If you are familiar with document management and sharing solutions, there’s a high probability that you may have heard about SharePoint. SharePoint document management and collaboration tool came into existence in 2001 developed by Microsoft and has been a popular player in the EFSS market since.
With innovations in the EFSS market, many SharePoint alternatives have emerged as challengers providing unique features for document management and file sharing with focus on security and usability.
Let’s look at some of the most popular alternatives to SharePoint in 2020 and what they have to offer for enterprises.
Comparison Criteria – SharePoint Alternatives 2020
Being a top EFSS solution ourselves, we have our own standards regarding which solution is a top SharePoint alternative solution. Here are the factors taken into account:
- Data Governance & Compliance: Enterprises handle sensitive data every day and need data governance and retention policies. A good solution helps comply with leading industry regulations and avoid any legal troubles.
- Data Security: Which solutions provide data leak prevention, remote wipe, encryption in-transit and at-rest, and more to safeguard your data.
- Integration: SharePoint integrates seamlessly with MS Office and related products. We will find out which solutions integrate easily with Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook, so that your workflow stays uninterrupted.
- Administrative Tools: We will compare admin features, role based administration, granular permissions and more.
- Other Important Features: We will add important add-ons and features like virtual drive, content classification, security modules wherever applicable to give you a transparent view of what to expect from each solution.
✓ Storage: 1TB, +200GB/user (Enterprise)
✓ Security: Compliant with all stringent government regulations, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Get smart DLP, encryption at rest and in transit, 256-bit AES encryption, granular file-sharing, password-protected, public and private shares.
✓ Features: Get unlimited client accounts, unlimited file versioning, branding capabilities, hybrid cloud, virtual drive, selective sync and many more enterprise-level EFSS features. Enterprises can also opt for FileCloud Server for an on-premise deployment option.
FileCloud is one of the most powerful EFSS solutions compared to SharePoint. FileCloud is storage agnostic and can be deployed across any NAS or object storage.
FileCloud is one of the top file sharing solution on the market, providing unlimited FREE external client accounts, remote access to your data, collaboration tools, smart content classification, a comprehensive admin panel, customization and branding options to enhance your enterprise sharing, sync and storage experience.
✓ Storage: Enterprise Plan: Unlimited, or 1TB / user if less than 5 users
✓ Security: Multi-factor authentication, encryption in transit; no option to encrypt individual documents. No mechanism for customer-managed encryption keys an your data is collected to provide better services by Google.
✓ Features: Google Drive comes with powerful collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
Google Drive is a very popular cloud storage solution. Google Drive for business is same as the free Google Drive plan, but with unlimited storage and a few security add-on. As you would know, Google Drive works seamlessly with other massively used Google apps, such as Gmail, Calendar, Google docs and Google Sheets, hence it is a popular choice.
The solution’s enterprise plan offers a simple, clean and intuitive UI, and integrates with popular enterprise software like Salesforce, and more. Apart from this, Google Drive for Business offers unlimited storage, access from any device, offline file access, includes productivity apps like Gmail, Google Keep, Google Sites, as well as enterprise-grade access controls, e-discovery for emails, chats and files.
However, reportedly, users have encountered frequent connectivity and sync issues while using Google Drive.
✓ Storage: Unlimited Storage
✓ Security: AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and AES 128-bit encryption for data in transit, 180 days data versioning, file recovery, password protected shares, remote wipe, granular permissions, file locking, smart sync, audit logs and more.
✓ Features: Dropbox offers integrations with thousands of third-party apps, so is easier to integrate with existing workflow apps. Offers good collaboration features and offers seamless integration with MS Office and Google Docs. Smart sync helps store files smartly without taking much hard drive space. Admins can monitor team activities and easily transfer files from one user account to another if needed.
Dropbox indeed offers a great EFSS solution, but Dropbox has seen many security breaches in the recent past. Dropbox has been a popular target for data leaks. Even now, it doesn’t offer local encryption.
✓ Storage: Unlimited Storage, but max file size upload limit is only 5 GB!
✓ Security: A regulatory-compliant Zero-Knowledge Provider. Tools to manage user permissions and customer-managed encryption keys, tight security regulations, alerts for unusual activities. Box doesn’t provide HIPPA compliance in the business plus plan, no e-discovery, no Box governance, no Box keysafe, no DLP. Even after paying top dollars!
