Microsoft Teams vs SharePoint: Dueling Devils or a Match Made in the Cloud?

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6 Things You Can Do with Microsoft Teams that You Can’t Do with SharePoint

Teams vs SharePoint is a question that a lot of IT teams ask at the very beginning stages of considering a Microsoft Teams deployment. SharePoint is a highly configurable cloud-based platform, and telling your IT team to implement another cloud-based collaboration platform like Microsoft Teams can sound like trouble.

The reality is that Microsoft Teams and SharePoint work together. In fact, SharePoint is the document management backbone of Microsoft Teams. Do you really need them both? How do you know when to use one or the other?

We’ll break it down for you and share the top six things you can do with Microsoft Teams that you can’t do with SharePoint.

What is Microsoft Teams

microsoft teams vs sharepoint

Microsoft Teams is billed as the all-in-one collaboration hub where you can chat, meet, share files, and work with business apps in a shared workspace. This cloud-based collaboration software is only two years old and is part of the Office 365 suite of applications and is used by over 500,000 organizations – including 91 of the Fortune 100.

What is SharePoint

microsoft sharepoint logo

SharePoint, an 18-year-old web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office is primarily used for secure document storage and management. Within SharePoint are SharePoint Teams, which provides a space where a group can come together to work on a project.

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Microsoft Teams vs SharePoint: Not a Competition

Microsoft Teams vs SharePoint collaboration

Now that we know what Microsoft Teams is, and the question of what is SharePoint is mostly answered, we can look at how the two compare. Many organizations who haven’t made the switch to Microsoft Teams use Skype for Business for instant messaging, Outlook for email and calendaring, and SharePoint for document storage, management, and sharing with SharePoint Teams sites for basic collaboration.

The SharePoint vs Microsoft Teams discussion used to be further complicated by the confusion around SharePoint Teams sites. This is because SharePoint Teams allow users to contribute to the team site and allow for basic guest access through the web browser. This used to be a huge differentiator in the Microsoft Teams vs SharePoint debate because Microsoft Teams was a client-based app. However, now Teams can also be accessed via a web browser, without installing the client on your desktop or phone. So assuming you’ve enabled this guest to access a particular Microsoft Team, this is entirely possible for both SharePoint Team sites and Microsoft Teams.

At the end of the day, the differences between the two can be broken down into one simple sentence:

SharePoint has evolved to become a robust document sharing platform with a less-than-friendly UI, while Microsoft Teams has been designed to consolidate all aspects of collaboration, including the document management and sharing capabilities of SharePoint (as well as meetings, chats, calls, and more).

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Microsoft Teams AND SharePoint = Game Changer

SharePoint vs Microsoft Teams vision

While we expect Microsoft Teams to eventually replace legacy system Skype for Business and Skype for Business Online, this isn’t quite the case for SharePoint. Microsoft Teams and SharePoint really do work better, together. SharePoint enables an advanced set of features to be integrated into Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Teams adds a user-friendly UI and additional collaboration functionality to an already familiar concept of knowledge and document sharing.

All-in-all, there are six key areas that Microsoft Teams excels at that SharePoint does not:

  1. User-Friendly UI – less end-user training required to get them up and running
  2. Logical team membership – manage permissions at a team level instead of at a file/folder level
  3. Everything is truly in one place – no switching windows and programs for files, emails, meetings, and conversations
  4. Work transparently – no need for extra emails about when files have been edited, when a project’s status has changed or been completed, etc.
  5. Channel conversations – prevent duplicate file sharing, ability to share more than just files (i.e. links)
  6. Persistent private and group chat – eliminates the need to use Skype for Business too

Navigating the Office 365 suite of applications can be challenging when it comes to workstream collaboration. If you’re still having a hard time, see how Unify Square can help with your Microsoft Teams deployment or other Office 365 collaboration needs.

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