Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why OneDrive for Business?

This is the final post in a series on questions I’ve seen on OneDrive for Business that apparently don’t have an easily locatable answer on the Net. The previous instalments if you missed them were:
- Answering some OneDrive for Business questions
- OneDrive for Business document sharing
- Working with OneDrive for Business offline
So here’s the final question:
There is a plethora of cloud file services solutions out there. How is OneDrive for Business really any different from DropBox, etc., aside from the name on the box and its "really great TLA" sales bafflegab?
OneDrive for Business now stands amongst a crowded field of cloud storage options for business. So what makes it different and better from the others?
1. It can grow with your needs. Now by that I don’t mean in capacity what I mean as you move from simply cloud storage to full online collaboration.
To understand what I am on about with this I suggest you read this post of mine:
SharePoint Online migration – Start up is key
My point is that I believe smart businesses are moving from purely a place to store their files to somewhere in which they can share more than just file information. A place they can collaborate and be more productive.
Few other products around at the moment have the ability to grow from storage to a complete collaboration environment.
2. It is compliant with lots of world wide industry standards, including those of the European Union, HIPPAA, etc. For more detailed information visit:
Office 365 Trust center
This means that it conforms to independent standards giving it better security and privacy than its competitors.
3. Incorporates eDiscovery. If a businesses needs to locate information across all its users data, including what may have been deleted by the users, then it needs eDiscovery. OneDrive for Business allows you to preserve the contents of users data, without interfering with them so it can be recovered at anytime in the future.
4. Incorporates administrator auditing. Business administrators can generate reports across all their OneDrive for Business users to see what events have transpired. They can also create custom reports to suit their needs. They can also easily see what external using is configured and control that directly from an administration portal.
5. Per user control. Administrators can control whether users can sync information to their desktops, whether they can share documents outside their business and how they access the information. They can also quickly and easily prevent a user accessing information without having to delete it.
6. Allows PowerShell control. Administrators can complete a growing number of administration tasks using the PowerShell scripting language. No longer do they need to do everything via the web console, they can develop a custom script and simply run that as many times as they need.
7. Individual files are stored with their own encryption key on random storage pools. Quoting:
The technology moves beyond a single encryption key per disk to deliver a unique encryption key per file. With advanced encryption technology, every file stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is encrypted with its own key, and subsequent updates to a file are encrypted with their own unique key as well.  This makes OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online highly secure content storage for your data.
8. Includes Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Again from:
DLP prevents the sharing of sensitive content either inside or outside an organization by automatically classifying and identifying a customer’s data at rest using deep content analysis. IT administrators can then construct queries through the eDiscovery Center, similar to how they already perform compliance queries, and view or export the results.
This is basically the document fingerprinting concept I posted about a while back;
Protecting your information with Office 365
9. Includes Information Rights Management (IRM). This allows you to control not only who accesses a document but what they can do i.e. they can view it but not print it.
Set up IRM In SharePoint Online
10. I believe that office 365 overall has better security than other providers. Here is just one video of how all that happens in general:
For greater depth on Office 365 security visit the Office 365 Trust Center.
11. All OneDrive for Business users now get 1TB of space included in their plan.
12. You can integrate OneDrive for Business directly with SharePoint 2013 on premise so you can have a hybrid deployment when it comes to storage of user data.
Overview of OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server 2013
13. You can add email, conferencing and Office Desktop subscriptions. If you purchase OneDrive for Business as a stand alone offering you can easily and quickly add Office 365 email, conferencing and desktop applications by upgrading to the full suit of Office 365 products. This allows you to also license Office for iPad.
14. It includes Office Online. This means you can view and edit your Office document directly in a browser on any device with full fidelity.
Office Online
It also includes real time document co-authoring.
15. It is built on SharePoint. This means OneDrive for Business is basically a full SharePoint site. This means you can add additional document libraries to it, along with a mailbox, lists, etc. You can create subsites and so on just like you do with SharePoint.
That neatly loops me back to point one about OneDrive being able to grow with your needs. There are plenty more points I could add here though. 
In summary, most other cloud storage solutions are just that, storage, no more. OneDrive for Business is simply a component of a powerful online collaboration tool that can be extended as far as you want, when you want.