How Companies Find Themselves on the Journey Away from File Share Servers to Microsoft SharePoint and Teams

Companies going to the cloud typically start with migrating email into Office 365, which has been renamed Microsoft 365. Once they are there, they see the other services that are included for free, like Teams and SharePoint. Then they start thinking about additional ways they could save money by using those services. Here’s how that typical journey begins to move from file share servers to Teams and SharePoint.

Traditionally, companies come from an on-premises environment where they have a server room or server closet somewhere in their building. In these rooms are expensive physical servers that have been purchased and replaced as they age, and their warranties expire every 3-5 years. This has been what these companies have been doing for decades now.

Chances are there was an email server running on some of that hardware. Now that email has been moved to the cloud, that email server is no longer using those hardware resources. The next hardware refresh will potentially be cheaper now than the previous one due to requiring less hardware. With the company now in this state of mind, they start thinking of what else can be moved to the cloud to keep reducing the cost of that next hardware refresh.

Usually, the next low-hanging fruit is the file share server. This is the server handing out the personal H: drive or the other network shared drives to everyone in the company. With the pandemic, there was a flurry of purchases of VPN licenses as people were working from home so they could access company resources not yet in the public cloud. One of these services was simply their file shares.

Moving File Share Servers to the Cloud

Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint are both potential targets of where to move that data to. However, it isn’t explicitly clear which one of the two, or perhaps both, should be the place for the data to reside.

Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one cloud collaboration hub where you can chat with others, hold meetings with video, use it as a complete phone system and yes, share and access files. It is about 4 years old and is now a staple of the Microsoft 365 suite of products. It is primarily accessed through a Teams app that is installed on your computer or mobile device. However, there is a browser-based option to access it that is less feature-rich if an application cannot be installed.

Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform. At its core, it is a website primarily used as a company intranet that has secure document storage and management. It is 20 years old and has long been a staple of the Microsoft 365 suite of products. In fact, many of the other services in the M365 suite use SharePoint as a backend.

Be sure to check out the other posts in this Teams/SharePoint series:

Have any questions about moving from on-premises file share servers to Microsoft Teams and/or SharePoint? Please contact one of our experts at any time!

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