Consulting with a Conscience™

A cruciallogics blog

Written by Desirae Huot
on June 28, 2024

In the modern workplace, the right tools can make all the difference in productivity and collaboration. Microsoft offers two tools—OneDrive and SharePoint—with distinct features and separate use cases that we’ll discuss in this article.  

People looking at a computer - SharePoint- OneDriveOneDrive and SharePoint are designed to work together, each bringing unique strengths. This powerful duo can transform how you store, share, and manage your work. Let’s dive right in.  

Microsoft 365: Your Gateway to OneDrive and SharePoint 

SharePoint and OneDrive are key components of Microsoft 365, which includes apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. They cater to users ranging from individuals to large enterprises. 

Most Microsoft 365 business and enterprise plans — Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, and Enterprise (E3, E5) — include OneDrive and SharePoint. These plans offer varying storage capacities, allowing businesses to store, access, and share data easily. 

For organizations handling sensitive information, SharePoint offers plans with advanced security and compliance features. These features help protect data and ensure adherence to strict regulatory standards. 

For individuals, Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans focus primarily on OneDrive. These plans have limited or no SharePoint features and are designed for personal and family use. OneDrive offers ample storage and sharing capabilities, making it an excellent tool for personal productivity and file management. 

SharePoint and OneDrive: Use Case and Functionality 

Microsoft OneDrive 


Drafting Documents and Working on Individual Files  

OneDrive provides a personal workspace where users can create, edit, and organize their files without needing external sharing until they are ready. Its seamless integration with Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint allows users to create and edit documents directly within OneDrive. The autosave feature ensures that changes are saved in real-time, reducing the risk of data loss. 

Storing Personal Files and Photos  

OneDrive offers a secure and convenient solution for storing personal files and photos. Organizational features, such as folders and tagging, ensure your files are systematically arranged. OneDrive also has a mobile app that allows users to take photos and upload them directly to their cloud storage. 

Accessing Files Securely from Anywhere on Any Device  

OneDrive offers the flexibility to securely access files from any location and device, making it especially useful for remote work and travel. With robust security measures such as two-factor authentication and encryption, OneDrive protects your data from unauthorized access. 

Collaborating on Early Versions of Documents with Specific Individuals  

Users can share files with designated people by sending an invitation link or setting permissions directly within OneDrive. This ensures that only selected individuals can view or edit the documents. Additionally, version history in OneDrive allows users to track changes, revert to previous versions, and maintain control over the document’s development stages. 

Key features of OneDrive include: 

  • Known Folder Move (KFM): Known Folder Move automatically backs up the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders to the cloud.  
  • OneDrive Sync Client: The OneDrive Sync Client allows users to work on their files without an internet connection. Any offline changes are synchronized with the cloud once the device reconnects to the internet.  
  • Recent Documents: The Recent Documents feature makes it easy to pick where you left off. The list of recent documents is updated automatically, giving users an efficient way to navigate their work. 
  • Shared and Received: The Shared and Received feature helps users manage and track shared files. It provides a centralized location to view all files shared with or received from others.  

Microsoft SharePoint 

Microsoft SharePoint dashboard 

Storing and Managing Final Versions of Documents  

SharePoint excels at storing and managing final versions of documents. With features like version history and document control, users can track changes, maintain integrity, and manage approvals, making it ideal for finalized and critical documents. 

Collaborating on Projects and Sharing Resources with Teams and Departments 

SharePoint facilitates team collaboration on projects with shared workspaces for collective document editing, progress tracking, and resource sharing. Real-time co-authoring and communication tools enhance teamwork, while permission settings ensure content security. 

Building Company Intranets, Team Sites, and Information Hubs  

SharePoint enables the creation of company intranets, team sites, and information hubs. These centralized platforms host company-wide information, announcements, and resources, with customizable templates to reflect your brand and meet unique needs. 

Creating Interactive Pages with Web Parts  

SharePoint allows users to create interactive pages using web parts such as news, announcements, and calendars. These can be easily added, arranged, and customized to create visually appealing and informative pages. 

Structuring Information Using Metadata, Views, and Lists  

SharePoint offers tools for structuring information through metadata, views, and lists. Metadata tags help categorize content, custom views allow for flexible information display, and lists provide a way to manage data, from simple tasks to complex databases. 

Key features of SharePoint include: 

  • Team Sites: Team Sites help provide a central hub where team members can access shared resources, post updates, and manage projects together. 
  • Document Libraries: Document libraries ensure files are organized, easily accessible, and securely managed.  
  • Lists: Lists offer a flexible way to manage and organize data, enabling teams to keep track of various types of information.  
  • Metadata, Search, and Views: Metadata tags help categorize content, custom views allow for personalized data displays, and robust search features make it simple to locate specific information quickly. 
  • Retention Policies & Sensitivity Labels: Retention policies ensure that documents are kept for the required period and disposed of appropriately, while sensitivity labels help classify and safeguard confidential data. 
  • Microsoft 365 Groups Integration: Integration with Microsoft 365 Groups allows for easy communication, file sharing, and project management within a unified platform.  
  • Customization: SharePoint enables organizations to design sites that reflect their brand identity and meet specific functional requirements, from layout and design to specialized workflows and features. 

