Office 365 OneDrive for small businesses

OneDrive for Business is the perfect cloud storage platform for small businesses. It is robust and flexible, yet simple to use.

OneDrive for Business includes many advanced features that are typically only found in custom enterprise-level software.

OneDrive is available as part of your organization’s Office 365 for Business subscription or as a stand-alone service.

This articles explains the benefits OneDrive for Business offers small businesses, and guides you through the set up process.

OneDrive offers key benefits for small businesses

OneDrive for Business empowers small business owners by providing the tools necessary for their staff to become ultra-efficient.

Access files from any location

One of the most important benefits is the ability to access files from virtually anywhere. OneDrive can be accessed from almost any device, in almost any browser, and apps are available for easy mobile access.

With the necessary files and information at their fingertips, users have time to focus creatively on things that matter more.

Files are stored in, or uploaded to, the secure OneDrive cloud. From there, users can access them regardless of their location or device. Whether in the office, on a business trip, or out to lunch with a client, a simple login is all that is required.

Synchronized files on all devices 

You can sync files in the cloud and on all devices with the file system on your desktop, and edit them on the go in Office 365 for Business apps.

File synchronization ensures that your files are always available on your computer, even when you are offline.

Once synced, all changes, such as edits and deletions, are automatically updated and your files reflect the correct and latest state everywhere.    

The OneDrive app runs behind the scenes on your desktop and automatically keeps everything reconciled. No matter where you access them from, you can rest assured that you are working on the correct file version.

Access files offline

Users can download files from OneDrive to any configured device to work on when internet access is unavailable. Changes are synced as soon as the user goes back online. 

Easy file collaboration

When two or more users need to collaborate on the same file, keeping things clear and up to date can be challenging.

With OneDrive for Business, multiple users can be authorized to edit files simultaneously. The system automatically keeps things up to date and there is as clear record of who made changes and when they were made. 

If authorized, you can even collaborate with external users who are not part of your organization. This highly advanced functionality comes in handy when you need a third-party's expert opinion, for example. 

Enhanced privacy and security

In the OneDrive cloud, your files are as secure as is technically possible. Microsoft employs cutting-edge security measures to prevent data breaches and information loss due to hardware failure.

There are several ways you can enhance security within your organization and on your devices. Recommended internal security measures include:

  • Creating strong passwords.

  • Adding security information to your staff’s Microsoft accounts for password retrieval. For example, add phone numbers, alternate emails and security questions.

  • Using two-step verification. This requires users to enter an extra security code to sign in on a new device.

Flexibility to adapt to all requirements

OneDrive for Business is extremely flexible. 

In the OneDrive Admin center you can configure many advanced options to control file behavior, staff permissions and much more. Options include:

  • Limiting the storage space allocated to each user.

  • Setting the OneDrive default location and regulating who can change it.

  • Limiting syncing to managed devices only.

  • Excluding personal account syncing.

  • Blocking syncing for specified file types.

  • Limiting bandwidth on uploads.

  • Controlling access by network location.

  • Setting file collaboration and syncing policies.

  • Disabling or limiting external sharing.

  • Much more.

For those who are not technically inclined, configuring these options are not strictly necessary as the default settings are already secure, and suitable for most small businesses.

Adequate storage space

OneDrive for Business allocates 1TB storage space to each user. 

OneDrive files as email attachments

OneDrive integrates with Microsoft Outlook to enable seamless sharing of OneDrive files via email.

The files appear to be email attachments, but are in fact stored centrally in OneDrive where all recipients have access to them. Parties can additionally be granted editing and sharing permissions.

Centralized storage of attachments ensures that files are maintained in the most up-to-date state. It also provides collaborative benefits such as version control that is typically lost with conventional emailing.

Like most things in OneDrive, attachment behavior is fully configurable.

Restore OneDrive files using a restore point

When things go wrong, the OneDrive restore feature allows you to restore your files to the state they were in at any point in the past 30 days.

The intuitive interface provides useful information to help you select the best available restore point. Information like file history and details of recent changes are provided to help you choose a point.  

Restore OneDrive files from the recycle bin

OneDrive has a recycle bin that is similar to the one available in Windows 10.

When files are deleted they are moved to the recycle bin and kept for a designated time before being permanently purged.

You can restore individual files by locating them in the recycle bin. It is also possible to restore the entire recycle bin if necessary.

OneDrive version control

When you override an important document or simply decide you prefer a previous version, it is easy to revert. 

Previous versions of all files are retained in OneDrive for Business. You can access the version history and restore older versions of all file types, including PDFs, CAD files, photos, and videos.

Known Folder Move feature

Known Folder Move is a feature that allows you to migrate local folders such as Documents or Pictures on a desktop to OneDrive for Business.

This capability provides a simple migration option for users looking to add known folders to their existing list of synchronized folders.

How to get started with OneDrive?

OneDrive for Business is easy to implement.

It is an effective solution for all small businesses and eradicates the need for complex and expensive backup solutions.

To get started, follow the steps at Set up Office 365 for Business or have a look at the offers available at Compare OneDrive for Business plans.

When you choose OneDrive for Business you are secure in the knowledge that your product is backed by the same level of support and excellence that Microsoft has delivered for so many years.

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