Confused? Want to know what each of these tools do? Then read on….
Working with one of my clients recently, it became clear to me how confusing it is to get your head around these products, what they do and what you should use for what. Cue great blog post idea!
I will do my best to put this into English, but if anything is confusing, please shout and I’ll be happy to have a call to discuss it further ….so here goes 😊
Think “My Documents”, but in the cloud. OneDrive has been around for years and allows you to not only store your files in the cloud but it syncronises them to your laptop or PC as well. This saves time (and hassle) knowing you can easily access your file from multiple devices. That’s right – you can sync these documents across multiple computers and devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Whilst I work solely from my laptop and have all files sync’d locally, I have often used my phone to access or review a document via OneDrive; even attached it to an email for sending without having to be on my laptop.
SharePoint is like OneDrive but much more powerful! For this one, think “Network Drive” but in the cloud. Similar to the above, you can access your documents from pretty much anywhere, BUT the really neat thing with SharePoint is multiple users can be working on the same file at the same time, and all changes are recorded/saved.
I’ve often used this when working collaboratively on a document with a client – I can see they are in it (and vice versa) and as they or I type, it appears on the other person’s screen. It’s really very cool (but then I’m easily pleased!) Storage limits in SharePoint are also massive.
SharePoint is more than just a file sharing tool though. It can be used as a communications site for businesses, such as an intranet for those familiar with them. Equally, you can create sub-sites, so potentially have a site for each department or client perhaps. It also has the ability to build workflows involving one or more team members. It really does depend on the size of your business as to how best to set up and use SharePoint, but it’s a very powerful tool. Naturally I can help you to evaluate whether SharePoint could add value to the way you and your teams work.
I think Teams has become more known in recent months as the battle of Zoom v Teams kicked off back in March/April time. However, Teams is more than just a video communications tool.
Teams allows you to create just that! An area for a Team or Department to collaborate. It could be “Sales” or “Marketing”, or perhaps a particular “project” or “client” name. Anything where a collection of people need to work together on it. Access is managed via permission groups, where only those assigned to that group can communicate with each other. Communication can be a chat message to another team member or the whole team, attach documents, share videos, or make voice and video calls (it basically replaces Skype).
Think of it as combining the best features of Skype, Text Messaging, Email, and file sharing into one nifty application.
Why would I recommend using the above tools?
Let’s look at a typical scenario – a sole trader setting up a business.
- Owner buys a laptop and stores everything for the business on it – storage is limited to the size of the hard drive.
- The website hosting company provides an email address for the owner to use – storage limit is 2Gb!
- Files are also being stored/shared via Dropbox – which also come with limited space and is expensive to increase storage.
My recommended solution for this business owner is Microsoft 365, and here’s why.
Microsoft 365 starts at just £3.80 + VAT per month / per user and provides the following:
- Email – 50Gb size limit
- SharePoint – 1TB size limit
- OneDrive locally to sync files from SharePoint
- Teams – whilst you don’t need this for collaboration if you are a sole trader, you now have the software to connect in to another company’s team (yes, external users can be added too)
- Access to your data from anywhere / any device. There is a web portal you can log in to if needed.
All of the above equals a greater user experience, with no concerns about running out of space, not to mention being able to access your information from any device, and all from only £3.80 + VAT per month!
It’s clear why this is a cost effective solution for many businesses!
If this scenario sounds familiar or you can relate to the challenges, then let’s chat. I’m more than happy to point you in the right direction to set this up yourself, or equally I’m happy to do it for you. Just book yourself in for a Discovery call via my website : www.hbsvcs.co.uk and let’s chat!