Microsoft can be hard to get a grip on at times. They have so many products that keeping up can be analogous to sipping from a fire hose.
It isn’t helped either by the new way that Microsoft develop products – everything is developed using ‘agile’ practices. This is a fantastic methodology, but it has some challenges.
The primary one, to my mind at any rate, is that when a product is released it often isn’t quite fit for purpose and, as we all know, “first impressions matter.” Once you try something and it doesn’t quite hit the mark, we bin it and move on. However, this is a major mistake in the modern software era. Software only ever becomes fit for purpose gradually, over time.
Sorting Out Your Server
Microsoft Teams is a brilliant example of this. It encompasses several underlying technologies like OneDrive, SharePoint and Skype for Business. If I’m honest, I have had a few false starts with it myself, but it is an application that has really hit its stride.
I see so many customers who have files all over the place, with permissions all over the place. From a GDPR standpoint it is important to know where files are, and who has access to them. If you don’t and you get hacked, you have no idea what’s at stake. Sorting it out is a huge investment in time. The truth though, is that the file server, as we know it, is on life support. Teams has been nibbling at its heels and recently has delivered a hammer blow. If you are unaware, you are wasting valuable resources of time and money maintaining an antiquated file server when seriously better options are now available through Teams. All other things being equal, they are probably free to most of you. I mean, it’s almost criminal not to use it.
The focus of today is the element of Teams underpinned by OneDrive. Most people understand OneDrive: it is the tool you get with Office 365 which allows you to store your My Documents folder in the cloud. This way you have access to all your important files, accessible from anywhere and backed up if your hard drive breaks or your laptop is stolen. By the way, if you are not using it for that then you are missing a trick, but that’s maybe a story for another day.
Tidy Up with Teams
OneDrive is now available for your business though. This technology has been around for a while but only really in the last number of months have you been able to share files through Teams and have them appear in windows under a neat “Company” folder. In short:
- All your company data is encrypted and accessible on your laptop*;
- All your company data in the cloud is encrypted (you can access it anytime, anywhere);
- If you change a file on your laptop it syncs to the cloud and vice versa;
- It is permissioned properly to the Team the data is related to;
- It only stores what you want so your hard drive doesn’t fill up;
- It’s free* (if you have Office 365).
* requires your laptop to be encrypted.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we are Microsoft’s Modern Workplace Partner of the Year (2019) for Ireland if you need a hand.