As one of Glasgow’s key Microsoft partners, we are often asked to advise our IT Support customers on which Microsoft business platform best meets their need. SharePoint and OneDrive are a common example of this, with similar (but not the same) features, it can be difficult for SMEs to know which is the best fit. We are frequently asked, by our IT Support customers, which they should be using and our recommendation is typically to use SharePoint for company data and OneDrive for employees personal storage.
At first glance they seem quite similar, both are file sharing and storage platforms based in the Cloud. They can both be used for collaboration and have great security features & back up options, however, they are quite different products.
SharePoint is a document management system typically designed for storing a company’s data. It has cool features all built around collaboration including the ability to have multiple people work on the same Office document in real-time. There are a tonne of versioning options, tagging options for documents to make searching easier alongside the ability to have all your data stored on the Microsoft Cloud and not internally on a file server. SharePoint also integrates easily with Teams which has become an important feature over the last few months. Sites can be created in your company branding, creating client portals or sections for specific parts of your team, like HR. Admins set permission levels for different parts of the site, so employees can view documents without having to request a permission link.
One Drive for Business also provides a Cloud based storage solution, which enables users to access files from any location and device. It is best used for personal storage and usually provided to staff so that they have a secure drop box online for the documents or data they wish to have backed up. Users get a 1TB allowance and can just drag and drop their files and pictures onto the application and have this data copied to the Office 365 cloud for safe keeping. It is useful for one-off sharing, like an online filing system, but is primarily a storage point for an individuals documents. Without an invitation, no other member of the team can view these files.
For many of our IT Support customers, instead of being an either/or decision, they use both SharePoint and OneDrive for different ends. They serve different purposes and in fact documents can easily be moved from one to the other when the time is right. So, a team member can work on a draft document in OneDrive for Business, uploading it to SharePoint when it is complete and approved.
As the Microsoft suite continues to expand our experts can advise on which platforms and which Microsoft 365 or Office 365 plans are best for your business. Why don’t you contact us today if you need advice on navigating the seas of Microsoft platforms and plans.