Being productive requires simple, effective and secure ways to collaborate. Email is no longer an effective way to share documents. Within email, every document attached is an unnecessary copy; therefore, it’s impossible to effectively track changes.  For those on the receiving end, emailed documents lack appropriate methods of contributing and make it difficult later to locate the item for reference.

Office 365 offers a number of ways to address content collaboration needs, in addition to providing a solid email platform. It’s likely you’ll find that OneDrive for Business, Groups and team sites combine to provide an effective content collaboration solution. However, a question often asked is: “What content belongs where?”

With Microsoft’s recent announcement that OneDrive for Business will soon increase its storage from 1 terabyte per user to unlimited storage per user, many companies want to take advantage of the free storage to the greatest extent, especially since additional storage has historically been offered with a price tag.

With the introduction of Office 365 Groups, unlimited storage no longer applies to just the single owner of a library, but can also be used for shared content among group members.

For the purpose of document collaboration, Groups is a significant improvement upon the traditional file share. But it still comes with limitations, one being the inability to share with external users.

As a result, with SharePoint Online team sites, you’ll discover that there are very good reasons to utilize your available pooled storage space or even purchase more (at the very reasonable cost of 20 cents per gigabyte per month).

Although OneDrive for Business is an excellent, centrally managed solution for employees who need secure cloud storage and sharing capabilities, alone it is rarely sufficient to address a company’s increasing online storage and collaboration needs.

On the other hand, the Office 365 Suite delivers all of the features compared below and are constantly expanding to include NextGen Portals like the recently introduced Office 365 Video.

You may wonder, with so many options for storing and sharing content, how will employees stay focused?

Office Delve answers this question with a single click. Delve delivers important information directly to the people who need it by materializing relevant content based on an individual’s work and connections.

So, back to the question, “What content belongs where?” Check out the overview below to help you find the perfect fit.


OneDrive for Business Groups Team Sites
Ownership Single owner. Multiple owners. Multiple owners.
Contribution Library contribution restricted to read or contribute. Permission restricted to Group members. Multiple OOB permission levels, more can be added.
Structure Able to structure content (content types, columns, views, etc.). Unable to structure content. Direct correlation to file share, but with added capabilities of browser co-authoring and versions. Able to structure content (content types, columns, views, etc.).
Libraries Each license = one library. As a result, a single OneDrive for Business cannot have separate permissions per library. Able to create separate groups. Access limited to membership. Single team site can have multiple libraries with differing permissions per library.
External Sharing External sharing limited to single item. Secure using Azure Rights Management (E3 or add- on). No external sharing. External sharing can be linked to site collection, subsite, library or individual item.
Apps No apps on OneDrive for Business page. Apps can be added in the “About Me” section. No apps. Apps can be added to pages (shared calendars, timelines for project management, etc.).
Workflow Workflow is available. Can be based on content type. No workflow available. Can have workflow collections per library to simplify business process automation.
Storage Unlimited storage (Announced as currently 1TB per Licensed user.). Utilizes OneDrive storage. Storage limited to available pooled storage. (10GB + 500MB per licensed user. 100 licensed users, for example, would give 60GB pooled storage.). Additional storage can be purchased.
Licensing Standalone license, with SharePoint Online (does not necessarily include Office Online), or a Suite that includes SharePoint Online. Included with Suites (E1-E4 + some business Suites). Not available with standalone licenses. License SharePoint Online (does not necessarily include Office Online) or a suite that includes SharePoint Online.
More info What is OneDrive for Business? Delivering the First Chapter of Groups in Office 365 OneDrive for Business vs. team sites

Questions or thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.