In this post, we will be covering different cloud storage platforms for your business – from collaboration to ease of use. We know that when it comes to choosing your cloud storage provider it can be frustrating, as there are so many out there. You probably don’t know which one is suitable for your business. How much storage do you really need? Who would protect your customer data the best? We thought we’d look at the top providers and compare their capabilities.
First question is, why move to the cloud?
- Reduced Costs
- No need for a backup plan – disaster recovery
- Data security/ GDPR compliance
- Improved collaboration
- Future of working
Those are 7 strong reasons to move and stay in the Cloud. This is the future of working, so let’s back to choosing your cloud storage provider.
What is OneDrive?
OneDrive is a personal file hosting service that sync data across all devices. This is an important application amongst the Microsoft suite and is included in most business plans. There are different storage versions available for users and each plan available has different data capabilities and extra features to help users work.
Summary for OneDrive
- Access Files from Any Device
- Offline Access
- Keep your files safe
- Share and collaborate
- Files on demand
- Document Scanning
- Expiring links
What Is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform/tool that integrates with Microsoft Office. It’s a modern platform for shared access, interaction and collaboration. It enables teams to work anywhere, anytime and securely.
Summary for SharePoint
- File Storage
- External Sharing
- Content Management
- Team Sites
- Communication Sites
- Mobile Apps
- Automate Work
- Discovery & search
What is DropBox?
Dropbox is also a file hosting service for personal and shared data. It offers cloud storage, file sync and personal cloud. It enables users to find their documents that are synced across all devices. They can access anytime and anywhere.
- Store and access files from anywhere
- Share big or small files
- Simplify team management
- Connect favourite applications
- Protect data
What is the Box?
Box enables users to securely manage, share and access their content from anywhere. It enables users to have personal and sharing storage.
- Cloud storage and sharing
- Collaboration: content management
- Security: access controls and visibility
PLANS AVAILABLE FROM TOP CLOUD SERVICE PROVIDERS
OneDrive business plan 1 (£3.80 user/month)
- 5 pound per user per month
- 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user
- Store files up to 15gb in size
- Move and manage
OneDrive Business Plan 2 (£7.50 user/month)
- All the features in Plan 1 available
- 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 Online Plan 1 (£3.80 use/month)
This package is designed for small to medium sized businesses. Includes SharePoint & OneDrive Services.
- 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user.
- Secure File Sharing inside and outside of organisation
- Sync local copies and files for offline editing on Mac or PC.
- Co-author in real time familiar Microsoft Office apps
- Connect with people’s intranets and portals
- Team sites enable users’ access to teams content and processes
- Organise and manage content libraries
- Move and manage files between OneDrive and SharePoint
- Search and discover people
- Navigate your team sites and intranet with SharePoint mobile apps for Android IOS, and Windows
- Fast track deployment
- 247 phone and web support
- Licensed for commercial use
SharePoint Online Plan 2 (£7.50 user/month)
Full featured SharePoint Online with capabilities for the enterprise.
Includes all SharePoint Online Plan 1 benefits and more.
- Unlimited personal cloud storage
- Customize your search and results with enhanced features to surface resources across Office 365
- Find content in electronic format for litigation or audit scenarios
- Use advanced DKLP capabilities to identify, monitor and protect sensitive information
- Use In place holds to programmatically preserve content from deletion or edit
See below for pricing plans available for businesses. They have three plans available for businesses, the standard and advanced is most suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. The last plan with the most features in Enterprise, suitable for larger organisations. As you can see below, the price for enterprise plan is not mentioned, you’d have to contact Dropbox for a price.
The Box Pricing
See below for pricing plans available for businesses. There are 4 plans available for users, a starter plan for new businesses. A business and business plus plan suitable for small to medium sized businesses and finally an enterprise plan for large organisations.
#1 DATA SYNCING & COLLAORATION:
When it comes to all the cloud providers, there is no difference in the speed of syncing to all devices. They enable users to access their documents from any device, anywhere. Secondly, the speed of sync is very important for collaboration as data would need to update quickly. All service providers enable users to work on the same documents together, they can see who is in the document and see the changes being made.
#2 FILE & STORAGE:
All cloud service providers offer limited data for a certain price. Most service providers will offer enterprise business unlimited storage. However, majority of Microsoft storage plans offer unlimited storage, which is great because if you’re a growing business you will eventually need more space for your data.
One product we must rave about is SharePoint and its ability to notify users of recent changes in a document. This can be set up easily using the workflow feature, which the Box and Dropbox don’t have. This is great for teams as members will be kept in the loop if any recent changes have been made. This also helps boost productivity.
#3 MANAGEMENT & EASE OF USE:
It’s important for organisations to have control over data stored in the organisation as well as outside of the organisation. Microsoft Cloud enables admins to have ability to set controls of who has access to editing a document and restricting documents from getting sent out of the organisation. This also helps the security aspect, but management of documents is key.
If we look at Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive, OneDrive has the capabilities to track, store and review documents on all plans – whereas DropBox only has the capability to store and manage documents unless you are an admin. For any business who wants continuity, you want to be able to track where the documents are going in the organisation and being able to review them, especially in the times of GDPR The last thing you want is a user accidently sending a document containing PII data.
Lastly, one of our customers chose to move away from DropBox as getting private folders and file storage (like OneDrive) was not available without a lot of customisation. By choosing a plan from Microsoft that gave them both OneDrive and SharePoint, they got this capability straight away – without the need for a lot of adapting.
Microsoft Cloud is slightly more expensive than other Cloud providers, but quality is key. They offer more features and functions that no other cloud service provider has and always bring out new features every year to improve customer experience.
It’s a few more pounds for each user in comparison to the Box and DropBox but it offers more features and if you are using any other Microsoft products, it will integrate with these other programs – making your work life simpler and more succinct.
Let’s be honest, they all offer the standard file sharing, collaboration and sync. It’s great but difficult for those who are looking for a cloud storage option to know which provider to go with. Price is an obvious factor but are you getting the value for your money? Working with Microsoft and using their products we know they are ahead of the game. They might be slightly more expensive, but the security offered within the applications and the unique features enable users to achieve more when they are working.
Here at TechQuarters, we use SharePoint and OneDrive every day. We use it for creating, collaborating and storing files. We find this is the best process when working with teams across the organisations. We have seen a 40% increased collaboration across different departments. Our sales team can access documents they are need in one centralized location and make just in time changes. Every department can benefit one way or another using the Cloud. It’s essential for a growing business that all departments are working together and have the same tools to help them.