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OneDrive for Business – All you wanted to know about Microsoft’s very own cloud storage

OneDrive for Business – All you wanted to know about Microsoft’s very own cloud storage

What is OneDrive for Business?

In simple words, OneDrive for Business is Microsoft’s very own cloud storage. OneDrive for Business can replace your ‘My Documents’ folder in your local computer, which can be accessed from anywhere with a simple login. On a permission basis, you can share your files and folders with other people in your organization.

A few competitors of OneDrive for Business include Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer, Box, Jupyter, ownCloud, Egnyte, Huddle, Citrix ShareFile, Accellion among many others.

But one might even wonder why use OneDrive for Business at all when your physical storage devices do a perfectly fine job? The answer is – OneDrive for Business is cheaper, secure, and accessible from anywhere anytime.

Why use OneDrive for Business?

A 20 TB SAN drive can cost thousands of dollars, while 1 TB storage on OneDrive for Business is mere $5 per month for each user. Even security wise, files stored on cloud remain incorruptible as issues of hardware failure cannot arise. Also, you can install OneDrive for Business app and access it from anywhere anytime which releases you from the confines of an on-premise setup.

History of OneDrive for Business

Early history

Originally known as Groove, OneDrive for Business has been primarily used as a synchronization tool rather than full-fledged storage and sharing tool that is has become today. It was first available with Office 2007 but wasn’t very successful as a collaboration tool. It was created to sync offline Office files to different devices, apart from your PC. Obviously, it didn’t have the server back then. To sum it up, it functioned like SharePoint for small businesses – minus the server and lucrative features. It wasn’t that successful.

As SharePoint Workspace

In 2010, it was packaged as SharePoint Workspace and was offered with Microsoft Office 2010. It grew into a SharePoint tool to sync offline lists and libraries. This enabled people to access their documents offline, but it was very sluggish. During that time, Dropbox arrived which offered services like file storage, file transfer, and synchronization. Microsoft tried hard to match Dropbox’s features but still lagged at that point.

Legal issues

In 2013, Microsoft again renamed it to SkyDrive Pro after improving on the weaknesses of its predecessor versions, Groove and SharePoint Workspace. Yet again, it remained a synchronization tool at its core and was unable to compete with Dropbox as Microsoft expected. Also, there was a lawsuit against Microsoft for trademark infringement of the name “SkyDrive” by British Sky Broadcasting Group, which offered digital broadcasting under the Sky brand. Microsoft lost the litigation and decided to rebrand it once again.

Taking the current form

Microsoft changed the name to OneDrive for Business. Today, it has a plethora of features and enables much more, which is directly comparable to Dropbox and Google Drive. When it was released in 2014, it was termed as “gauntlet for holding Box, Dropbox,” as it had exactly similar features and came under Microsoft brand. OneDrive for Business is climbing the market share rapidly. OneDrive plans are bundled with Office 365 services, SharePoint and other popular Microsoft’s services. According to Microsoft, more than 85% of Fortune 500 companies use OneDrive for Business including Accenture, DBS, Textron, Shire, and more.

It has grown spectacularly from Groove to SharePoint Workspace to SkyDrive to finally OneDrive for Business – where it has finally found its feet. From being a no-shower to prominent player in file sharing market, the evolution of OneDrive for Business is quite a story.

OneDrive for Business vs OneDrive – What is the difference?

If you have used any physical storage devices, you can simply use OneDrive or OneDrive for business. Well, the difference between OneDrive vs OneDrive for Business lies on the way it is used. OneDrive is basically a storage folder on the cloud, which can be accessed from anywhere on any device. It is your personal flash drive stored in the cloud. While OneDrive for Business is professional storage available to Office 365 and SharePoint subscribers for corporate use. You get OneDrive for Business with Office 365 plans subscriptions, while OneDrive is your personal storage space. Your OneDrive space is owned and managed by you, including all the files in it. Though you have granular control of your own data, the admins of your organization have full rights over it.

Can you move your OneDrive files to OneDrive for Business?

You can move files from your OneDrive to OneDrive for Business by either simply putting on the web browser or using OneDrive sync client. You can download the Microsoft OneDrive app on your mobile devices. With your Office 365 account credentials, you can login to your OneDrive account and access your files. If you are looking at how to map OneDrive for Business with other devices, you can use OneSync – AutoSync for OneDrive app to sync and backup your files.

OneDrive for Business is an excellent tool for file sharing and storage. If you require any help on how to use OneDrive for Business to bolster your business efficiency, talk to our experts today! We’ll be happy to help.


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