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Introducing OneDrive for Business

OneDrive, for those still not aware, is Microsoft’s cloud storage service that recently had a name change from SkyDrive due to a court settlement (involving the British, Rupert Murdoch-owned company BSkyB). The service has undergone some slight changes, more so than a name, so this article will explore OneDrive for Business (formally known as SkyDrive Pro).

OneDrive for Business and Office Online

Microsoft is known for their wide variety of products and ecosystem and this is continuing as they integrate OneDrive into their other services. Customers can currently purchase OneDrive for Business as part of Office 365 and SharePoint Online plans. Now, from the beginning of April, OneDrive for Business with Office Online will be available as a standalone offering. With this, enterprises of all sizes will be able to take advantage of both services, allowing employees to collaborate on Office documents in real-time through browser or desktop.

This new offer also gives businesses 25GB of storage per employee. Additional features such as more storage, offline sync, access from multiple devices and platforms, plus administrative controls can all be purchased as add-ons. Also, it is simple to upgrade to the other services offered by Office 365, like email or meetings, if necessary.

Making file access easier

The latest release of OneDrive has made it easier for customers to access their files. The most common tasks are now mounted as controls above your documents, allowing quick creation of documents, sharing, uploading and more.

There is now a Site Folders page that will allow you to directly access the document libraries of sites that you’re following.

The search has also been improved, offering suggestions as you type and allowing you to share files directly from the results, making your business quicker and efficient.

Finally, those who have SharePoint 2013 Service Pack 1 will now find it easier to use OneDrive for Business. Administrators can set up accounts using their familiar IT tools, meaning the learning curve is minimal and integration is easy.

More to come

Microsoft has promised that there are many more improvements to come for OneDrive for Business. Enterprise users are where the money is made in cloud storage, so it’s very likely that the focus will continue to be driven to their business offerings.

A native Mac OS sync client, a native Android OneDrive for Business app, advanced auditing and reporting features, encryption at rest, data loss prevention, extensibility improvements and greater storage limits are the host of features that will apparently be appearing throughout this year.

Those who already had an Office 365 or SkyDrive Pro plan will be automatically rolled onto the new system. For those interested in purchasing OneDrive for Business standalone, beginning 1 April, there will be a couple of promotions. Firstly, there will be a 50% discount, meaning it will only cost $2.50 per user per month. Those with Office with SA or Office 365 ProPlus will be able to pay $1.50 per user per month. OneDrive for Business is also included with most Office 365 plans and SharePoint Online plans at no extra cost.

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