Document Sharing Options in Office 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, etc)

At McKula Inc., we often work with and recommend Microsoft’s Office 365 service when potential customers ask about document management and sharing. Various plans that include different services are offered by Microsoft, often times the featured offered in these plans depend on the level of the plan you purchase. Specifically when it comes to document sharing options utilizing Office 365, we talk about the business and enterprise plans, though there are educational, nonprofit, government, and home plans. One of the benefits of an Office 365 plan, is the suite of products included, which often includes all the Office applications such as Word, Excel.

Microsoft bills the plans on a per user basis, so for example if you have 5 users in your office and you want them to have access to the Office 365 Business Premium plan, each user would need a license purchased for their account. If that particular user leaves, and a new user is hired, you can transfer the license to the new user fairly easily through the administration area offered in Office 365. Each user would have access to those Office applications mentioned above, as well as other features included in the Office 365 Business Premium plan such as SharePoint.

Microsoft has essentially split file sharing service into two parts – OneDrive and SharePoint. OneDrive is the user-based file sharing. We would describe is as a “My Documents in the cloud”. It is effective for helping users store their own documents in a safe, secure location – while providing them with some sharing capabilities with other users as needed. It is effective for getting attachments out of email and great for backing up material (so it doesn’t exist solely on a PC). OneDrive is available on all the Office 365 Business plans.

SharePoint is a broad set of tools that allows you to build more customized collaborative solutions. It serves a wide set of purposes. In the case of file sharing, you may want to use a canned SharePoint solution called Office 365 Teams. This particular solution is geared towards file sharing and collaboration between set groups of users like departments, project teams, company initiatives, etc. Teams is a very slimmed down, lean, easy-to-learn version of it – that also combines file sharing with conversations, OneNote, and chat. SharePoint is only available on the Office 365 Business Premium and Office 365 Business Essentials plan, as well as the Enterprise E1, E3, and E5 plans.

The solution that works best for you can depend on many factors. If you have any questions or just wish to learn more about what Microsoft offers within it’s Office 365 plans, contact us today.