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Microsoft OneDrive for Business Review: Pros and Cons

Microsoft OneDrive for Business is an online storage solution, with licenses starting at $5 per month. It makes sharing and collaborating on business files easy, with access available from all devices, powerful search tools, and advanced security features for maximum data protection.

Table of Contents

    What Is OneDrive for Business?

    OneDrive for Business is a Microsoft cloud storage service that comes with Office 365 and SharePoint. It is key to storing and sharing files in the cloud. Associates inside and outside your organization can access, change, and share documents.

    You can store and access files from anywhere, on any device, and retrieve them from anywhere as well. OneDrive for Business is different from OneDrive, in that it is meant to store workplace or school-related files. (OneDrive is for storing personal documents.)

    Office 365 and OneDrive for Business differ in that Office 365 is a team site, intended for storing project documents or team-related information. You can, however, use both programs together to create and control documents for business projects and purposes.

    The main features of OneDrive for Business include cloud file storage, the ability to share files and folders with co-workers, document control by administrators, and syncing content from a library to the platform.

    In-Depth Microsoft OneDrive for Business Review

    Before you adopt Microsoft OneDrive for Business,  it’s important to learn as much as you can about the program in order to decide whether it’s right for your company and business needs. This cloud platform can offer many advantages to users, but is it ideal for your company? Here are several key facts you should know about OneDrive for Business before taking the leap:

    • File storage. Microsoft OneDrive for Business offers a storage capacity of 1 TB. You may increase the default storage space to up to 5 TB per user with the help of your Office 365 administrator.
    • File sharing. Every file you store in OneDrive for Business will automatically be private. If you decide to share files and folders with others (such as coworkers for group projects), you can make them public. You can share files with partners outside of your organization with OneDrive for Business and Office 365.
    • Synchronization. OneDrive for Business is easy to sync with your local computer using a sync app (available with Office 2013 and 2016). You can download the OneDrive sync app for free if you don’t have Office.
    • Security. Of course, you’ll want to verify Microsoft OneDrive for Business’ security before uploading important and sensitive information to the cloud platform. Microsoft puts organizations’ worries at ease with advanced protection in multiple layers, including data encryption, access security rights, real-time reports, and data loss protection.
    • Advanced features. OneDrive for Business also offers advanced features. You may benefit from the 365 bundle in higher-tier plans, built-in Open Web Office applications, full integration with the AD or Azure AD, and other sophisticated business add-ons.

    OneDrive for Business pricing depends upon the plan your business selects. Three different business plans exist: $5 per user per month for those that need file sharing and storage; $10 per user per month for advanced security and compliance, and $12.50 per user per month for business-class email and Office applications. With these options, OneDrive for Business might be the answer to your current file-sharing issues.

    OneDrive for Business Pricing

    OneDrive for Business Plan 1 OneDrive for Business Plan 2 Office 365 Business Premium
    Pricing $5.00 per user per month (annual commitment) $10.00 per user per month (annual commitment) from $12.50 per user per month
    (annual commitment)
    Office Applications Not included Not included
    • Office 365 Outlook
    • Office 365 Word
    • Office 365 Excel
    • Office 365 PowerPoint
    • Office 365 OneNote
    • Office 365 Access (PC only)
    • Office 365 Publisher (PC only)
    Services
    • OneDrive
    • OneDrive
    • Exchange
    • SharePoint
    • OneDrive
    • Skype for Business
    • Microsoft Teams
    • Yammer
    Features
    • 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user
    • Storage file size up to 15 GB
    • Desktop and browser-based experiences
    • Syncing local copies of files or folders for offline viewing and editing on Mac or PC
    • FastTrack deployment support with the purchase of 50+ seats at no extra cost
    • 24/7 phone and web support
    • Licensed for commercial use
    Includes all OneDrive for Business Plan 1 benefits and more:

