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Office Online and OneDrive to Rule Them All

You may have heard about a little legal trouble Microsoft was in because of the name they chose for the SkyDrive service. Last month Microsoft announced the new OneDrive name and a small change to the paid version from SkyDrive Pro to OneDrive for Business.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s foray into the cloud storage service market, competing with other services such as: Box.NET, Dropbox, and Google Drive. The recent name change has no effect on the service itself. If you are using SkyDrive today, the features remain the same. Yesterday, Microsoft rolled out the new domain and if you were one of the lucky first 100,000 users to login, you received a complimentary upgrade to 100 GB of storage (lucky me!).
Let’s have a quick look at these various services and how they compare.

ConsortiumNumber of MembersPremier Financial Services MembersLeader(s)Start DateFocus/Goal
R3CEV84DTCC, American Express, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, TD Bank, BBVA, Bank of New York Mellon, Northern Trust, HSBC, BarclaysR3, CEV2014General-purpose platform and technology to design and deliver advanced distributed ledger technologies to the financial services market.
Digital Asset Holdings15Deutsche Borse, J.P. Morgan, DTCC, ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs, Santander, Citi, IBMDAH2014Capital markets – post-trade settlement. Building distributed, encrypted straight through processing tools to improve efficiency, security, compliance, and settlement speed.
Hyperledger Project 142J.P. Morgan, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo, UBS, BBVA, Bank of New York MellonLinux Foundation, IBM, Cisco, Intel, SWIFT, DAH2015General purpose blockchain. Open source collaborative effort based on IBM’s Fabric codebase, which was created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration that includes leaders in finance, banking, the internet of things (IoT), supply chain, manufacturing, and technology. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger as a Collaborative Project under the foundation.
Ethereum116J.P. Morgan, Santander, BNY Mellon, BBVA, Bank of New York MellonMicrosoft, Intel 2017Considering a more distributed approach to self-management rather than the more traditional leadership structure adopted by competing blockchain consortia like R3CEV and Hyperledger. Offers smart contract features that contain a virtual machine, executing peer-to-peer contracts using a cryptocurrency known as Ether.
Ripple75UBS, Standard Chartered, Santander, CIBC, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), MUFG, MizuhoGoogle, IDG Capital Partners 2012Payments. A real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), currency exchange and remittance network by the company of the same name. The Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) or Ripple protocol is built upon a distributed open-source Internet protocol, consensus ledger and native currency called XRP (ripples).
Kinakuta35Ethereum FoundationMicrosoft,
2016Working group dedicated to improving smart contracts security.

As you can see, the price point for each is relatively the same, except for Dropbox being noticeably higher and offering the least amount of free storage. OneDrive has the lowest price point of any of the options for additional storage. I also like that OneDrive charges per year and not monthly.
Office Online
You may have seen the Office Blog yesterday announced a new name for Office Web Apps – Office Online. For those of us in the industry, Office Web Apps have been around since 2010. The architecture changed a bit with the release of SharePoint 2013, but the basic functionality remains the same – use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote in your web browser. If you’ve been using SkyDrive since its release in 2012, you may have noticed OWA while using your files in the cloud.
Yesterday’s announcement was also just a name change and some re-branding. Microsoft wanted to make it easier to use, just go to, and take the technology out of the name – the ‘Web Apps’ was confusing. So this is all great stuff if you’re a personal (not business) user of Microsoft Office documents. You can now store them for free in the cloud – OneDrive – and edit, create, and real time co-author those files in the cloud – Office Online.
OneDrive for Business
Customers ask me all the time, what’s the difference between SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro. Admittedly, that naming was a bit off. The new naming has replaced SkyDrive Pro with OneDrive for Business. Which does simplify things. OneDrive is your personal cloud storage and OneDrive for Business is cloud storage for your employer/organization/school.
There are 2 ways to get OneDrive for Business – Office 365 or your on premises SharePoint 2013 environment. If you signup for Office 365, each user gets allocated 25 GB of storage. Yes, 25 GB!!!!! That’s quite a large amount for each user. We have customers at Perficient who have deployed 20,000+ users to Office 365 and this is a huge win for them. They don’t need to worry about storing 500 TB of data in house, they can offload that cost directly to Microsoft. If you have an on premises SharePoint 2013 deployment, please see this article for planning guidelines for OneDrive for Business.
Keep an eye on this blog for more announcements from Microsoft. We are approaching SharePoint Conference 2014, which will be a huge event with lots of new product announcements. If you missed my blog post yesterday on Yammer and Microsoft’s Social Roadmap, check that out here. Perficient will have a large group at SPC, stop by our booth and say hello. Cheers!

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