Microsoft SharePoint vs Teams – Which One Should I Choose?

Microsoft has proven itself as a powerhouse provider of collaboration tools, essential to many onsite, hybrid, and remote workplaces worldwide. Amongst the suite of products Microsoft offers are two heavy-hitters that, to the untrained eye, could be seen as duplicates. On a surface level, SharePoint and Teams have some commonalities. So, pitting SharePoint vs Teams, which platform supplies the right functions for your organisation? 

SharePoint and Teams are the most popular collaboration services in the Microsoft 365 catalogue. However, they both come with individual strengths and weaknesses that may have you turning to the other. Since both are designed for collaboration, how do you know which one is the right choice for your organisation? In this article we’ll discuss both apps, what each product offers, and how your organisation can benefit from using them.

What is Microsoft SharePoint?

If you think of Microsoft products as a family, SharePoint is definitely the older sibling. Born in 2001, it was serving workplaces long before remote and hybrid workplaces became standard procedure across the globe. And long before Teams was a twinkle in Bill Gates’s eye. 

SharePoint’s claim to fame is its advanced document storage and collaboration capabilities. It allows you to organise, store, and share documents internally and externally. It also offers a range of advanced features such as approval workflows, document co-authoring, and version control. 

There are fantastic content governance and compliance features. These include: 

  • Data loss prevention 
  • Complex search abilities 
  • Automatic classification and labelling  
  • Retention policies and reviews 
  • eDiscovery and legal holds 

SharePoint offers flexibility to customise and improve existing business processes. Where required, you can use Power Apps and Power Automate to automate your processes. 

There are challenges that SharePoint faced – and largely overcame – as time went by. SharePoint existed back in the days when you had to use separate apps to perform various tasks. Though they’ve made huge leaps in conquering these and other issues, the need for streamlined processes led to the creation of Teams.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration platform that combines a variety of workplace necessities. From live chat and video call capabilities, file storage, and app integration, Teams is the hero of remote and hybrid workplaces. It allows people to connect with the click of a button; solving problems, seeking approval, and assigning tasks happen instantly. 

It also integrates directly with other apps in the Microsoft 365 suite, reducing a user’s need to navigate between different tabs, browsers, or desktop apps. From the Teams dashboard you can access instant chat, team pages, files, calendar, emails, your intranet, and much more. This cuts down on time wastage and the need to interrupt yourself in the middle of task. 

Teams allows you to create unique ‘Teams’ for different departments within your organisation. Inside a team, you can create channels and invite specific members of your organisation to join. Here they can collaborate on projects, discuss day-to-day tasks, ask questions, and assign jobs. Additionally, members can share files and documents, as well as schedule, host, and record video meetings. All files shared in the channel are stored in SharePoint Online, providing direct access to the library of files stored in SharePoint. 

This also cuts down on the back and forth of emails. When files are uploaded into the channel the entire team receives a notification and can interact specifically with that document. Team members can have instant and direct conversations with one another without creating an extensive and hard to review email chain.

Comparing SharePoint vs Teams

What makes the comparison of Teams vs SharePoint difficult is twofold. Not only do they overlap with features and offers, but as they’re both Microsoft products, they can work together. And when used in tandem, each covers the gaps the other may have. 

It begins with how information is organised. Both SharePoint and Teams organise files similarly. Teams automatically has a modern SharePoint site associated where the documents shared in a channel are stored. Each channel is associated with a folder in SharePoint’s document library. Additionally, files sent outside of a channel are stored in the sender’s OneDrive for Business folder.

SharePoint vs Teams – the verdict

It might be anticlimactic to say that when it comes to choosing SharePoint or Teams, the answer is… it depends. But it’s the truth! Depending on your needs, one or both could be the solution. 

For workplaces that need and enjoy daily collaboration, Teams is the superior choice. The ability to get in touch with other team members instantly, as well as live review and collaboration, is unparalleled. Where written conversations are insufficient to explain a project, you can immediately dial in for a video chat with individual teammates or the entire crew. Communication in multiple forms is where Teams outshines its competitors, and SharePoint. 

On the other hand, if a chat function is low on your list of needs, or you just need a place to store your documents and communicate more broadly with your organisation, SharePoint is your guy. SharePoint offers a more complex structure of subsites, as well as document libraries that are not specifically linked to channels within Teams. SharePoint gives administrators an advanced permissions and control structure. 

Each platform has its own set of pros and cons when used individually. It’s when Teams and SharePoint are combined that you get the best of both worlds. 

Chat to the Microsoft 365 experts

If you’re still stuck on the decision between SharePoint or Teams, it helps to have an outside eye. At Propelle, our consultants spend time getting to know how our clients operate daily. We’ll get together (on Teams!) and ask questions like: 

  • What jobs does your team perform? 
  • How do you create, share, and organise files currently? 
  • How do your employees communicate with one another? 
  • Where are you experiencing challenges or obstacles with your current setup? 

We’ll help you decide whether SharePoint or Teams offer the best solutions, or if your organisation will benefit from a combination of both. Let’s chat about it today.