    • Unlimited personal cloud storage
    • Advanced data-loss prevention to identify, monitor, and protect sensitive information
    • In-Place Holds to preserve deleted and edited documents for eDiscovery
    • SharePoint intranet and connecting teams with SharePoint team sites
    • Business-class email hosting with 50 GB mailbox
    • Custom email domain addresses
    • One license covers 5 PCs or Macs, 5 phones, and 5 tablets per user
    • Unlimited HD video conferencing meetings hosting for up to 250 people - Getting a hub for teamwork with Microsoft Teams
    • Microsoft Bookings for scheduling appointments
    • Managing tasks and teamwork with Microsoft Planner
    • Collaboration across departments and locations with Yammer. Maximum number of users: 300
    • FastTrack deployment support with the purchase of 50+ seats at no extra cost
    • 24/7 phone and web support
    • Licensed for commercial use

    Microsoft OneDrive for Business Security Overview

    Microsoft OneDrive for Business offers several security possibilities. Further, we will shortly overview them.

    Data Encryption and Security Settigns in OneDrive for Business

    Once you upload anything to OneDrive for Business - it's encrypted. However, it won't help you if you give unattended access to the file via link. Thus, either disable the sharing to the internet possibilities for all users in your network, or encrypt data with 3-rd party tools.

    If you need granular security settings for your organization - you need to integrate OneDrive for Business with Azure AD. Once done, you will be able to set up security for work groups.

    Microsoft OneDrive for Business Multi-Factor Authentication

    Microsoft has included native multi-factor authentication support for OneDrive for Business users. You simply need to enter security settings and set up the needed option. Alternatively, if you are working in a corporate environment and have Azure AD implemented - you can set up 2FA for all users in your domain.

    Data Redundancy and Physical Safety

    Microsoft does not openly talks about Microsoft OneDrive physical infrastructure, except for data reliability - it's stated to be 99,99%. It's highly possible that OneDrive server infrastructure is the same as in Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, where each file is replicated in at least 3 physically redundant locations.

    Primary Pros vs. Cons of OneDrive for Business

    The benefits your organization will receive from implementing Microsoft OneDrive for Business depend on your unique needs and goals. OneDrive for Business might not be the top solution for all companies, but it could be the right one for yours. Some of the pros businesses have enjoyed from OneDrive for Business include:

    • Access files from anywhere. Get, share, and edit your files from anywhere, on any device — at home, in the office, or on-the-go with mobile applications. With this feature, you can enable remote work opportunities, and easy collaborations on-site.
    • Collaborative Office document editing. Eliminate gaps in communication that cost your company time and money. OneDrive for Business enables seamless, real-time Microsoft Office document changes and editing across multiple users in and out of your organization.
    • User-friendly interface. Whether or not your employees are already familiar with OneDrive, OneDrive for Business makes adoption easy. Its user-friendly interface and quick syncing with business computers reduce the learning curve.
    • Mobile application. Download the mobile app for OneDrive for Business in a matter of minutes, for free, onto your iPhone or Android phone. You can then use the app to upload, edit, and share files in the cloud while on the go — all with failsafe security measures to protect your company’s information and customer data.
    • Windows and Mac compatibility. OneDrive for Business is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. It’s also deployable as an on-premises platform, installed directly onto your company’s existing servers.

    Even with all the major benefits that OneDrive for Business offers, no platform is without potential cons. Restrictions of this service (based on your needs) may include:

    • Limited document size support. Microsoft does not support files over 15 GB in OneDrive for Business. For larger files, you may need to use a compression utility.
    • Lack of third-party app integrations. Currently, OneDrive for Business does not enable third-party app integrations as compared to OneDrive for personal use. You cannot sync your business account with apps such as calendars or message boards.
    • Limited offline access. Although OneDrive for Business allows offline access once a user downloads the app, that is about as far as offline access goes. If your team needs to conduct a great deal of work offline, you may want a more robust system.

    Conclusion

    Microsoft OneDrive for Business is a good solution if your organization needs to securely store and share important documents. In some cases, however, its cloud storage capabilities might not be enough for all your business tasks. Microsoft Azure might be a better solution for backing up and restoring your business files.

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