OneDrive vs. SharePoint vs. Teams: When to Use What

July 29, 2019 The TNS Group

 

It is imperative to make the right technical decisions for your business to increase productivity, growth and profitability across the board.  Gone are the days when businesses solely relied on physical hardware to house their data.  With the improvements to Office 365 and the integration between applications, you may want to start thinking about adopting the platform into your business operations 

Are you looking for a secure platform to manage your files?  Do you want to reduce your reliance on physical hardware?  Do you want to provide your team the collaborative tools necessary to work effectively?  As a decision maker for your organization it is important to put the right tools in place for your employees so they can communicate timely and get their tasks at hand completed.  To put it straight, knowing which tools to use can seem daunting. 

Office 365 comes with different storage and sharing options that can be utilized to your benefit.  SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams are all cloud-based services from Microsoft that allow you to organize information, and share and sync files across devices.  In addition, with the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) on the rise, these applications are easily accessible, both inside and outside of the office, through the Office 365 platform.  

OneDrive vs. SharePoint vs. Teams:  When to Use What 

One Drive: It’s Personal 

OneDrive is meant for your personal storage and can be considered your individual workspace.  Each OneDrive account comes with at least 1 TB of space and it can house personal or work-related information that you don’t want to share with others.  Basically, if you are saving files specific to you or drafting files, project plans, etc., before you move them to SharePoint for input or make them available on Microsoft Teams, OneDrive is your place. 

You have the ability to co-author in OneDrive, but permissions can prove to be challenging over time and more easily managed in SharePoint or Teams.  If you are collaborating via OneDrive with your colleague and they leave the organization you run the risk of losing your work when their OneDrive account is retired.  

OneDrive is similar to working within or storing information in your own personal folder on a file server.  It is your drive to store what you want that no one else can access, unless a specific company policy is in place.  

SharePoint:  It’s for collaborating and publishing

SharePoint is primarily used for collaborating on files or publishing documents and files for colleagues to see.   Team sites are great for collaborating, while communication sites are perfect for publishing.  They are setup for specific users that are working toward a common goal as it relates to work.  The teams may be set up by department, projects or in any manner that works best for you organization.  Team sites are for pushing things forward by allowing access and editing rights to all users.  Documents that are owned by your team or specific projects that you are associated with should be stored in SharePoint.

In terms of publishing documents, SharePoint is a web-based document management and collaboration platform.   Communication sites are usually acceptable to just about everyone within the organization, but tend to have read-only access.  Company policies and other company wide information are housed here.  

SharePoint allows you to simplify everyday business activities by taking advantage of workflows for initiating, tracking and monitoring business activities, such as document review and approval.  The tight integration amongst other applications, email and web browsers, provides a consistent experience.  

SharePoint is similar to working within or storing information on a shared drive on a file server.  It is your drive to store what you want that no one else can access, unless a specific company policy is in place.  With that said, should your organization have a server that is coming out of support or end-of-life, there is the option of utilizing SharePoint as part of the Office 365 platform and saving the capital expense of purchasing new server.  

Teams:  It’s for everything  

Teams is much more than a group chat that is aiming to surpass Slack. Teams is the place to have quick internal chats that are informal in nature.  It is also where you can actively collaborate and connect in real time with fellow team members or people outside of the office to get your work done.  It keeps all of your communication apps under one roof.  You can keep all emails, chats, voice messages, and images within one thread so you don’t have to search in multiple areas.  It enables you to keep the strategic picture intact and is great for brainstorming purposes. 

Teams allows you to actively engage where the work is actually happening.  Whether that is finalizing a presentation with multiple participants, holding a meeting or working together in other applications or within team files to complete a project, it allows for easy interaction and timely responses.

Teams connects the key components of Office 365 into a single tool and can be set up in a manner that meets the specific needs of your organization. Office documents, SharePoint, OneDrive and Skype are all utilized via Teams. Prior to Teams, these products existed on their own without any type of integration between them. The game has changed and it can help transform the workplace and workflow.

Contact The TNS Group today to learn more about migrating to Office 365 and utilizing the applications to provide a collaborative working environment for your employees.

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