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OneDrive is leapfrogging the competition for document management, collaboration and sharing. It’s hard to fully quantify the benefits of using OneDrive for your file collaboration and sharing because it’s already part of Office 365. By virtue of being on the platform OneDrive already has the advantage of built in: Search, eDiscovery, Data Loss Prevention and the ability to discover content via Delve (to name a few core capabilities). However, if a 1:1 OneDrive to Box comparison is also relevant, please do read on…
Updates already released improve the synchronization client and the external sharing experience. Selective synchronization and a smoother External User experience were the most notable. Microsoft is further building upon these with more updates announced during The Future of SharePoint event (May 4th).
In the web browser the OneDrive experience is consistent with the new Document Library experience. This will be great for consistency across the platform, ensuring that a user can interact with documents in the same way wherever they are on the platform. The new Grid view is a great example of how everything on the platform is becoming beautiful and mobile responsive.
The mobile App will fulfill the promise of being a one-stop-shop for all your document needs. Users will be able to browse for their personal and business documents on their mobile device. They will also be able to leverage Search and Delve right from their phone. Whether the document is located in a Team Site, in OneDrive or published on the Intranet the user can discover it via the mobile App.
It will most definitely be a first class experience when using the App on a phone. Features like the ability to share documents leveraging native controls for warning the user will be there. Even some analytics around a user’s own content will be surface in the App.
The concept of a document lifecycle is also being introduced. Whether part of a formal lifecycle or not, all documents usually have a lifecycle. I will usually create an initial draft version before starting share and collaborate on it with a small group. Once ready I might then publish the document somewhere accessible and discoverable by many people. The new Copy features in OneDrive and SharePoint will allow me to implement this, perhaps starting a document in my OneDrive before progressing it to a Team Site for collaboration and then finally publishing it on the Intranet. The new intelligent experience helping me find the right destination will smooth the whole process.
Any discussion of document management in Office 365 should include both SharePoint, OneDrive and the core capabilities of the platform. However, if your need is to compare OneDrive with the competition 1:1, then these new features significantly boost the case for OneDrive.