Differences Between Sharepoint vs. Office 365 - CWPS

Posted by Gary Utley on December 19, 2017

IMG_1056.jpgSharePoint and Office 365 are some of the most widely used software tools in the world. Microsoft designed these products as an interconnected set of tools that help the modern office get things done faster and more efficiently. But how are they similar – or different from each other? What are some ways to use these tools and how can they compliment the work you do every day?

Commonalities Between SharePoint vs. Office 365

While there are more differences between SharePoint vs. Office 365 than similarities, we’ll start with what they have in common. The first and most obvious commonalities are the fact that these software products are designed to support today’s office applications.

Another similarity is that both have been released for a few years with multiple upgrades. In fact, there are multiple versions on the market that Microsoft supports to this day: SharePoint 2007, 2010, and 2013; and the Office 365 2011 version plus an upgrade in 2013.

Another similarity between SharePoint vs. Office 365 is that the software can be installed on local machines (on-premise) or in the cloud. When you start talking about on-premise or the cloud version of both types of software, some big differences start to emerge. 

SharePoint vs. Office 365 -- Cloud vs. On-Premise

Any review of the differences between these two types of software programs must begin with the debate over cloud or on-premise applications. There are pros and cons related to both. For example, hosting on-premise means your organization will have local control over the software application. However, you will have the added expense of maintaining local servers to host the application. 

Cloud services are generally viewed as less expensive than on-premise solutions. Security patches are updated more frequently, and organizations typically can scale up to add more users very quickly.

Now let’s dig into the core differences between SharePoint vs. Office 365 from a features perspective.

SharePoint vs. Office 365 – Features

First, think of Office 365 as the umbrella office product that offers a variety of productivity applications. While SharePoint can be purchased separately, it technically falls under the Office 365 umbrella of services.

From a features perspective, there are differences between cloud and on-premise applications of both SharePoint and Office 365. 

The cloud subscription to Office 365 offers Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Outlook email, Yammer for instant communications, Skype for video conferencing, and storage on OneDrive.

In a rudimentary way, you can think of Office 365 as a way to create documents, while SharePoint is the hub where you can store and communicate about them. SharePoint online is great if:

  • You have a large organization that needs the ability to co-author documents.
  • If you need tighter security and maintenance of larger files.
  • If your organization is running a variety of projects that have separate work teams.
  • Or even, if you need a content management site that requires customized workflows or configurable data types.

SharePoint is a sophisticated file repository and content management system that allows collaboration between large, dispersed teams. For smaller companies or organizations that don’t require complicated collaborations, Office 365 may provide exactly what you need.

We hope this brief article shed some light on the differences between SharePoint vs. Office 365.

To talk more about how these tools could benefit your organization, please don’t hesitate to contact the CWPS team.

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Topics: SharePoint