SkyDrive Pro – what is it?

Office365_Jan13_BMicrosoft has many programs that business users find useful. One is SharePoint which provides a web-based infrastructure whereby you can create portals, manage files, enable collaboration, create social networks, and more. Generally sold as a part of the Office 365 platform, users that subscribe to Office 365 and SharePoint also have access to SkyDrive Pro.

What is SkyDrive Pro?

SkyDrive Pro is a cloud-centric library that allows you to store documents. Pro is available for users of Office 365 and companies with on premise versions of either Standard or Enterprise SharePoint 2013.

Users of the Office 365 version get 25GB of storage which is hosted in the cloud and accessible through an app or your Web browser. Companies that have SharePoint hosted on premise can set how much storage each user gets.

Because this is a business-centric product, collaboration and sharing is a large part of this platform. Initially, files uploaded or stored in SkyDrive are private, but there is a shared folder you can store files in which allows all users on the network to access them. You can also choose to share files with individual users or groups.

SkyDrive Pro can be accessed from your Office 365, SharePoint portal by clicking on SkyDrive, which is usually at the top of the page you are looking at.

The best way to think of this app is as similar to the hard drive on your computer – you can open, add, move, and delete files – only the files, or ‘library’ as Microsoft calls the structure, are stored on a server that is usually stored within or managed by your company through SharePoint.

How does it differ from SkyDrive?

Despite the same name and essential idea, there are two major differences between SharePoint and SharePoint Pro

  1. SkyDrive is personal – This personal cloud-based service is free to all users with a Microsoft or outlook.com account. Microsoft suggests that users store personal files like pictures, movies, personal documents, etc. Users are free to decide how they use it, and what they store on the service.
  2. SkyDrive Pro is for business – This service is similar to the personal version of SkyDrive – it’s an online storage system – but this is managed by your company and is business oriented. The company sets what you can do with your account, from collaboration to how much storage space you receive. It also requires either SharePoint 2013 or an Office 365 business account.

The key point to note is that with SkyDrive, you own your files and can control how they are stored and used. With SkyDrive Pro, you upload files to a library that the administrator allows you to access. Sure, these may be files you have created, but they don’t ‘live’ on your computer and if you leave the organization, they will still be available to other users.

If you would like to learn more about SkyDrive Pro or how Microsoft SharePoint combined with Office 365 can help your company, contact us for a chat today.

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