Discover which document management and collaboration platform is better suited for business teams.
Many businesses looking to implement an online collaboration tool and document management platform usually end up with Microsoft SharePoint and Atlassian Confluence on their shortlist. Both platforms are widely used by organizations across industries and boast a large user platform.
These applications share a number of similarities, but they also have a number of fundamental differences that make them better suited for businesses and specific use cases.
Below, we’ll take a closer look into each platform and examine their key similarities and differences to help business teams make the right decision for their users.
What is SharePoint used for?
SharePoint is one of the market's oldest and most reliable document storage platforms. The application has over 200 million users and was recently recognized as a leader in the 2020 Gartner Content Services Platforms Quadrant Magic Report. Businesses such as Gap Inc., TransAlta, Mott MacDonald, and Arla Foods all utilize the platform.
The highly customizable platform is used primarily for document management and storage and collaboration. Users can also use SharePoint to build intranet sites as a way to make business processes more productive and efficient.
Its seamless integration with third-party applications provides businesses with a centralized knowledge management system, allowing users to quickly and easily find what they need. And with tight, robust security, data and documents remain secure and protected.
What is Confluence used for?
Created in 2004, Confluence is a cloud-based document management and collaboration tool and is used by 60,000 users worldwide. It was created by Atlassian, the founders of Jira and Trello, and is used by companies like LinkedIn, Audi, and The New York Times.
The collaboration tool is designed for sharing, storing, and working on various business documents or tasks. Users can create project timelines and tasks, write and share project requirements, write meeting notes, and more in tandem with other colleagues. Confluence also allows users to edit and make changes to documents which are easily viewed by other users.
Commonalities Between SharePoint and Confluence
Before we jump into the differences between the two applications, let’s first look at the features and capabilities available in both platforms:
Cloud-based: Both applications are hosted on the cloud, allowing users to access the applications from anywhere.
Great customer support: Users have reported receiving answers and support from both company’s support team.
Free trials: SharePoint and Confluence both offer free trial versions, allowing users to test the platform prior to purchasing.
Third-party integration: Both applications can be connected to external applications, allowing users to seamlessly work with their favorite platforms.
Live-document editing: Users can work on and edit documents simultaneously with changes visible in real-time. Both platforms also allow users to restore previous versions with a few clicks.
Project management tools: SharePoint and Confluence each feature a number of project management tools designed to boost communication, collaboration, and productivity across teams.
What are the differences between Confluence and SharePoint?
Despite both platforms being document management and collaboration platforms, both Microsoft and Atlassian applications feature a number of key differentiators that provide users with a unique experience.
In terms of interoperability, SharePoint features far more than Confluence. Confluence users are limited to Jira and HipChat while SharePoint users can connect to the entire Microsoft Suite as well as to ERP and CRM tools.
SharePoint contains significantly more features than Confluence. In addition to document management tools, Microsoft included design, collaboration, formatting, and customization features, allowing users to create highly personalized tools and applications.
One area in which Confluence stands out is in its UI and UX. The platform’s limited feature scope and incredibly user-friendly interface make it an ideal choice for less-technically skilled users. SharePoint’s interface is more complex, making navigation slightly harder.
Because Confluence has limited functionality, it has a lower learning curve than that of SharePoint. Confluence users can easily log on and begin using the platform without the help of a trained expert. SharePoint users typically require an expert in order to realize the full power and capability of the platform due to it’s extended functionality.
While both platforms have documentation capabilities, SharePoint provides users with more customization options. Additionally, because the application integrates with Microsoft Office 365 features, sharing and collaborating on documents is more seamless in SharePoint than Confluence.
Both Confluence and SharePoint feature add-ins that further extend the functionality of each platform. However, SharePoint contains more than 20,000 add-ins, far more than Confluence’s 1,000. For business teams looking for high customization capabilities or to meet highly-specific business requirements, SharePoint likely has the add-ins they’re looking for.
This is arguably the biggest difference between SharePoint and Confluence. SharePoint is highly customizable, enabling users to create and edit documents, tasks, projects, and web pages suited to their unique business needs. Confluence has limited customization features, which may prevent users from creating the tools and applications needed for specific use cases.
Confluence has a slight edge over SharePoint in terms of knowledge management. Confluence was specifically designed with document management in mind; the platform provides users with a simple, easy interface in which to store and share business files. Due to SharePoints higher functionality, document management is slightly more difficult in the interface though users do have access to thousands of add-ins that can simplify the process.
SharePoint features a built-in chat where users are able to communicate freely with other business users. Confluence does not currently have a chat feature which means users must rely on third-party tools in order to collaborate.
Deleted History Restoration
Both platforms feature deleted history restoration though they each take a different approach to the feature. SharePoint features document versioning, which tracks all changes made within a document and allows users to restore previous versions any time. Confluence, on the other hand, features built-in document version management, which allows users to restore previous document versions by the version number.
Recently, Confluence announced an increase in their subscription prices, raising the total cost to $10 per month for more than 10 users. The price continues to increase as more users are added. SharePoint charges a flat rate of $5 per user for the desktop version. The platform also features additional price points, enabling businesses to choose the one that’s best for their team. Microsoft licensing- often bundled with other products in the microsoft suite
Which Application is Right for Business Teams?
Ultimately, deciding which platform is best for businesses depends on their specific teams. Small to mid-sized businesses who don’t currently require extended functionality or high customization will find what they need with Confluence. Additionally, businesses who want to avoid longer training times or a higher learning curve should utilize Confluence as it has a more simple UI than that of SharePoint.
On the other hand, businesses looking to go beyond simple document management will find the extra functionality and customization they’re looking for in SharePoint. With access to 20,000 add-ins, tight security, affordable price, and interoperability capabilities, SharePoint truly allows teams to do so much more than just document management.
Despite Confluence’s user-friendly UI and small learning curve, SharePoint has the advantage. It contains the advanced features that are empowering today’s businesses to build smarter, faster, and more modern applications. Plus, with its integration capabilities, business teams have all the tools needed to simplify and streamline their document management process.
And JourneyTEAM is here to ensure organizations are able to leverage the full power of Microsoft SharePoint. Working closely with business teams, we plan, build, and customize SharePoint and other Microsoft solutions to fulfill specific business needs—enabling businesses to do more, faster.
Why Migrate from Confluence to SharePoint?
If you are experiencing growing pains within Confluence, it is time to migrate to SharePoint. These growing pains could manifest in a lack of desired features, user capabilities, and clunky integrations with other technologies. If you are looking to migrate from Confluence to SharePoint, here are the detailed steps.
Or, if you're looking for quick migration help, speak to an expert.