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Confused on what to use and when in M365?

Ben Granger-Holcombe | 13 November 2019

Confused on what to use and when in M365?

M365 is armed with a stack of collaboration tools. Microsoft is continually improving these tools so that they live up to their promise of delivering a ‘modern workplace’.  

Many clients are asking me what the difference is between OneDrive, Sharepoint, Teams, Yammer and Exchange (email)? What tool should we be using, when and for what?   

Let me demystify things for you and provide you with a framework so that your teams can use the right tools and be more effective and productive. 

My infographic should simplify things:  

SharePoint:  The Foundation

For companies wanting to establish structure, governance and security to file management, the starting place and foundation is SharePoint.  Use it to house company-wide reference documents, incorporate workflows into these documents, and as your intranet.  This is where all policies and procedures should be housed.  It is where staff should go to access your induction program, training manuals and other reference documents.  

Teams:  Collaboration

As the name suggests this is an ideal collaboration and communication tool for small to medium sized teams, it is their collective hub where they go to get work done.  Great for sharing documents, co-authoring and even better for all types of communication amongst the team – chat, conversations, calls, video…. with the added advantage of bringing in external members into these team areas where appropriate. 

Yammer: Social

Think of this as your company-wide social platform.  Share successes, promote events, crowdsource solutions and more formal topic-based conversations, view photo galleries, conduct company-wide vox-pox polls, and more. 

OneDrive for Business:  Personal

I think of OneDrive for Business as my personal workspace; where I can work on documents on and offline, regardless of device, where I can choose to give people access to certain files when appropriate. Nothing gets saved directly on any of my devices, unless it is synced down by OneDrive.  

I often use the mobile app for scanning receipts or whiteboards or making simple changes to documents on the fly. 

I have put together a few scenarios to give you a little more clarity. 

Example scenarios SharePoint Teams Yammer OneDrive 
Where do I find the office-wide directory? ✓    
I want to ask a question about a project  ✓ ✓  
I want to ask a question about who to contact or how to do something   ✓  
Where should I file my documents and drafts?    ✓ 
I want to organise a team video meeting  ✓   
Where should I file documents that my Team and others in the organisation need to access? ✓   ✓ 
Where should we share photos of office-wide events?  ✓ ✓  
Where do I find a policy and submit it for on-line approval? ✓    
I want to shout out to the organisation a team success  ✓ ✓  
I want to share information and articles on a subject matter  ✓ ✓  
Where do I set project tasks?  ✓   
Where do office-wide policies best live? ✓    

Ben Granger-Holcombe is a Director of Workplace Collaboration Solutions at XCentral. He has led and advised companies on the design of their IT infrastructure, intranet and knowledge management solutions, and voice, data and video collaboration tools.