Microsoft Supersizes OneDrive for Business

By Pedro Hernandez
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Microsoft is signaling that it is serious about enterprise cloud storage by giving OneDrive for Business users a massive capacity upgrade.

John Case, corporate vice president of marketing for the Microsoft Office Division, announced that his company "will be increasing OneDrive for Business storage from 25GB to 1TB per user" in a blog post. Subscriptions cost $5 per user per month and an added $0.20 for each additional gigabyte, but for a limited time Microsoft is offering the service for half off with an annual commitment.

Case revealed that the perk is also being extended to select Office 365 customers. Those with Office 365 ProPlus plans "will get 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage per user as part of their Office 365 ProPlus subscription." Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud-enabled version of its productivity software suite for PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Beyond a hefty amount of cloud storage, Case teased that Microsoft is preparing OneDrive for Business to serve as a feature-packed, social-savvy collaboration platform. The software giant's road map encompasses "Oslo and the Office Graph, new document conversations powered by Yammer, and more that will enable people to engage with their OneDrive for Business content in new and interesting ways," said Case.

The Oslo app surfaces the conversations, activities and Office 365 documents that bear the most relevance to a user's current projects and job functions. Its underlying Office Graph platform employs machine learning and tight software integration (SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Yammer and Office) to serve up "really personalized and relevant views of their world," Julia White, general manager of Microsoft Office, told eWEEK during the technology's debut in early March.

In addition to business-grade file storage, sync and sharing, Microsoft is luring businesses with features like co-authoring. The feature allows users to collaboratively edit files using Office Online, with the changes propagating to users in near real time.

Enterprise-class data management capabilities are part of the deal. "OneDrive for Business provides enterprise content management, compliance and admin controls, financially backed by the industry-leading Office 365 Service Level Agreement," stated Case. Microsoft has also invested in features like rights management, eDiscovery, legal holds and auditing to beef up the cloud storage service's data safeguards, he claimed.

Microsoft's cloud, anchored by Microsoft Azure, has also scored some major certifications. Asserting that the company has poured resources into "areas that are important for doing business in major vertical industries and geographies," Case said OneDrive for Business complies with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), EU Model Clauses and Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) standards, to name a few.

The move exemplifies the company's increasing lucrative cloud-enabled approach to business software, suggested Case. Office 365 "is now on a $2.5 billion annual run rate," he said, adding that Microsoft has shipped nearly 100 updates over the past year. The company plans to keep that momentum going by prioritizing seamless integration and across-the-board interoperability.

"The cloud is about breaking down walls between people and information. Not building a new set of islands in the sky," concluded Case.

Originally published on eWeek.
This article was originally published on May 02, 2014
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