Dropbox has entered the collaborative space by adding a host of new tools to help you and teams share files. We see it as a big leap for a company that started as a file-sharing provider, but we don’t see it as the equal to Microsoft OneDrive.
Two areas where we see OneDrive as far superior are cost and feature sets.
The cost of OneDrive is built into the cost of the monthly subscription of Office 365 for all but the most basic plans. For most of our clients, plans range from $5 to $12 per month, and the key benefits are access to the most widely used business and home applications, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The subscription provides updates for security patches and bug fixes and performance and feature updates. OneDrive almost comes across as a throw-in, but Microsoft has recognized the value of keeping its massive user base in the family. What was an extra-cost feature set is now a way to provide tools and features, such as collaboration and file backup tools and useful apps from other providers. We covered some of them last month.
Depending on your plan, the cost of Office 365 with OneDrive includes the ability to store terabytes of files, which can be set up as shared files when needed. Collaborators can make changes, and the files are immediately updated, so everyone knows they are working with the most recent file. This capability has been available through Google Documents and Dropbox, but by keeping it all within Office 365, it’s about as seamless as a process can get.
Dropbox has always made a limited amount of file storage free, now 1 terabyte, but you need to be on a plan if you need more. The cost of the additional storage, for most of our clients, is roughly the same cost as having Office 365 without having the applications and tools included. In effect, you pay twice for the same capabilities.
As for capabilities – and features and tools, Dropbox can argue that by teaming up with Google, Slack and others, you can benefit from a broader range of ideas. Yes, that may be true, but here are two considerations:
- In the course of all the things you do, what are the tools and features that matter most to you? If you have Office 365 and it does all that you need it to do, you might be better off keeping it in the family.
- For a business or network of volunteers, how much training and retraining do you want to do? Learning a system is a lot like learning a language. The more you use it (or speak it), the better you become. That translates to better productivity.
Yes, Microsoft can be a big, plodding giant, but we believe its standardization works best for consistency, and that’s a huge advantage for businesses and volunteer networks. It’s easier to keep everyone together.
Finally, we like OneDrive’s file transfer capabilities better. Prices for cloud-based services can change at any time, and it can be difficult to move and verify the transfer of large volumes of files. We share a concern that this could make it difficult to migrate from Dropbox because the transfer process is too complex. Part of this may stem from changes made to a computer’s registry, where Microsoft, Dropbox and other applications are waging a war for the limited number of overlay icons to show file status. Each app changes its name to claim a spot in your Registry Editor, which Microsoft allots in alphabetical order. This could potentially create registry problems, which are all difficult to resolve.
We can help you set up OneDrive and transfer files from your computer and Dropbox. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to discuss your options and begin the process.