Has OneDrive for Business Improved Enough?

Has OneDrive for Business Improved Enough?

Microsoft’s entry into the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) software market has made huge improvements over the past few years. OneDrive began as a product called Microsoft Office Groove,  and later became know as SkyDrive, before changing its name to OneDrive. OneDrive for Business, which is the business version, is included with many Office 365 subscriptions and it touts unlimited storage in many cases. For these reasons, many businesses want to utilize OneDrive for Business for all their file sharing and storage needs.

Some of the features and improvements of OneDrive that have been released over the past year or so:

  • A next generation sync client (no longer based on Groove!)
  • Support for real-time co-authoring from Office 2016 desktop apps
  • A streamlined process for external sharing with outside parties who don’t have a Microsoft account
  • Sync throttling controls
  • New IT Admin controls over per user quotas and external sharing permissions

OneDrive Features rolling out or planned for the future include:

  • Support for larger file sizes
  • A dedicated IT Admin console
  • Further integration with SharePoint Online document libraries

Every couple of months, technicians at TecFac discuss whether OneDrive is finally at the point we can recommend to our clients. Unfortunately, the answer continues to be NO!

While the new sync client is a welcome improvement, and the new admin features promise to provide IT with the tools needed to enhance security and compliance, the bottom line remains the same:

OneDrive for Business is for personal file storage and sharing.

The 3 biggest problems that prevent TecFac from recommending OneDrive for Business are:

  1. There is no way to create a folder hierarchy that can be shared among different business groups. You need to use SharePoint (which does not provide) unlimited storage and train end users on how they can sync individual libraries to their computer.
  2. The sync client still has problems and is not as robust compared to other EFSS solutions such as ShareFile or DropBox.
  3. File syncing or access via web page are your only options for access documents.

TecFac has been using, supporting and recommending Citrix ShareFile for the past couple of years. The reasons are numerous and have been explained in past blog posts:

What Differentiates ShareFile From Other File Sync and Sharing Solutions?

Why Our Clients Choose Citrix ShareFile for Cloud File Storage

Gartner names ShareFile a “Leader” for 3rd year in a row

One feature that our clients love is Drive Mapper. We think this is the “game changer” for ShareFile when compared to other EFSS solutions. There are dozens of file syncing applications out there that all claim to sync faster or better than the competition. Drive Mapper allows you to give your employees the familiar look and feel of a mapped drive and to access files without the need to wait for a sync to occur. TecFac has been engaged with ShareFile’s engineering and QA teams over the past six months to help drive improvements and provide valuable feedback to make this application the best on the market. We use it every day and would love to show your company the benefits.

 

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Author: Michael Joseph
Information Technology professional with TecFac Business Services Group. Solving client technology needs as a Microsoft partner via business process improvements with a strong customer focus. Promoting TecFac's TeamWorkAnyWhere solution which is a combination of Office 365, Windows Intune, and hosted Lync telephony. Over 14 years of experience with Microsoft systems administration, IT operations, and helpdesk management. Specialties: Office 365, Lync, Windows Intune, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012, WSUS, Backup Exec, Microsoft Distributed File System and Namespace.

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