Cloud

SPC12: Overview of SkyDrive Pro

I’ve been very interested in SkyDrive because of it’s obvious overlap with Dropbox.  We’ve even blogged about Dropbox and similar tools here, here,  and here.  The bottom line is that if all you want to do is share a file, then a web interface just won’t work.  Instead, you want to sync your files across all you devices whether they be a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone.  You want immediate access to them and you want access to them in a form you are familiar with like the file explorer.  Until recently, you didn’t have many choices.  However, now, Microsoft has made some serious strides in this area.  I talked to Matt Morse about it and found he uses SkyDrive extensively and loves it because his files are available everywhere.
So that’s why I decided to attend the overview of what’s new and great. Here’s the recap from Richard Sgro’s session.

Overview

SkyDrive hits on three key principles to organize, share, and discover your content.  Richard talks about the approach to SkyDrive.  He’s going on about a great user experience. It’s interesting he doesn’t mention the competitors who really laid the groundwork for the whole conceptual framework.   He does note that it must support

  • Work from many locations
  • Support for the many devices. This includes the 865 million people coming online by 2016
  • It has to support the proliferation of the documents to many locations / devices (anyone remember synced Notes DB 20 years ago?)
  • finally, it has to be simple.  Don’t make them think about how to use it.

What is SkyDrive Pro?

  1. Cloud storage for users
  2. available on the cloud and on the premise
  3. It’s available online, offline, and in applications. It is part of SharePoint 2013, Office 2013, and the Office hub in Windows phone
  4. Differs from SkyDrive in size and what you put on it. (personal vs business content).  Of course, SkyDrive Pro also means syncing to SharePoint 2013.

Demo: In the demo, he basically showed that content in a SharePoint library is also available as a folder from SkyDrive.  The demo was on Office 365 I should note because it’s being pushed really hard at the conference.  Sharing a document or a folder takes place using an rich web interface in SharePoint.  You can set rights leve of both read and edit the document.
 

SkyDrive as your replacement for My Documents.


 
Stats:

  • Personal storage is private by default
  • You get 7GB on Office 365 or 100 MB on premise
  • You get sharing hints and access control management
  • It allows you to collaborate internally and externally.  (e.g. add someone outside your domain.)

What about SkyDrive in Applications?

You can use SkyDrive in a variety of locations.  There is an Office Sync client.  It’s available “backstage” and most recently used files in Office.  The sync client is part of Office so you just get it.  There is also a classic windows client that essentially maps a drive available via windows explorer.
SkyDrive syncs automatically.  The client keeps track of changes and moves the content up, approximately every ten minutes. Of course, it only syncs the changes and not the entire set of documents each time.
Sorry for the short post.  It turns out that SkyDrive Pro is easy.  You can talk on it for over an hour and not really say much. Such is the case here.  Of course, there seems to be an inverse relationship here with the ease of use of SkyDrive Pro and the ‘boringness’ of a feature discussion.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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