What Is SharePoint? Are SharePoint And OneDrive The Same? (must read point #5)
SharePoint and OneDrive are both components of Microsoft’s Office 365. And even though they have overlapping features and tools, there are vital differences between the two. OneDrive is basically a document management system while SharePoint is a much bigger beast. It is a platform that is essentially a collection of many different solutions all wrapped up into one.
Trying to figure out which one will be a better fit for your business, can be a little confusing. There is just way too much information to make sense of. That’s why you should first start with the unique needs of your business and the solutions you need for its many problems. Then you need to break down and understand what each has to offer. We have done the latter for you!
What Is SharePoint?
As stated earlier, it is a platform that incorporates many different solutions. This definition might sound vague to you but that’s what it really is. It’s not one thing just as Microsoft Office is not one single thing. It covers many areas and there is a lot you can do with it. The solutions and features that your business needs will define which of the many features you’ll actually use.
Diving a little deeper, you can look at this platform as a vast cloud-based collaboration tool that allows different individuals and teams within a business to work together. It is installed on your backend systems (servers) and people working in your business can connect to it. So, it’s not like the usual application that you install on your laptop or computer.
Usually, people interface with SharePoint through any of the Microsoft Office apps or a browser. And this can be done across your multiple devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Now that you have a basic idea about what it is, let’s take a look at what it can do for you.
What Can It Do For Your Business?
The six areas are as follows:
1. Intranet Sites
SharePoint allows you to make sites. And the best part is that you don’t even need coding and design knowledge. You can create multiple sites for the same business. For instance, you could build a site for the team to collaborate on, or even a company intranet portal for internal use.
Individuals and teams in your business can easily collaborate with each other using SharePoint. There are organization-wide document collaboration features as well as shared calendars, discussion boards, task lists, and much more. You or any other person in your business can make changes to your sites, files, lists, documents, etc. The sky is the limit with how you can collaborate with your team.
3. Content Management System (CMS)
SharePoint gives you an excellent CMS. It allows for the storage of documents, images, videos, spreadsheets, and any other file you can imagine. You can even separate the content on the basis of accessibility. So, certain content could be accessed only by certain people while other content could be accessed freely by anyone. This also allows for auditing, monitoring, and security of the most important data.
4. Search Functionality
Since you can store a huge amount of data on your servers, there is a need to find the relevant information quickly. SharePoint has a built-in search engine that makes finding what you’re looking for a breeze. This search function is super smart and it only allows access to information that an individual is authorized to receive.
5. Deep Insights
Taking things to the next level, SharePoint gives you deep insights into all the data and content stored in your servers. After a while, your data can become unintelligible and that’s where this comes in handy. You need to understand what the data means in a way that can help you make better business decisions.
SharePoint is such a great platform that even allows you to build on top of itself. Many businesses build custom apps for their employees or even for external use. You can even design custom workflows and forms without even knowing how to code. This allows for endless extensions and customizations. At this point, you are essentially designing solutions for your own unique problems.
How Does It Differ From OneDrive?
Now that you know what SharePoint is and what it can do for your business, let’s compare it to OneDrive.
As stated above, OneDrive is more of a cloud-based document management system. It allows you to store, sync, share, and collaborate on files with your team. It is basically a combination of the “collaboration” and “CMS” feature of SharePoint. However, the latter has a lot more options when it comes to managing content. That is why OneDrive is often considered to be an online storage location while SharePoint is considered as a team site.
Another point of difference is that any file you upload on OneDrive is private by default until you choose to share it with your team. In SharePoint, any file that is uploaded, immediately becomes visible to others, given that they have the required permission to access it. So, OneDrive is great for uploading private files meant for your personal use and SharePoint is great for uploading files meant for the entire team.
At the heart of the matter, SharePoint is a much bigger platform that is basically your company’s intranet. OneDrive, on the other hand, is a small part of this intranet (in terms of its capabilities). As a business, the solutions you need at every step of the way can only be provided by something as huge as SharePoint. But at the end of the day, it all depends on your situation, needs, and goals.
Still can’t decide between SharePoint vs. OneDrive? Contact one of our unbiased Technology Advisors for a free software recommendation based on your needs.
Amin Talebi Kahangi
SRKK Singapore’s Managing Director
Experienced Managing Director with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. Skilled in Management, SharePoint Server, SharePoint and Microsoft Office, Forms, Workflow, Nintex, Power Automate and etc.