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SharePoint vs. Teams vs. OneDrive

Updated: Apr 10

Discover the perfect app for various requirements. Discover three solutions that you can use in distinct ways for file sharing and storage.


Microsoft 365 contains a myriad of solutions that are suited for specific business use cases. However, it’s easy to misunderstand the intended purposes of each application and when each one should be used.


This is especially true when it comes to storing files. Microsoft provides numerous options for both on-premise and cloud storage, including SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams. These solutions may seem similar, but each tool has unique features that make it better for specific uses.


In this article, we will compare platforms, discuss their benefits, and help you decide when to use each one.

A Closer Look at Microsoft’s File-Sharing Platforms

SharePoint

Created in 2001, SharePoint is a web-based solution where users can store, organize, access, and share files and information from any device. There are two versions of SharePoint. SharePoint Server is hosted on a business's network. Microsoft's cloud environment hosts SharePoint Online, which is also a part of Microsoft 365.


Teams

Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one collaboration platform that’s included in the Microsoft 365 portfolio. It features tools such as chat, video calling, conversation boards, document storage, online meetings, and more. In addition to messaging, people can be organized into groups or teams and receive department-specific updates as well as general company information.


The cloud-based solution enables both remote and local teams to communicate in real-time across various devices, including desktop and mobile. Teams also easily integrate with other Microsoft applications such as SharePoint, Exchange, and PowerPoint.



microsoft teams icon and users


OneDrive

OneDrive is Microsoft’s online, cloud-based storage solution and includes 1 TB of personal storage. Users can access files remotely from any device, including mobile devices, and easily share them with others. The application is included with Microsoft 365 but users can't license it separately.


When to Use SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive

All three Microsoft applications allow business teams to communicate and collaborate effectively. However, their subtle differences and unique features reveal their ideal uses. Below, you can find a high-level summary of how to utilize each solution for various business processes:



comparison chart of SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive


Ultimately, the primary differentiators between the three applications lie in their primary use. SharePoint is best for online document management, Teams for communication, and OneDrive for individual storage.


Explore the primary purposes of each platform as well as examples of when each application should be used.


SharePoint

SharePoint is ideal for storing and sharing files with a broad number of users. The platform provides tools for users to collaborate on documents. These tools include version control, co-authoring, file preview, file sync, data governance, compliance, and more.


It’s SharePoint’s focus on functionality that differentiates it from Teams and OneDrive. For example, the flexible, customizable platform allows users to create an intranet where they can share documents, assign and complete tasks, schedule meetings, and more. Users can also consolidate all shared work environments within SharePoint, to provide users with faster, easier access to company information, tasks, data, and more.


While both Teams and OneDrive feature file storage, neither features additional functionality like SharePoint.


sharepoint icon on a smart phone

Teams

As previously stated, Teams is Microsoft's all-in-one communication and collaboration center. The application essentially acts as a think-tank for users to brainstorm and collaborate on projects and tasks in real time. From chat to real-time document collaboration, Teams is ideal for businesses that regularly collaborate on projects.


Both SharePoint and OneDrive feature collaboration tools such as comments, @ mentions, and the ability to collaborate on documents but neither application has real-time, robust features like Teams.

OneDrive

OneDrive features both the file sharing and collaboration features of Teams and SharePoint but on an individual level. The cloud-based storage solution is for storing personal business documents and files, and for only sharing with a small number of colleagues. Users can also easily access and update files from mobile devices while offline.


While users can co-author documents and view previous document versions, the application is limited in scope. Organizations with large business teams or a broad partner base will find the collaboration capabilities they need within Teams or SharePoint.


Ultimately, OneDrive is ideal for storing personal or private documents as it is secure and easily accessible.



onedrive dashboard


Leverage the Power of All Three Applications with JourneyTEAM

While all three applications meet specific use cases, maximum efficiency and productivity come from using all three together. For example, integrating Teams with SharePoint provides users with the ability to easily access, modify, and share files within Teams while having access to SharePoint features like document preview or file sync. The SharePoint to OneDrive integration enables users to do the same—access files in OneDrive from anywhere (even when offline) and sync them in SharePoint.


Together, these applications provide business teams with a portfolio of robust, intelligent tools that enable them to do more, faster. From Teams’ seamless collaboration capabilities to SharePoint’s and OneDrive’s secure file storage and sharing, users will enjoy modern applications designed to meet today’s business challenges.


At JourneyTEAM, we support businesses in their efforts to integrate Microsoft solutions. Whether it’s Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, or another Microsoft tool, we customize each one to ensure it meets the team’s individual, unique needs.


Ready to get started? Contact a JourneyTEAM representative today.


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