SharePoint and Office 365 Comparison

SharePoint and Office 365 Comparison

SharePoint and Office 365 are two related but distinct products from Microsoft that offer different features and benefits for collaboration and productivity.  

Icon to illustrate SharePoint and Office 365 Comparison

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. It allows an enterprise to store, retrieve, search, archive, track, manage, and report on digitised documents. SharePoint also provides tools for creating websites, intranets, portals, blogs, wikis, and workflows. SharePoint can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid solution.  

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a subscription-based service that provides access to various Microsoft applications and services, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Teams, Planner, Power Automate, Power Apps, Stream, and more. Office 365 also includes SharePoint Online, which is the cloud-based version of SharePoint. Office 365 users can access their applications and data from any device and location with an internet connection. 

How SharePoint and Office 365 are related:

SharePoint and Office 365 are both part of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, which is a suite of products that work together to provide a collaboration environment where people inside and outside an organisation can work together. SharePoint and Office 365 share some common features and functionalities, such as: 

  • Integration with Microsoft Office applications 
  • Cloud storage with OneDrive 
  • Security and compliance capabilities 
  • User management and identity services 
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities 

SharePoint and Office 365 differences:

SharePoint and Office 365 are different in terms of their scope, pricing, and use cases. Some of the main differences are:

SharePoint vs Office 365

SharePoint Office 365
Primary function Document management and collaboration. Various applications and services for communication, productivity, and creativity.
Purchasing options Can be bought as a standalone product or as part of Office 365. Cannot be bought without SharePoint Online.
Customisation Users can create custom solutions using web parts, apps, workflows, forms, etc. Users have less control over the configuration and appearance of their applications and services.
Best use-case Suitable for complex document management scenarios that require metadata, versioning, approval workflows, retention policies, etc. Simple file sharing scenarios that require real-time collaboration, chat functionality, video conferencing, etc.

When to use SharePoint or Office 365?

You’ll receive the best value from a Microsoft 365 Business Standard subscription, and this is our recommendation. However, if cost is a concern and you need limited functionality, the standalone SharePoint subscription will save you over $10 user/month. 

Use SharePoint

If you don’t need functionality beyond managing large volumes of documents with complex metadata and workflows.  

Use Office 365

When you need to access various applications and services for communication and productivity from any device and location. 


Can’t decide between SharePoint and Office 365?

Sometimes it’s easier to chat with someone about it – we’d be happy to have a quick call to unpack your use case and best way forward.  

Obligation-free consultation

Make a time to chat with a senior consultant about your IT goals. 

If you’re considering SharePoint, follow the link:

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Empyrean has a team of specialist Microsoft consultants; our mission is to help IT leaders get more from technology.

Josh Rubens - Director

Josh Rubens - Director

Empyrean Director, Co-Host of long-running Leading IT Podcast, formerly Deloitte.


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