SharePoint and Outlook are two names that frequently hear in organisations, especially when streamlining productivity and enhancing collaboration.
Both SharePoint and Outlook are two products from Microsoft’s diverse software suite. More importantly, both products serve organisations to achieve business objectives.
SharePoint is an advanced web-based platform that specialises in managing and storing documents.
So, it essentially functions as a centralized repository for company files. This means it ensures a collaborative working environment that enables team members to share, edit, and interact with documents seamlessly.
In contrast, I’d say, outlook is primarily an email application but more than just a communication tool.
It integrates email, calendar, task management, contact management, note-taking, and web browsing, thereby promising comprehensive assistance in managing professional commitments.
Well, it feels like both tools’ capabilities are overlapping though they serve specific business objectives in unique ways.
Features of SharePoint
According to Microsoft, SharePoint is trusted by more than 200 million businesses around the world. The features that encourage a collaborative working environment are the main reason to attract this much of businesses.
1. Document Management:
SharePoint is considered a centralised, secure platform for storing, sharing, and managing documents. More importantly, it supports version control and co-authoring, which facilitate collaboration within the company.
2. Team Collaboration:
As I just said, SharePoint helps the employees to work as collaborators, authorised teams can work on the same document or any resource shared in SharePoint seamlessly.
Moreover, Integration with Microsoft Teams further streamlines this process.
3. Intranet and Communication Sites:
SharePoint can act as an intranet to build an interactive, informative portal that helps to boost company culture and internal communication.
4. Workflow Automation:
Using built-in workflows, organisations can automate the processes for common tasks such as document review and approval.
5. Content Search and Discovery:
The search function in SharePoint makes it easy to find content across the platform.
6. Data Security and Compliance:
SharePoint has robust security measures in place to protect your sensitive business data.
7. Integration with Microsoft Ecosystem:
SharePoint can be integrated with other Microsoft products like Office 365, OneDrive, and Teams; almost all the tools are from Microsoft.
You can customise SharePoint to fit unique business needs.
Features of Outlook
1. Email Management:
Outlook allows users to send, receive, and organise emails efficiently. It offers features such as ‘Focused Inbox’ to prioritise important emails and ‘Other’ to manage low-priority messages.
2. Calendar and Scheduling:
Outlook’s calendar can be used to schedule meetings, set reminders, and view the availability of team members. This feature is very supportive when there are recurring events and meeting requests.
3. Task Management:
Outlook enables users to create, track, and prioritise tasks, fostering effective task management. It also supports setting due dates and reminders.
4. Contact Management:
Users can store and manage their contacts in Outlook, contact information such as email, phone number, address, etc. can be stored in Outlook.
5. Note Taking:
Using Outlook, you can take quick notes or jot down ideas or important points during meetings.
6. Integration with Microsoft Ecosystem:
Just like SharePoint, Outlook is also a platform that can integrate with other Microsoft products.
7. Security Features:
Spam filtering, phishing detection, and data encryption, safeguarding business communications are embedded in Outlook to enhance data security.
8. Customizable Rules and Alerts:
Outlook allows users to enhance the email management process to set up custom rules for organizing emails and alerts for important messages.
SharePoint Vs Outlook : A Comparison
A web-based collaborative platform primarily for document management and storage
Primarily an email application for communication. But also integrates scheduling, task management, contact management and note taking.
Team collaboration with centralised document sharing, versioning, co-authoring, and integrated team sites.
Supports sharing of calendars, tasks and contacts.
Supports built-in workflows for common tasks such as document review and approval.
Limited automation features.
Content Search and Discovery
Search and discover content across the platform.
Mainly used to search emails, contacts, calendar items.
Integration with Microsoft Ecosystem
Works seamlessly with other Microsoft products like Office 365, OneDrive, and Teams.
Works simultaneously with other Microsoft Office tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams.
Can be customised with options for custom site design, functionality, and third-party add-ons.
Customisable with email rules and alerts but less flexibility compared to SharePoint.
Security and Compliance
Provides robust security measures and regulatory compliance tools to protect sensitive business data.
Offers robust security measures including spam filtering, phishing detection, and data encryption.
Which One Out of Outlook and SharePoint Suite for Your Business?
I’d highly recommend SharePoint if your focus is on document management, work collaboration and automation.
However, Outlook would be the best choice, if your priority is on email communication, scheduling, and personal task management.
Both SharePoint and Outlook play distinctive roles within a company.
SharePoint ensures providing a collaborative platform with document management, facilitating teamwork through shared workspaces, content discovery, and customizability.
So, I’d say, SharePoint is an optimal choice for businesses planning to centralize their data management while boosting collaboration and process automation.
On the other hand, Outlook focuses on personal information management, acting as a hub for email communication, calendaring, task tracking, and contact management.
More importantly, both these tools can be incorporated with other Microsoft tools like Office package, Teams, etc.
Despite that, I’d like to emphasize that these tools aren’t mutually exclusive. Since both products are from Microsoft, any organization is free to use them parallelly.
Thus, the ideal choice may not be a matter of SharePoint vs. Outlook, but rather understanding how to use both these tools effectively at your workplace.
So, I’d like to share the following video with you, which will guide you to use SharePoint effectively
1. Is Sharepoint and Onedrive the same thing?
No, even though both of these are cloud-based storage solutions, they have different features and functions.
OneDrive is used to store files and documents online. It is available for both personal and business use. In addition, it also offers more features like file sharing, versioning, and offline access.
In contrast, SharePoint is mostly used by businesses since it allows the user to work together on the same project.
2. Does OneDrive sync with SharePoint?
Yes, OneDrive can be used to sync files with SharePoint. If you want to know how to sync OneDrive and SharePoint, I’d like to recommend the following video
3. When would you use SharePoint instead of OneDrive for Business?
SharePoint is the best if your business need;
For example, if number of employees often work in the same projects and if each of the documents related to the projects need colloborative edits, etc.; then SharePoint is good-to-go.
4. Is SharePoint included in Office 365?
Yes, SharePoint is included in Office 365, except for the basic plan.