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SharePoint vs. Teams vs. OneDrive

Updated: Jul 31

Discover which application is best suited for specific use cases and how these three solutions can be used for file sharing and storage differently.


Microsoft 365 contains a myriad of solutions each of which is ideally 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. At first glance, these solutions appear to be very similar; the reality is, that each tool features unique differentiators that make it more suitable for certain use cases than others.


In this article, we’ll examine the differences between each platform, the advantages, and when each should be used.

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. SharePoint is available in two versions: SharePoint Server which is hosted locally on a business’s network and SharePoint Online, which is hosted on Microsoft’s cloud environment and included in the Microsoft 365 portfolio.


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 do have the option of licensing 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. A high-level summary of how each solution can be utilized in business processes can be found below:



comparison chart of SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive


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


Below, we’ll provide further information on the primary purposes for 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 includes tools that enable users to seamlessly collaborate on and share documents, including version control, co-authoring, file preview, file sync, data governance and 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, providing 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.


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 via the platform’s built-in tools. From chat to real-time document collaboration, Teams is ideal for businesses who 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 ideal for storing personal business documents and files, and for sharing documents with a small number of colleagues. Files can easily be accessed from mobile devices, and users have the ability to write or update documents 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, the application is ideal for storing personal or private documents as the application provides all the security and accessibility needed for these types of projects.



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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