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If you’ve already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, OneDrive for business can take your cloud storage and document sharing to a next level.
By Chad Gowrea, Director - Solutions and Strategy
Two of the most widely used are Microsoft OneDrive for business and DropBox for business. Both services offer an array of features, including security, backup and file restore, version control, and more. Depending on your business investments, OneDrive for business may edge out DropBox for business as the service to use.
OneDrive for business is part of Microsoft’s ecosystem
For most businesses who’ve already invested heavily in the Microsoft ecosystem, OneDrive for business is already included in most Office 365 plans and with Microsoft Outlook. Most businesses rely on Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, too. Microsoft has focused on interoperability between all its platforms to maintain a seamless user experience.
Integrations that make your life easier
Both OneDrive and DropBox users have use of additional features, such as the ability to save documents directly from Word or Excel and from Microsoft Outlook. OneDrive users save docs with a single click whereas DropBox have an extra step, which involves the user choosing the option “Save As”, finding the DropBox app in the browser folder and then selecting the destination where it wants to save files.
Speaking of email, both solutions are integrated with Microsoft Outlook, which means that users can save incoming email attachments also with a single click, for OneDrive users, and an extra step, as mentioned above, for DropBox users. Instead of saving files to desktops, which can get lost and duplicated, users can maintain a centralised location of all files and folders.
Another great feature shared by both cloud storage systems is co-authoring. Co-authoring is the ability for two users to simultaneously edit a document, reducing the need for emailing the document back and forth. Both solutions also maintain version history of documents within the ecosystem.
If they share so many features, why does OneDrive for business have the edge?
- Native desktop application: OneDrive has a native application for Windows and Mac OS, as well as Android, iOS, and Windows phone.
- One user account for your main business apps: More importantly, OneDrive maintains user accounts on the same Microsoft ecosystem as Outlook, and so administrators only have to manage a single set of user accounts, versus two when going with DropBox. Users will find their experience improved by not having to remember two sets of log-in credentials; in fact, when using the desktop program, they won’t have to remember a log-in at all.
- Security: For businesses worried about security and sharing of information, OneDrive offers an additional layer of administrative control that DropBox does not without third-party add-ins. Administrators can run audit reports on external sharing and versions to make sure that the right people are seeing documents.
- Microsoft upgrades: Microsoft focuses on constant updates to improve Office 365 apps integration and enhance user experience. One of the company’s focus is to improve on how OneDrive and SharePoint work together to make storing and accessing all your files simple and powerful. Check the main updates below.
2016 updates and plans for the future
Office 2016 integration: After the last set of updates in 2016, those in the Office 365 ecosystem and using OneDrive for business can experience real integration with Office 2016. In Office 2016, you can now see the users who are currently editing files and launch Skype for Business to converse in real-time.
You can also share the file and see the history of all activity on the file.
To have all those functionalities, without having to jump out of the Office app, are big time-savers.
New OneDrive sync client: A main recent update between the tools is syncing SharePoint sites with the new OneDrive sync client. This enables a single sync experience for all your files in Office 365, across OneDrive and SharePoint, including having a simple way to take any of your files or specific folders in Office 365 offline.
Shared folder sync: This is another powerful capability. Besides the ability to share OneDrive content with other users, you can now sync to the other persons local storage on their computer. This means that if someone in your company shares a folder with you from their OneDrive, you can choose to take that folder offline and it doesn’t count against your storage quota.
Activity centre: Get notified when any activity happens on your sync client and know exactly what happened—so you can catch up on the most recent activity and see current sync status.
Rich previews: View varied types of files in your browser without downloading them. Besides the current ability to view/edit Word/Excel/PPT files without leaving OneDrive, you will be able to preview Adobe files, including Illustrator (.ai), Photoshop (.psd) and Encapsulated PostScript (.eps). Email files (.msg and .eml), almost all photo files (including many RAW formats) and streaming video are also supported.
Access all your Office 365 files through the OneDrive browser experience: Microsoft is releasing an update to the OneDrive browser experience that enables you to access, edit and share all files and folders in SharePoint Online that you own or follow. This is set to be rolled out to all customers in the first quarter of 2017.
Mobile notifications: For iOS or Android users, Microsoft has added notifications when a colleague shares a file with you. You can now open the file directly from the notification and don’t have to rely purely on email. In the future, this feature will be extended to Android and Windows, as well as notifications for other file activities beyond just sharing.
Measure the reach of your work: On IOS, when you copy from OneDrive to SharePoint, you can see over time how many people have discovered and viewed your files. This provides simple insight into the impact of your work. This capability will also be added to Android and Windows in future updates.
Secure and manage your business’ OneDrive account: Set the storage quota and external sharing permissions for specific users, as well as help a user who misplaced a file or inadvertently shared the wrong file with others when you are an admin in the Office 365 User Management console. In emergencies, such as a lost device, you can sign a user out of OneDrive on all devices or take over a user’s OneDrive to move or copy important files to other locations, if an employee leaves the organisation. This capability allows you to preserve files in a deleted user’s OneDrive for up to 10 years so that you can be confident important files are not lost.
Most of the updates were released at the end of 2016, however, there are also a series of improvements to the file management in Office 365 planned to be released in 2017. We can go on and on… However, if you want a full description of Microsoft’s plans for OneDrive, please watch the video below. It’s only 13 minutes and totally worth it!
Blog and Image source: Blogs.office.com https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/26/sharepoint-online-sync-preview-headlines-ignite-announcements-for-onedrive/
Video source: Ignite 2016 https://sway.com/mzrCxZmK3tmgPAjm
The choice should be mainly based on your business investments. If your business has already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, it makes sense to make use of all the products that Office 365 has to offer and guarantee maximum interoperability between all its platforms.
Although DropBox for business provides many of the same features as OneDrive for business, the native integration with programs already being utilised means a seamless experience for your users. Coupled with the added features of auditing, single sign-on, and one-click to save, OneDrive is the program most businesses should consider using for their cloud services.
To learn more about how your business can benefit from Microsoft Office 365, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint, simply contact Bremmar today on 1300 991 351 or email email@example.com