Why don't people understand SharePoint

What is the difference between OneDrive, Sharepoint and Teams?

The modern IT workplace is constantly evolving - it seems like a new tool or application is introduced every day that affects the way we work.

Office 365 offers a complete set of collaboration tools that can be scaled and customized to suit each team's unique work style. However, when these new tools are released, there is often little guidance to help organizations understand what these applications are for and decide which and when to use them.

As a leader in your company, it is important to put the right tools in the hands of your employees so that they can communicate and work together effectively. But in simple terms, knowing which tools to use and when can be really confusing.

In this blog, I'll try to clear that up by specifically addressing three of the most popular tools in the Office 365 toolkit: OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint.

OneDrive vs. Teams vs. Sharepoint

In this comparison, we look at the purpose behind each solution and give examples of when it makes most sense to put one above the other. Understanding these productivity solutions will increase your ROI with these tools and improve your productivity.

OneDrive: individual file storage

OneDrive is Microsoft's file hosting and synchronization service that operates as part of its suite of Office Online Services. You use this to protect individual storage and sharing of company files. These are files that you have collected or created and that you want to keep safe.

When comparing cloud-based file sharing systems, you should compare the pricing, storage, and file sharing features. The standalone plan ranges from EUR 4.20 to EUR 8.40 per month / user. When you purchase Office 365, OneDrive is included in that subscription, as is a host of other powerful Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). These plans range from EUR 6.70 to EUR 34.40 per user per month.

When to use OneDrive [practical tips]

Personally, I see OneDrive as my individual workspace. Maybe I've found a whitepaper that I want to read later on the train - I save it on OneDrive and can still access the file locally, even when I'm not online.

Or maybe I'm working on a draft of something and I'm not ready to share it with anyone but a couple of people - I'm storing it on OneDrive. You can still enable co-authoring and autosave in OneDrive, and you can manage who can and can't see your data for data security. What I like and is easy to use.

Teams: group collaboration

Teams is Microsoft's unified communications platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video conferencing, file storage (including collaboration on files) and application integration. The solution can be integrated into your company's Office 365 Office Productivity Suite. It also contains extensions that can also be integrated with non-Microsoft products.

Teams are replacing Skype for Business. So if you are already using this as your main communication application, you may want to learn more about it.

Teams is designed to make communication and collaboration easier for small and medium-sized teams. From a document release perspective, it offers secure co-authoring, automatic storage, and revision audits and tracking. It is intended as a single point of contact for all communication, including voice, email, chat, and video, and offers both internal and external guest access. Supported by AI bots and plugins, it is constantly evolving to stay innovative.

Teams is part of the Office 365 collection and can therefore be seamlessly integrated with other Microsoft Office programs, with the option of integrating with other third-party services. It is quickly becoming a starting point for many companies.

When to use teams [practical tips]

I use teams when I have to work together with different employees on joint initiatives and projects. I can take a document that I save in OneDrive and share it in teams when I'm ready to collaborate with my team. Because Teams brings all of your most important communications applications under one roof, it's easy to keep track of what everyone is talking about and what they are doing when it comes to their part of a project. With fewer context switches, you no longer have to search through emails, chat threads, voice mails, and files to put the bigger picture together - everything is centralized in teams.

For example, when my team was working on a new approach to sales, we used teams to come up with new ideas.

When our sales team identified a new sales approach, we worked with teams to gather ideas on how to quickly bring this new approach to life. Another time I was part of a project team working with a client making a move to the cloud, and we used teams as a way to track information and post plans related to that project.

Here are other examples of when to use teams:

  • You are sitting on the train and want to chat with teams and individuals during the journey
  • You want to chat, create tasks, and share files with a subset of people
  • You are dealing with documents that are only relevant to smaller groups, but not to the company as a whole
  • Communication between team members is usually less formal and dialogue-oriented and timely
  • When the group membership is small, ad-hoc or flexible
  • Teams allow any team member to collaborate on a topic without IT intervention to maintain group membership. Teams don't have to adhere to AD structures
  • Teams also added the ability to share the team's collaboration experience with users outside of your company
  • In Teams, users can attend meetings, start conversations, add notes and exchange documents on a single platform. This enables more flexible, faster and more frequent communication - ideal for collaboration between smaller groups

Sharepoint organization

SharePoint is Microsoft's web-based platform for document management and collaboration. It is often used as the company's intranet - a central place where employees can find company information. It's also often used to store files and collaborate, although more and more we see discussions and collaboration flow into teams.

In SharePoint you can securely manage data in lists, workflow approvals and the publication of documents.

SharePoint is a tried and tested tool, and hub sites help users organize content in it.

When to use Sharepoint [practical tips]

Since SharePoint has solid governance, consistency and structure around functionality, it is an excellent tool for communicating and sharing documents with larger groups. You can still manage who has viewing and editing rights. However, the structure and standard functionality of SharePoint can also delay response time, so it works best when dealing with company-wide documents that do not require immediate response, such as training, guidelines, and templates. SharePoint is a great place to store and reference these types of documents.

Here are the top reasons why you should choose SharePoint:

  • Governance, consistency and structure are very important to you
  • You would like to create several areas for the publication of information (e.g. a series of HR onboarding guidelines with a main landing page and supporting sub-pages)
  • Would you like a location with specific configurations?
  • You want the integration between the locations
  • You create an internal knowledgebase or a wiki with Sharepoint

The structures are crucial - the tools work together

Remember, SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive can often work together to create the ultimate collaboration platform based on your company's unique work styles. This means that if you are interested in using these tools, you should first build a strong base in SharePoint and generally work together across all tool sets.

If you want to learn more about how to make sure your company is using the latest collaboration tools, contact us to talk about it. We look forward to you.

Founder and owner of the company hagel IT-Services GmbH. Passionate about technology, of course, and always looking for improvements.

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