We’re asked these questions every day! The Microsoft products overlap, so it’s understandable why there is confusion. Here is a quick explanation of the products and their key differences so you can see which is best for your business.
Office 365 – The product which includes SharePoint Online
Office 365 is the Microsoft Office suite hosted in the cloud and more. It’s the complete product that includes SharePoint Online, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Exchange, OneDrive and many other Microsoft tools you’re likely to be familiar with. Everything is accessed via an online portal.
On the other hand, SharePoint Server (also known as SharePoint On-Premises, or simply SharePoint) is pretty much the same as the platform online, however, it’s installed locally on your own servers. This simply means it runs locally rather than through the cloud.
What is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a portal that enables you to centralise your business files, whether you’re utilising SharePoint server or SharePoint online. It’s an advanced document management and collaboration tool that helps you to control and manage all your electronic information. It essentially functions as a corporate intranet, allowing your team to store, share and work with documents from any location, at any time, on any device.
SharePoint is the ultimate collaboration tool – it even makes it possible for two users to simultaneously edit the same file. This is known as co-authoring. SharePoint also lets you create extranets, discussion boards, newsfeeds, KPI’s and metrics, task lists, reports, charts and much more.
How do I know if SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server is best for my business?
For modern businesses, Office 365 with SharePoint Online is the obvious choice. Not only does SharePoint Online deliver greater functionality and flexibility, but it also comes at a lower cost.
From a functionality perspective, SharePoint Online is the ideal choice for organisations. Your business will be able to operate more effectively as Microsoft commits SharePoint Online to a 99.9% uptime SLA.
If your business has remote and mobile workers, SharePoint Online is an ideal solution. Not only does it support remote access, but it also allows a higher level of integration with external parties, such as consultants, who aren’t directly employed by your business. SharePoint Online includes a file-sharing feature which works better in O365 than in SharePoint Server. SharePoint Online makes it easy for teams to work together effectively, regardless of physical location.
SharePoint Online is part of the Office 365 plan, so the service is billed monthly on a per user basis. With no need to purchase and maintain expensive hardware on which to install the system, you only pay for what you need, and you can quickly scale the service up or down as your needs evolve and business changes.
As a cloud-hosted platform, Microsoft takes care of SharePoint Online disaster recovery, upgrades and patches. This means you don’t need to train and manage a dedicated IT team to maintain the infrastructure, reducing your operating costs. You’ll have immediate access to new features and updates as they’re released.
If you’d like to find out more about SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365, simply contact us today on 1300 991 351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.