$

Basic

£3.30

user/month

$5

user/month

Business

£6.60

user/month

$10

user/month

Enterprise

£20

user/month

£25

user/month

Annual Plan

£

$

Basic

£33

user/year

$50

user/year

Business

£79

user/month

$120

user/year

Enterprise

£240

user/month

$300

user/year

Payment plans
As shown in the tables above, Google offers both monthly (flexible) and annual payment plans. With the monthly plan you can add and delete users at any time so you only pay for the current usage; with the annual plan you can add users pro rata during the term but there is no refund if you remove users. For more information on pricing, please get in touch.

Starting 2 April 2019, Google will be rolling out new pricing for the G Suite Basic and Business Editions. You can read more about the price changes here.

Which version is right for me?
This depends on your exact requirements, although there are some key differences in the product line up which may make your decision.

Unlimited storage (Business, Enterprise versions)
The most obvious difference between the Basic version and both the Business and Enterprise versions is that fact that storage space is limited to 30Gb in the Basic version. Remember that it’s only non-Google documents which count towards these storage limits - all Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are stored without impacting your storage allowance.

Is it worth upgrading your whole Google user base just to take advantage of unlimited storage? 
That is unlikely, for two reasons. Firstly, only a small percentage of normal business users require additional storage space. Secondly, if additional storage is required it is so inexpensive that you would need a LOT of it to cover the extra cost.

Google Vault (Business, Enterprise versions)
Do you work in a compliance-dominated industry (think healthcare, financial services, public sector etc.) Do you have a need to retain indefinitely all email messages, documents and all chat messages? If so, Google Vault is the solution for you. It automatically traps all Google communications in and out of the business and retains for a predetermined period of time. Administrators can then undertake deep searches to identify and quarantine items which match the subject matter.

Vault is not a backup and restore function, it is intended for use for archiving, legal holds and audit reporting. If you require Vault, then upgrading to the Business or Enterprise version makes perfect sense.

Centralised document ownership (Business, Enterprise versions)
A document created by one of your users remains their ‘property’ unless they transfer that ownership to another user. This is a logical process and works well in most circumstances, however, there are situations when it is important that your documents are owned by someone other than the document creator.

This is where Google’s Team Drive comes into play - a user creates a document and if they add it to a Team Drive folder then the ownership of that document is transferred to the Team folder. The document also inherits the sharing permissions of the folder. Team Drive is available on the Business and Enterprise plans and is not available as an add-on for the Basic version.

Business process applications (Business, Enterprise versions)
One of the hidden features of the G Suite solution is Google Apps Script. This is a scripting language with similar syntax to JavaScript which automates functions within the G Suite platform. It is commonly used for workflow-type processes. It is a very useful, powerful and flexible tool for all G Suite administrators - providing they have coding skills. This has all changed with the launch of App Maker.

App Maker adds a user front-end to Google Apps Script. Essentially, using a point and click interface, any user can create complex business workflows without interacting with the code. This is created automatically and takes control of the application away from your development team. Available in the Business and Enterprise versions, it easily justifies the additional cost by itself.

Data Loss Prevention (Enterprise version)
Data loss prevention (DLP) is a strategy for making sure that end users do not send sensitive or critical information outside the corporate network. Think of a user creating a document, loading it with your customer’s credit card information and sharing this with an external email address. All G Suite plans provide some control over this, but the Enterprise version steps this up several gears.

Using predefined content detectors, such as credit card numbers, social security identifiers and handling both computer-generated text and optical character recognition, the Enterprise version enables administrators to set thresholds and define what action to take when a positive match is found.

Optical Character Recognition (Enterprise version)
An automatic scan of inbound and outbound Gmail messages that extracts text from images to check if those images contain sensitive information which should not be shared. If a message is found, it is quarantined and the administrator is notified.

Third party tool archiving (Enterprise version)
If your compliance regulations require you to archive your users’ email messages in an external archiving service, then the only option for you is the Enterprise version. This may be because your quality compliance processes are set and would be too onerous to change or because of some other compliance reason.

Enhanced email encryption using S/MIME (Enterprise version)
All G Suite data is encrypted both at rest and in transit. The Enterprise plan further enhances email security by utilising industry standard S/MIME encryption which further protects against data loss. It supports the use of third-party certificates which are uploaded by the administrators or users and remain in force for future email exchanges between sender and recipient.

Gmail log analysis (Enterprise version)
Managing the logs created by lots of Gmail users can be a time-consuming activity. The Enterprise version allows this data to be exported to BigQuery for detailed and complex analysis. Customer reports and dashboards can be created to speed up the process.

Security key enforcement (Enterprise version)
Two-factor authentication is available on all versions, and administrators can force users to use this method of accessing their G Suite accounts. The Enterprise version also allows administrators to enforce the use of physical security keys based on the FIDO U2F standard. If this extra layer of security is important to you then the Enterprise version is the one you need.

Summary

The Google G Suite platform is excellent software to improve communication and collaboration within any business and increase operating efficiency at the same time.


If you would like further information or advice, please get in touch.