What is Microsoft Sharepoint and OneDrive?

September 14, 2021

What is Microsoft Sharepoint and OneDrive?

In our previous article, What is Microsoft 365… we started looking at the power of the Microsoft suite of products and subsequently examined the power of Teams as a collaboration tool as well as a video conferencing suite. Another key area of the Microsoft 365 set of products are the Sharepoint and OneDrive tools.

What do they do?

SharePoint and OneDrive are slightly different tools, although have some overlaps in some of the functionality.

SharePoint

This is primarily a tool used to build websites and most commonly as an intranet, with the ability to securely store and organise files and information. SharePoint includes a number of different products and the possibilities are expansive, however we are going to focus on a couple of key areas:

  • Creating sites

Microsoft say “Your employees can create sites to share documents and information with colleagues, partners, and customers” (for more click here). Why is this useful? Well in large organisations having a single focal point for large ongoing projects is very useful. It can be used to house all the information for that project and be limited to a team of users. Similarly if you have distinct departments this is an easy way for them to store and share information but also to promote themselves to the rest of the business within an intranet setting.

Even if you do not have a need to create lots of sites for your business, your SharePoint interface (accessed when users login to Microsoft 365) can act as the focal point for users to access useful tools within your organisation. This might include Power Apps created to manage holiday requests or expense requests (all of which can be created using Microsoft Tools). SharePoint acts as the focal point for your businesses tools.

  • Storing and Syncing Documents

This is where there is a crossover between the two products. Whilst Sharepoint is a much wider set of functionalities, it also has the ability to create document stores which can then be used across teams without your business or the whole organisation. If you have a central server where you store files for everyone to access (a shared drive) then Sharepoint is a great way of putting this into the cloud and benefitting from full backup and version control. What’s more, there are apps that allow you to access your files wherever you are and on any device.

OneDrive

OneDrive is the personal version of this file storage. Some people use this for their shared drive but it is not as suitable as Sharepoint is. OneDrive does however provide an excellent way for individuals within your business to have their own storage area for their work files which is not simply on their own computer. This means all files are backed up in the cloud, accessible from anywhere and also version controlled, giving you the security, flexibility and robust storage that you need in the modern world of remote and on the move working.

Collaboration

Another great feature and possibly the most useful is that documents being edited within Sharepoint and OneDrive are in the cloud and can be edited simultaneously by more than one person. Putting together a document with multiple collaborators? No problem, you can actually watch colleagues contributing in real time as you put the document together!

Summary

Sharepoint and OneDrive are tools that can be used in tandem to great effect, providing you with an affordable way to move your company into the cloud and provide you with the business continuity and security that all businesses need.

Migrating to Microsoft365 is easy and affordable and the benefits are great. Using these, along with Teams and the other tools within the 365 suite, will bring your business into the 21st century and add flexibility to your workspace that post-Covid are necessary.

Why not get in touch to discuss how we can help you move to Microsoft365?

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