The Power of Combining OneDrive and SharePoint 

Combining OneDrive and SharePoint creates a powerful solution for organizations. OneDrive is perfect for storing personal drafts, individual files, and initial working documents that users may not want to share immediately. It automatically syncs with folders like Documents and Pictures in the cloud. OneDrive allows users to gather feedback before sharing documents widely and ensures that only intended collaborators can access files through targeted sharing.  

Once a file is finalized in OneDrive, it can be moved to SharePoint for long-term storage and management of final versions. SharePoint offers advanced features such as metadata tagging, integration with the Power platform for customized forms and workflows, robust search capabilities, and customizable views for superior organization. It also provides stringent security measures that ensure that files are managed in accordance with organizational policies. While both OneDrive and SharePoint offer a similar sharing experience (adding users/emails), SharePoint is recommended due to its superior security features. 

Implementing OneDrive and SharePoint Effectively 

Implementing OneDrive and SharePoint effectively begins with understanding their unique use cases. OneDrive is user-friendly and offers a familiar folder structure that eases individual file management.  

SharePoint's organization should be based on departmental workflows, information importance and confidentiality, and categorization preferences. For instance, some departments might benefit from project-based structures that include statuses and workflows, while others might require more straightforward categorization based on document types or importance. 

Engaging key stakeholders from each department in SharePoint ensures the system meets departmental needs and supports efficient information management. The goal is to foster business-driven discussions, avoid a one-size-fits-all approach, and boost productivity within each department. 

Integration of SharePoint, OneDrive and Other Tools for Collaboration  

People collaborating on a laptop

Integrating SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams greatly improves collaboration within your organization. SharePoint helps teams organize and access resources easily, while OneDrive enables seamless file access and sharing across devices. Microsoft Teams enhances this synergy by organizing discussions into channels dedicated to specific topics or initiatives. It allows teams to connect existing SharePoint sites effortlessly and incorporate conversation features directly into the file storage system.  

When creating a team in Microsoft Teams, a dedicated Microsoft 365 group and SharePoint team site are automatically established, streamlining project management with tools like shared mailboxes and calendars. 

Integration extends beyond Teams and SharePoint, including other Microsoft 365 apps like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This interoperability supports smooth workflows, real-time co-authoring, and easy file sharing and collaboration across applications.  

Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and OneDrive Plans 

Microsoft offers a variety of plans that include SharePoint and OneDrive, catering to different needs and budgets. Here's a breakdown to help you choose the right fit: 

Microsoft 365 for Business 

  • Business Basic: Ideal for small businesses starting out. Includes SharePoint Online (Plan 1) with 1 TB storage and OneDrive with 1 TB storage for $6.00 per user/month (annual commitment). 
  • Business Standard: Adds desktop versions of Office apps and other features for $12.50 per user/month (annual commitment). Storage remains the same as Business Basic. 
  • Business Premium: The most comprehensive plan for small businesses, offering advanced security and compliance features, SharePoint Online (Plan 2) with unlimited storage, and OneDrive with 1 TB storage (expandable to 5 TB) for $22.00 per user/month (annual commitment). 

Microsoft 365 for Enterprise 

  • E3: Designed for larger organizations, includes SharePoint Online (Plan 2) with unlimited storage and OneDrive with 1 TB storage (expandable to 5 TB). Pricing varies based on user count and additional features. 
  • E5: Microsoft's most advanced enterprise plan with additional security, compliance, and analytics features. Offers SharePoint Online (Plan 2) with unlimited storage, OneDrive with 5 TB storage (expandable), and more. Pricing is customized to your organization's needs. 

Standalone SharePoint Plans 

  • SharePoint Online Plan 1: Provides core SharePoint features without OneDrive for $5.00 per user/month (annual commitment). 
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2: Unlocks advanced capabilities like unlimited cloud storage and enhanced data loss prevention but is only available as part of Business Premium, E3, and E5 plans. 

Microsoft's pricing can be complex, so it's recommended to consult with a Microsoft expert, visit the Microsoft website for the most up-to-date details and compare plans side-by-side. 

Expert Consultation from CrucialLogics  

Ready to take your organization to the next level? Our expert team is dedicated to helping you deploy and optimize Microsoft 365 solutions, including SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams, to enhance security collaboration and boost productivity. Schedule your consultation today.  


What is the difference between between SharePoint and OneDrive? 

SharePoint is designed for team collaboration with features like document management, intranet development, and project management. OneDrive is primarily for personal file storage and individual work.  

Should I use SharePoint or OneDrive for my files?  

SharePoint is ideal for team collaboration and project management, while OneDrive is ideal for personal file storage and individual work.  

Can I use both SharePoint and OneDrive together?  

Yes, you can! You can use OneDrive for personal files and individual work and SharePoint for team collaboration with advanced content management and integrations. 

Do I need SharePoint if I already have OneDrive? 

It depends on your requirements. SharePoint might be beneficial if you need advanced team collaboration features like document management and project tracking. However, if personal file storage and individual work suffice, OneDrive will suffice. 


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