Since its launch, OneDrive and has been a continued source of confusion and frustration for businesses of all sizes. The truth is that it has been riddled with problems from the start. And, as Microsoft releases new versions on top of each other (each with a slightly different name) to fix these issues, the situation becomes ever murkier.
Released in October 2017, ‘Files On-Demand’ is the latest version of OneDrive.
In this post, we will highlight one of our main concerns with Files on-Demand: that it fails to offer large organisations an on-premises solution. We will discuss:
- A brief history of OneDrive
- Introducing Files On-Demand
- Why it fails large organisations
- How Easier365 can help
Is that OneDrive or OneDrive for Business?
Every new iteration of OneDrive has been plagued with sync and usability issues. When it seems like one is ready for its ‘end of life’, Microsoft instead decided to release a new version with a slightly different name to run alongside it.
So, we have seen iteration after iteration, one on top of the other, each with a different mix of features and functionality—and slightly altered icons. This was the case with OneDrive (first generation), OneDrive for Business (second generation), OneDrive for Business Next-Gen (third generation) and now Files On-Demand (fourth generation).
Microsoft’s approach to solving OneDrive’s problems has done little but muddy the waters. Most organizations are simply looking for a quick and easy file synchronisation tool. But the variety of options Microsoft have to offer has confused users: they don’t know which version of OneDrive they’re using or which one they’re supposed to use. In fact, Microsoft has issued their own guide on this question: Which version of OneDrive am I using? The end result is that all this confusion makes it difficult for users to control their file synchronisation as efficiently as they would like.
Introducing the latest version of OneDrive
Announced at Microsoft Build 2017, OneDrive Files On-Demand can help you “access all your files in the cloud, without having to download all of them and use storage space on your device.” The goal is to help users save space by only downloading files as and when they use them, hence the name “On-Demand”. This way, users can:
- Save space on devices by sending files to the cloud, making them online only
- Select files and folders to be accessible locally from your device at all times
- Quickly access information about your files, including if it’s been shared
All you have to do is turn it on by clicking on the ‘white or blue’ OneDrive icon on your taskbar.
Why Files On-Demand fails large organisations
On the surface, this seems fine. Files On-Demand might cause a few issues to deploy—ensuring staff update to the new version and enable it, for example. But it should make life a little easier for many of Microsoft’s Office 365 users.
However, with Files On-Demand, Microsoft is failing many large organisations for one simple reason: For on-premises users Files On-Demand just plain doesn’t work. On-premises SharePoint users have to use the old buggy, limited functionality OneDrive for Business.( 2nd Gen).
Microsoft are essentially narrowing the market again with another option of OneDrive that doesn’t sync with SharePoint on-premises. Microsoft is, seemingly, trying to encourage businesses to use their Office365 cloud solutions; yet, many businesses have good reasons to be using on-premises solutions and are not going to change their approach anytime soon.
There are several reasons why. Key among them are the legal obligations they face over cloud data security and the worry about how secure their data is in the cloud. Many organisations decide to hold their most valuable data on-premises so that they can be fully in control of its security. But there are other reasons too, including:
- Large, old systems can be difficult and time-consuming to migrate
- IT governance and compliance
- Staff need training to use the new environment
- The need to protect PII and intellectual property
- Corporate culture
A solution for large organisations
Easier365 is dedicated software that makes file synchronisation with SharePoint and Office 365 much easier. What’s more, it works with SharePoint on-premises, and also Office 365, which is great for large organisations that work with both. Easier365 works well with SharePoint on-premises including SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013 and SharePoint 2016.
Easier365 comes with an easy-to-use interface built upon the same features that users are already familiar with from using SharePoint. Because of this, no training is required. Your users can get started straight away. You can access your SharePoint files with ease and, most importantly, without the confusion that is caused by OneDrive for Business sync issues. Easier365 won’t let down large organisations the way that Files On-Demand does because:
- It works with SharePoint on-premises
- It works with Office 365
- You gain full control over file synchronisation
Are you tired of the latest version of OneDrive? To find out more about Easier365 and how it can make Office 365 and SharePoint work better at your organization, get in touch with Digilink today. You can also download a one-month trial of Easier365 for free here.