Microsoft’s enterprise sync and share tools OneDrive and SharePoint have enormously grown and continue to be used by organizations to carry out their business operations. But before we get into how to use them for business, let us explain exactly what they are.
OneDrive is an online document/file storage platform. It’s typically used by individuals and business teams who need a central location to store and access files. OneDrive’s versioning and sharing features make it easy to work together, so it’s more than an online filing cabinet. Microsoft distinguishes between personal and business versions of the tool; for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the business version.
SharePoint is a collaboration tool for businesses that need multiple individuals and teams to work on documents and products at the same time. Over the last couple of years, Microsoft released updates to their Office 365 product that have absorbed SharePoint into the Office 365 cloud platform, so for the purposes of this post, we’ll talk specifically about SharePoint as an on-premise solution. If we discuss hybrid or cloud solutions, we’ll call that Office 365. The cloud collaboration tool, Office 365, includes both SharePoint features and the OneDrive storage platform, making those available on any device from the cloud.
Using OneDrive and SharePoint in Businesses
- Encryption and Compliance
Businesses concerned with document safety, auditing, or regulatory compliance often find that SharePoint’s granular version control and user access settings help them control the security of their internal and customer data. While both Office 365 and OneDrive encrypt to keep documents safe from prying eyes, only SharePoint can offer the added security of a standalone server.
- Resource and Document Management
OneDrive (for Business) now contains all of the original SharePoint document offerings, including workflows, auditing, templates, and version control. What it does not include are your marketing resources, such as website and social media connections. The business owns the account, and each user is assigned a personal account under the business’s account where individual documents can be produced and stored before they are shared to the wider company audience.
Many companies use SharePoint for organization-wide document and file collaboration. Both Office 365 and the on-premise SharePoint offerings provide collaborative workflows and granular permissions to help you move content from idea to publication without skipping steps.
- Website, Apps, and CMS
Many companies use SharePoint’s engine to build and maintain their company website, internal documentation, and even web apps. The CMS component lets you publish your documents directly to your company website or make them available for access and download by customers or employees. Many companies also use SharePoint’s internal analytics to build custom apps for employee or external use.
OneDrive doesn’t offer the ability to publish your content to the web. While you can email links to documents, you cannot publish those documents directly to a web page from the OneDrive platform. You can make documents discoverable to your team, but you’ll need Office 365 or another CMS/website platform to publish your work publicly.
Both the OneDrive and SharePoint software applications have features that help organizations carry out their business. Whether it is encryption or document management, you are guaranteed to get what you need.