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OneDrive is the Key to Unlocking Office 365’s Most Powerful Features

OneDrive is Microsoft’s file hosting and synchronization service. It sits at the centre of nearly all Office 365 tools and is designed to seamlessly integrate into them. To realize the full power of Office 365, therefore, it is essential that your entire workforce adopt OneDrive. There are really no disadvantages to OneDrive, so you should do what’s necessary to ensure your team uses it.

OneDrive Basics

Under a typical Office 365 plan, each user is given a generous starting allotment of 1TB of space in the OneDrive cloud. This allotment is cumulative and can be shared among users on the same plan. In other words, if you’re paying for 10 subscriptions, you get a total 10TB of space, and an individual user can use more than 1TB, as long as the 10TB total hasn’t been exceeded.

Admins have the option of allowing or restricting document sharing beyond the internal office network. By default documents in OneDrive are private, however, if the Admin allows it, documents can be shared externally and even collaborated on.

Any file can be shared with coworkers by right-clicking on the file and changing the permissions. If allowed, the same function can be used to share documents outside the organization.

Users can also send each other “share links” that point to specific files. Share links can be accessed even by users without a Microsoft account.

There’s an option for setting a time limit for how long a document is shared, and a user can make any document they’ve shared privately at any time.

When setting up external document sharing, proper policy controls should be enforced.

Sync across devices

Depending on your license, employees can install OneDrive across many devices. Doing so will enable them to, for example, pick up on their tablet where they left off on their desktop.

OneDrive uses “files on-demand,” meaning you can browse, view, and interact with files from any device without actually downloading them to that device.

Did you know? Since OneDrive for Business uses the same app as the home version, employees who use the Microsoft ecosystem in their personal lives can access their business documents from the same interface.

OneDrive Beyond Basics

Let’s go over some of the Office 365 features you’ll unlock when your team uses OneDrive as their primary storage destination.

Real-time collaboration

Team members can work together in real-time on documents they’ve been given permission to access in OneDrive. Collaborators appear by name with changes updated as they are made. Real-time collaboration can be turned off at any time.

group of people connected to a network

Finding files

OneDrive leverages Microsoft’s Graph application programming interface to make intelligent file recommendations based on a log of users’ activities and their relationships. This helps to reduce time wasted searching for files.

File restore

All files stored in OneDrive can be rolled back to any version within the last 30 days. Users choose the restore date by clicking on a histogram that conveniently shows activity made on files over time.

OneDrive Advanced Features

Higher tiers of Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans have more advanced features. Nearly all features assume all files are stored in OneDrive.

Security and compliance

By saving all files in OneDrive, your business can fully utilize the security features enabled by your Office 365 plan. This can include powerful features like customer-controlled encryption keys, Office 365 Customer Lockbox, customized data retention, and more.

Auditing and reporting

For all files saved in OneDrive, you’ll have the capacity to audit individual file actions such as downloads, renames, and views. For the highest-tier enterprise version of Microsoft 365, the business analytics tools can help you visualize and analyze Office 365 usage data, giving you insight into how each section of your organization is using Office 365

Next Steps . . . Let’s see where you can take OneDrive for your business.