✓ Features: Secure collaborative and project-management tools, as well as rule sets for work-flow automation, versatile document management, mobile and desktop sync, and custom branding capabilities
While perhaps quite similar in popularity with enterprises as Dropbox, Box, is also an incredibly strong alternative to SharePoint in 2020 on the EFSS list. With tools that integrate with top workflow apps, like Google Docs, Box also goes above and beyond in offering custom branding capabilities (like FileCloud) and letting users create a professional appearance for their organization.
Although, Box’s security is great, being a uniquely zero-knowledge provider and offering multiple options for encryption and user management, you don’t get many security features like DLP as mentioned above and there is a version history limit of 50 only, so in our opinion, enterprises can get better ROI with Google Drive or FileCloud.
✓ Storage: 10TB storage and 10 GB large file transfer
✓ Security: Standard encryption, includes user and group access permissions, security modules like 256-bit AES encryption, multi-factor authentication, device management, remote wipe and more
✓ Features: What stands out most with Egnyte is their great auditing system which timestamps user activities, plus a robust access permission system. Egnyte business plan offers desktop sync, mobile access, MS Outlook integration, MS Office as well as other premium integrations.
Egnyte is another leading enterprise file sharing solution, designed for enterprises. Egnyte provides the branding capabilities to customize brand assets, provides useful sharing and collaborative features, and decent security features.
Unfortunately, certain important business features like role based administration, AD/ LDAP integration and limited online storage can be a deal breaker for businesses, especially when EFSS solutions like FileCloud and Box provide much enahnced experience. There also have been frequent sync/network problems with Egnyte in the past. There is a steep learning curve for their product features and little documentation is provided.
✓ Storage: Unlimited Self-Storage Space/ on-premise
✓ Security: Standard Encryption, Multi-Factor Authentication, NTFS Support
✓ Features: Custom branding, open-source customization options, local storage options
ownCloud is a reliable file sharing infrastructure allowing enterprises to setup a complete private file-sharing solution and avoiding popular public clouds like Google drive or Dropbox. An open source solution, it offers rich features and the ability to use on-premise.
However, ownCloud doesn’t support Windows starting version 8.1.0., and might be a downside for enterprises using Windows servers. Enterprises can opt for FileCloud instead as an ownCloud alternative
✓ Storage: Unlimited Storage Space
✓ Security: Standard encryption and SSL/TLS. Recovery sites in both the US and EU.
✓ Features: Collaborative and productivity-enhancing tools, custom electronic signature tool, access to SSO, unlimited client users (like FileCloud), Outlook and Gmail plugins, unlimited storage, large file size of 100 GB, custom branding, e-signature, mobile and desktop apps, sync, full text search, file versioning, and much more
Sharefile is Citrix’s enterprise cloud storage solution with decent user management features, and an intuitive user experience. Sync works well as reported by users and unlimited client users makes it a decent option to opt for. The file sharing is fast, especially for large files and the folder structure is easy for structuring data.
The solution itself doesn’t support Linux though, so enterprises need to keep that in mind.
✓ Storage: Unlimited Self-Storage/ on-premise
✓ Security: Standard Encryption, SSO, SAML Authentication, 2FA, File-Locking
✓ Features: On-Premise and Cloud file-hosting, large file support, local storage support, OS compatibility
While Nextcloud is a free, open-source software, Nextcloud Enterprise comes as a powerful EFSS solution. Nextcloud provides an easy access to files on-premise, security features and much more. Some features include desktop sync, supported local storage, custom branding and file locking. Advanced features like data leak prevention, unlimited file versioning, unlimited free client accounts, are not available though unlike FileCloud.
✓ Storage: 300+ GB
✓ Security: Standard encryption in-transit and at-rest, SSO, 2FA, AD, remote wipe, DLP, customer managed encryption keys and much more
✓ Features: on-premise, Hybrid solution, remote access and mobility
For a solution that’s much less popular and well-known compared to Dropbox or ownCloud, Syncplicity offers a great package with their rich collaboration features, hybrid hosting options, great security, file versioning and backup. You also get unlimited external collaborators like FileCloud and similar enterprise collaboration features.
Syncplicity’s interface is not the most modern compared to other EFSS solutions compared here and whether they will keep updating the product in the future or not is a cause for concern among some organizations without a solid backup plan.