OneDrive for Business, cloud storage from Microsoft, has really made it easy and affordable for anyone to try them out. On top of that, they’ve made many enhancements to their cloud storage offerings which we will go over.
We’re talking OneDrive for Business, not OneDrive, which is a consumer product. There are some big differences between them. Here’s what OneDrive for Business offers:
- 1TB of storage for each user – up from 25GB.
- Promotional pricing of $2.50/user/month through early Fall (I believe). Then it’ll change to the on-going price of $5/user/month.
- encrypted storage – your files were always encrypted on their way to the cloud, now they will be encrypted as they sit on the server.
- Auditing & reporting – if you are using this in your business, you’ll have the ability to know who opened or changed any document
- Granular administrative controls – you decide what types of access and permissions people will have
- Built in standards compliance – meets and exceeds all privacy requirements for HIPAA, etc. –
- SSO/ADFS/Directory sync support – this is used mainly in organizations to facilitate a SSO (single sign on) ability so users can sign in once and use multiple services
As with OneDrive, the business version also gives you the ability to use Microsoft Office Apps in the cloud (no Office necessary), as well as real-time collaboration of documents. When you either buy or sign up for the 30-day free trial, you’ll see the below where you can add up to 25 people (licenses) with the Small Business Plan. As I understand it, these subscriptions can be added to an existing Office 365 subscription. Note that it says 25GB of storage, I believe that’s because the 1TB limit is not completely rolled out yet.
Two Sections in OneDrive For Business
If you have SharePoint experience, then OneDrive may be easier to understand, I really had no experience there, so there was a learning curve in getting used to the interface.
You’ll see there is OneDrive and Sites on the blue bar. OneDrive is mainly for your personal business documents (vs. shared business documents). You can set up your Office applications to save to the business OneDrive automatically, or add a variety of places to save and choose each time. Either way, this section of OneDrive is best used as your own storage for when you create documents. You can share from this section.
Sites are meant to be team/group focused. With the Small Business P1 plan, I get three ‘promoted’ sites like you see below. The Public site is a front facing website, if you choose to make one. The New public site is for any future public sites you may want to use (maybe a company calendar). The Team Site is for group use. To get it going, click on it, then check below.
SharePoint Docs in TeamSite
Here’s where you can start uploading the documents you want your team to have access to. You can make folders and upload documents to it. When you get comfortable with the web interface, you can add things from Windows Explorer (multiple documents can be added, which makes things go faster). Then click the sync button and your files should sync – pretty much immediately.
This is a surface look at what OneDrive for Business does and how some of the components work. There’s a wealth of information on-line from within OneDrive that covers nearly any question you have about this service. The service has come a long way and I have fewer headaches and problems with syncing correctly now than a year ago. With the encryption and huge storage (1TB), per person, this is a product many will be taking a look at now.
Share your experience or ask a question in the comment section.