Office 365 offers several ways to address content collaboration needs. Over time, you’ll find that OneDrive for Business, Groups, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams combine to provide a cohesive content collaboration solution.
As Office 365 solution architects, my team is frequently asked to explain the benefits and capabilities of OneDrive for Business. Although it is an excellent, centrally managed solution for employees who need secure cloud storage and sharing capabilities, OneDrive for Business is only part of the solution for addressing today’s increasing collaboration needs.
Look to Office 365 Groups to replace your traditional file shares or Distribution Groups, and to Microsoft Teams to create a shared workspace and use chat rooms to get things done as a team faster than ever before. Teams also helps individuals stay focused where their expertise is needed with features like @mentions and notifications. Additionally, the Microsoft Teams app is an easy way to reference the documents you’ve worked on recently alongside your Office 365 Calendar.
Being productive requires simple, effective and secure ways to collaborate. Microsoft is constantly improving upon and adding new tools. To gain insight into what’s new and what’s coming, visit the Office 365 Roadmap. For today, if you’re still feeling challenged with fitting the proper application to the general collaboration purpose, this chart might provide some answers:
|OneDrive for Business||Office 365 Groups||SharePoint Sites||Microsoft Teams|
|Ownership||Single owner. Follows the user into different roles within the company.||Multiple owners. Users can leave and Group purpose remains intact.||Ownership based on purpose. Structure based on departments and roles, not individual users.||Multiple owners. Users can leave and team purpose remains intact.|
|General Purpose||Organize, share and collaborate on your content. Includes a folder for attachments emailed to the user. An excellent replacement for the User’s network folder.||Work together on files and share a mailbox. The primary document library includes an email attachments folder for attachments emailed to the group. A SharePoint site is available for additional collaboration needs. Third party connectors are also available for integration. A great replacement for File Shares or Distribution Groups||An intranet-
use for departmental sites that have a long-term purpose. (i.e. HR, Marketing, etc.)
|Organize projects and initiatives into Chat-based Teams. Subdivide topics into Channels. Use Tabs to focus the team on specific useful content. Tie in third party apps as needed. Overlay conversations and improve focus on top of Office 365 Group capabilities.|
|External (Guest-Based) Membership||Able to be controlled by an admin. Anonymous access links can be time restricted. Secure using Azure Rights Management (E3 or add- on).||Guest access allowed. Guests do not need licenses but have limited participation (can access group files and participate in email discussions).||Provides an “extranet” experience. External sharing can be linked to site collection, subsite, library or individual item.||Not currently available, but on the roadmap.|
|Mobility||OneDrive for Business Mobile App||Outlook Groups Mobile App||SharePoint App||Microsoft Teams App|
|Storage||E3+ offers unlimited storage.
All lower plans are 1TB per user.
|Utilizes SharePoint pooled storage.||Storage limited to available pooled storage. (1TB + 500MB per licensed user. One hundred licensed users, for example, would give 1TB + 50GB pooled storage.) Additional storage can be purchased.||Utilizes SharePoint pooled storage.|
|Licensing||Stand-alone license available. Included with SharePoint Online (does not necessarily include Office Online), or a suite that includes SharePoint Online.||Included with all suites. Not available as stand-alone license.||Included with all suites. Standalones available.||Included with all suites. Not available as stand-alone license.|
|More Info||What is OneDrive for Business?||Delivering the First Chapter of Groups in Office 365||OneDrive for Business vs. team sites||Microsoft Teams interactive demo|