Check out an alternative opinion: Why You Should Move from Dropbox to Google Drive
Many progressive businesses are now finding Dropbox too limiting for their business needs. While a file-sharing service is a great way to send files between colleagues and customers, businesses are looking to move beyond the basics to services that allow full collaboration.
Instead of a rudimentary way of moving bits between machines, collaboration systems such as SkyDrive Pro integrate with Microsoft Office, can co-edit documents online and include social interactions such as like, follow and tag.
Although SkyDrive Pro looks similar to Dropbox, it is part of Microsoft’s cloud productivity platform, Office 365, which includes a cloud version of the familiar Microsoft Office suite. With these tools SkyDrive Pro user can be more productive more easily than when using Dropbox.
Here are five reasons to choose SkyDrive Pro over Dropbox or similar services.
1. On Premise or In the Cloud
SkyDrive Pro is the commercial file sharing product from Microsoft that is part of SharePoint 2013. It is very, very different from the consumer-focused SkyDrive Live or Dropbox. For one, you can run SkyDrive Pro on a server in your office as well as the cloud.
With SkyDrive Pro you can run your own infrastructure and still share files. Most small businesses will choose the convenience of using the cloud version of SkyDrive Pro through the Microsoft Office 365 suite.
2. In-built Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware
SkyDrive Pro from Office 365 includes anti-virus and anti-malware protection. The service scans files as they are uploaded and prevents users from uploading or accepting infected files. Dropbox lacks this feature which may make your business vulnerable to hackers.
3. Only Synchronise Changes
SkyDrive Pro has several improvements to file sharing with Dropbox. When synchronising Word, Excel and PowerPoint files to a desktop, SkyDrive Pro only synchronises the changes in a file rather than the whole file. Thus, if you are working on a 10MB proposal in Word and want to make a single change, with SkyDrive Pro only that change is synchronised.
Microsoft is also working to bring this “delta” synchronisation ability to other file formats in the near future.
4. Full Text Search
Much of the information accumulated in a business is not as ordered as it should be, which is why search is such a key technology today. SkyDrive Pro can search through the text of every document stored within it (another SharePoint feature). All documents are constantly indexed in the search engine. So if you need to find something you simply type the term into the search box and it will find that text inside any document. You can’t do that with Dropbox.
5. Auditing and Rights Management
One of the major challenges businesses face with file sharing applications is ensuring compliance. Again, because SkyDrive Pro is part of SharePoint it automatically includes enterprise compliance options that simple services such as Dropbox don’t offer.
A business owner has the ability to search all their business data for key terms and phrases (e-discovery). They have the ability to track how their data is being used and by whom (auditing) and can control exactly what people can do with documents, such as printing or forwarding them (rights management).
File sharing is an entry-level feature. Businesses need to understand the difference between standalone file sharing services and fuller-featured, integrated services and pick the platform with the greatest potential to increase productivity.