What is OneDrive for Business and why do you need it?
If you are a Microsoft product user and have become familiar with Windows 10 and Office 365 likes, you are likely to have come across OneDrive. But what is it? Why do you keep getting prompted to sign in to “OneDrive”?
OneDrive is Microsoft’s solution to Business and personal cloud storage. The aim is to have a user service that allows them to store their files onto their OneDrive that is synced to the cloud. The ultimate objective is to address backup and follow the “any-time, any-place, any-device” capability.
OneDrive vs OneDrive for Business: What is the difference?
At a basic level, OneDrive is aimed at consumers and, therefore, personal file storage, whilst OneDrive for Business is integrated with Office 365 and operates with enterprise capability, including working with SharePoint and Teams sites.
The version of OneDrive that comes with Windows 10 is usually a personal version and so is similar to the likes of Dropbox. It will not have the enterprise features that companies would be looking for. For that, you would need an Office 365 licence and log in that would then open up the enterprise functionality that allows you to collaborate online with your users and partners.
OneDrive For Business and User Collaboration
Having the flexibility to work anywhere, any time and via any device is a powerful capability for any business. User collaboration and team working are critical enablers for any business that wants to optimise efficiency and engagement.
Users can create, save and update documents within their OneDrive space and leverage several capabilities to work and collaborate alongside others. The likes of PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, Excel, Teams and other applications operate seamlessly together, which makes the user experience far more enabling.
OneDrive for Business and File Sharing
Collaboration takes on many forms, and with OneDrive for Business, you can share your documents with people with whom you need to work. OneDrive for Business allows you to securely share files and folders to people whom you select (usually by email address) and will enable you to set security parameters such as expiry dates, passwords and restrict by domain or user.
OneDrive for Business and Security
Microsoft has made Cybersecurity a key pillar of importance for all of its services. OneDrive for Business security is no exception, and so it has ensured that it offers leading-edge security and functionality to keep your data safe.
• Encryption: Microsoft keeps all files encrypted regardless of where they are. They can be at a datacentre, in transit or being mirrored internally – they will be encrypted.
• Automated Anti Virus Scan: As part of their Cybersecurity toolset, Microsoft will automatically perform an anti-virus scan on all files when a file is downloaded. Microsoft OneDrive for Business also checks files at rest for any suspicious activity or behaviour such as ransomware attacks and will then take the necessary action, including altering the user.
• Access Expiry: Your files are your assets and so are important to your Business. It can be easy to lose track of whom you have provided access to, and so Microsoft offers the capability to set an access expiry when they are shared.
• Monitoring and Alerting: When you share a file or folder, you have the option to be notified of when a person accesses or makes a change to the document. This serves as a useful reminder across your shared documents estate as to who is working on your data.
OneDrive for Business and Integration
Collaborating across different applications and services has enabled Office 365 to become the world’s leading collaboration platform. OneDrive for Business allows data to be shared and accesses via SharePoint and Teams with relative ease. Microsoft has made file and document sharing a pivotal enabler to champion the collaboration mantra across businesses. The ability to share a file across all these platforms means that it’s a “share once, link often” approach that makes collaboration so much easier.
OneDrive for Business and Backup
The Service does not provide backup in the manner in which many people would understand traditional backup. Instead, OneDrive for Business offers something called Versioning. This essentially keeps a copy of all the changed versions of a document for some time so that the user can revert to them. You can revert to the previous 500 versions of a given document up to a set time (usually up to 90 days).
The recycle bin handles file deletions. When a user deletes a file, OneDrive places it in a Recycle Bin with a purge time that the company can set. By default, this period is 90 days. Any data that is older than this, and would be subsequently needed would not be recoverable and so you would need an Office 365 backup solution to address this.
So, as we said at the start of this section, Microsoft does not offer backup in the way we would typically expect backup.
OneDrive for Business and Co-Authoring
Co-authoring for users is available for all documents stored in OneDrive or SharePoint, but there are some prerequisites that you will need;
Accessible shared storage: For users to work on the same document, they need to be able to access it. OneDrive and SharePoint provide this capability by default.
Co-authoring support: Applications need to support co-authoring and at the time of writing, all documents in the Office suite since Office 2010 can be co-authored.
File access Permissions: All users must have edit permissions on a document to be able to co-author.
How to use OneDrive for Business
Microsoft has done a stellar job in making available training and onboarding content for new and existing users. For more information on how to use OneDrive for Business, please see here Microsoft OneDrive for Business: Basics and beyond
We hope this article has provided you with the information you needed relating to OneDrive for Business.
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