Cloud-based storage is a no-brainer for most businesses these days. But with so many options out there, how do you know which is best for you? Well, here at RoundWorks IT, we’re big fans of SharePoint Online.
In fact, we think it knocks the socks off even its closest competitors – arguably Google Drive File Stream and Dropbox. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.
It’s integrated with Office 365
If your business uses applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint (which the vast majority do!), then SharePoint is the natural choice for your online file storage. It’s part of the Office 365 package, so everything is designed to work in harmony. Your team will benefit from using familiar programmes that offer a consistent user experience.
This is a big advantage over Google in particular, which is designed to work with their own versions of Word et al, known as Docs, Sheets and Slides. These offer fewer features than the real thing and aren’t popular with everyone.
It’s easy to collaborate
One of the real beauties of SharePoint Online is how simple it makes it work together on documents. Yes, files stored in Dropbox and Google File Stream can be shared with other users, but the processes are somewhat clunky and there are potential issues with file loss or unauthorised access.
Not so with SharePoint online, which was built for collaboration. Your team can easily share and access the same files securely, from any location and from any device – desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Your team can work on the same document simultaneously and see who’s made what changes and when. Files can also be synced to local folders. It’s the ideal solution if you have staff who work in multiple locations, are field-based or work from home.
It’s highly scalable
Another thing we love about Office 365 is how easy (and cost-effective) it is to scale up and down. You only pay for what you want, when you need it. And unlike other cloud-based storage packages which tend to operate on annual subscriptions, you pay monthly for SharePoint Online. That means you don’t need to worry about wasting money on paying for licences you no longer need. It’s quick and easy to add and remove users and you can easily upgrade or downgrade your amount of cloud-based storage, too. What’s not to like?
It’s very secure – and always up to date
SharePoint Online has been around for a while, but you can be sure that Microsoft hasn’t rested on their laurels for a moment. Their ‘rolling release’ approach means you’ll receive new versions, improvements and features on an ongoing basis, free of charge. These are installed automatically, so you don’t even have to worry about sorting them manually.
Naturally, IT security is a huge priority for Microsoft. Of course, any cloud-based storage provider worth its salt invests heavily in security – and Google and Dropbox are no exception. But it has to be said that Microsoft leads the world in this area. Your data will not only be encrypted and backed up at all times, but also stored in multiple data centres around the world which are physically as well as virtually protected. Microsoft doesn’t even disclose the location of these data centres – that’s how seriously they take security.
Microsoft will always have your back
OK, so you’re using Dropbox or Google File Stream. All of a sudden, you have a problem. So who are you gonna call? Well, the chances are…no one. Getting technical support on the phone from these guys can be like drawing blood from a stone. In fact, it’s only available with the highest-level enterprise packages that most smaller businesses don’t need. Yes, you can contact them online via email, chat or social media, but wouldn’t you rather just pick up the phone?
We would, which is why we recommend SharePoint Online to our customers over other options. All you need to do is search for ‘technical support Microsoft’ online and the phone number’s right there. There’s also oodles of advice, support and tips on their various websites, which can be invaluable when you’re getting to grips with a new application.
You won’t fall foul of the dreaded GDPR
Microsoft is committed to helping its customers comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that replaced the former Data Protection Act in May 2018. So you won’t be surprised to hear that they’ve taken steps to make sure SharePoint Online is equipped to help you comply with the law. All data is solely owned by the customer – i.e. you – and you remain in complete control of user account and contact information. It’s easy to add, modify and delete data, and change which members of your team have access to which files.
You can even download tools, such as the Compliance Manager in Office 365, that guide you through the process of making sure your data storage systems are GDPR-compliant. How helpful is that?!
Like to know more? Give RoundWorks a shout!
We love singing SharePoint’s praises, but we need to be completely honest here: it’s more complex than most other cloud-based storage systems and it can take a while to understand all its features. Luckily, RoundWorks IT is here to help! Our friendly team can get SharePoint Online up and running for your business and show your team exactly how it works.
To find out more or book an appointment with an engineer, get in touch today. You can call us on 0333 344 4645, email firstname.lastname@example.org or chat to us online via our website. You could be enjoying all the benefits of SharePoint Online before you know it!