July 26, 2016

7 SharePoint Alternatives that Actually Get the Job Done

6 minute read

Microsoft SharePoint is a bit like a Swiss army knife. It has a ton of different functions, some of which are useful, and some that aren’t. If you’re using SharePoint or one of several SharePoint alternatives and you’re not careful, you might wind up with a tool that’s so bloated with features it doesn’t really succeed at any of them.

As SharePoint consultant Jason Masterman says, “Customers are [implementing SharePoint] because they own it. It’s not that they’re doing research and choosing [SharePoint]. They’re doing it because they own it.” In a 2013 survey, only 6% of respondents reported completing a successful SharePoint project. In 2015, that number was up—but just to a mere 11%.

We think more than 11% of users deserve to be happy with their workflow tool. So we looked at 7 SharePoint alternatives and examined how they stack up in terms of price, capability, and user-friendliness. Here’s what we found.

SharePoint Alternative #1: Google Drive for Business

It’s hard to get users to pay for an upgrade when the free version is pretty good and highly adopted, but Google Drive for Business has managed to do just that—for over 1 million organizations. The file sharing and document storage feature, Drive, is part of the Google Apps suite, which is a pretty cheap alternative than pricier enterprise SharePoint alternatives.

Google Drive is more functional and cheaper for small businesses.

They offer a 30-day free trial, and after that, two options:

  • Google Apps Suite: $5 per month per user, 30 GB storage
  • Vault: $10 per month per user, unlimited storage

Better for: Locating Documents

One common SharePoint problem is that it’s really hard to locate documents. Some of this is that they’re not tagged well, or aren’t organized into proper folders. When you have a ton of people using the platform and no clear organizational structure, it’s easy for things to get lost in the mix.

As a SharePoint alternative, Google Drive, on the other hand, comes with Google’s most famous ability baked in: the search feature. Users can even search for features from directly within Gmail. No more toggling back and forth between buried email threads and SharePoint to search for whatever that document ended up being called, and worrying if they have the final version.

SharePoint Alternatives #1

Unlike SharePoint, Google Drive doesn’t have project management capabilities. So while you can share and store documents with ease, it’s hard to pin down the roadmap for where an assignment is going.

SharePoint Alternative #2: Box for Business

Box for Business is another file-sharing and collaborating tool that draws companies away from SharePoint. Its primary feature is its storage ability, with a relatively low price tag:

  • Enterprise plan: $15 per user per month with unlimited storage

One important feature to note: external users can only view documents in Box for Business. So if you’re collaborating with people outside of your organization and you want them to have full editorial access to the content, you’ll have to add each head at the price of $15/month.

In addition, Box does not offer offline access, so let’s hope your Internet connection stays in tact if you need to grab documents off of the cloud.

Better For: Storage on the Cheap

That said, the tradeoff is worth it for a lot of people, since Box offers something crazy appealing: unlimited storage. For those used to hitting their Dropbox limit and sighing, it’s practically a drool-worthy SharePoint alternative.

Another major point of contention in the Box for Business v. SharePoint debate is of special interest for anyone who needs information governance on their cloud-based document storage. Both offer two-factor authentication, and are certified in compliance like HIPPA and PCI DSS, to ensure that you’re protected.

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