What is Office Suites Software?
Office Suites Software refers to suites of personal productivity products for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other similar capabilities. The trend in this area in recent years has been to move away from installed, licensed software products towards online products that are accessed over the Internet and are paid via a monthly or annual subscription.
Office Suites should include at least two different kind of productivity products to be considered a suite. Typically, most suites including a word processor, presentation program, and a spreadsheet program. Microsoft Office and Google Workspace are two Office Suite examples that have an extensive list of programs it encompasses. In the more expansive suites, you can expect to have products in the following categories, all in one package or platform:
- Calendar & scheduling
- Collaboration tools
- Developer spaces
- Email client
- Enterprise communication services
- File management
- Forms & surveys
- Text chat
- To-do lists and notes
- Video chat
- Web crawlers and indexing application
- Web page creation
- Word processor
Features & Capabilities
Being that Office Suites typically include several different pieces of software, it is hard to list what “features” Office Suites exactly have themselves. However, one can think about the features and capabilities of Office Suites software by considering how the related software within the suite interact with one another. Below, we list some key features of Office Suites software that makes it worth investing in.
One of the biggest selling points of having multiple, related tools that you plan on using every day from the same vendor, or within the same brand, is that it makes collaboration easier. Rather than taking turns sending file versions to different users, modern Office Suites software, particularly cloud-based options, allow for simultaneous collaboration so teammates can work together on a project at the same time.
While different Office Suites can be integrated to some extent, typically software within the same suite integrate even more seamlessly. Integrations remove the need for copying information from one tool to another. This is particularly useful, for example, when using email clients, scheduling systems, and calendar apps. By having these types of tools within the same family of software, one removes the worry about tools not being able to communicate with one another down line.
Compatibility picks up where integrations leave off. While working within the same Office Suite, one does not have to worry about files made in one program not being able to be read by another. Using different programs from different Office Suites can require files to be converted to different file types, which can sometimes lead to details in files being lost. This again becomes extremely important in organizational aspects, where teammates need to be able to open each other’s files.
Office Suites Software Comparison
To compare different Office Suites, consider these two key factors for each product offering:
- Scope: One of the first questions you should ask yourself when shopping for Office Suites is just how many programs and for which programs you are looking. This will largely affect the cost of investing in the Office Suite itself. There a variety of free Office Suites available, however, even these offerings may have paid premium features. Additionally, the more programs in your Office Suite bundle, the more expensive it may get if you've got a budget. Office Suite packages prove useful in this regard, as you can only pay for the tools you want, and expand to other products if ever needed.
- Cloud vs on-premise: This is becoming an increasingly important distinction in software these days. One of the biggest selling points of cloud software is that it typically allows for real-time collaboration. However, some on-premise software may allow for this as well. Another key distinction is that while paid on-premise software typically has a one-time fee and a perpetual license, cloud software is typically available only as a subscription service. If choosing on-premise software, keep in mind that new versions of this software are regularly released and that you may eventually have to pay for a new version if you want to access the latest features and capabilities.
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Office Suites Pricing
As previously mentioned, there are several free Office Suites available, both for on-premise and cloud. Paid cloud pricing can start as low as $6/user/month to as high as $25/user/month. Paid on-premise software ranges from $30 to $400 per license, depending on the version of the software. Older versions are typically available for a lower cost.
The following Office Suites Software offer award-winning customer relationships, feature sets, and value for price. Learn more about our Best Of Awards methodology here.