While talking to customers they often ask a simple question: What are the key benefits of the SharePoint platform over classic file shares?
Microsoft always tries to provide customers with a lot of marketing like: Easily manage documents and help ensure integrity of content, Get users up to speed quickly, Deploy solutions tailored to your business processes. Most end users are not really interested in integrity of content or tailored solutions. They are interested in day-to-day benefits, one being the ability to work with documents.
Here is my SharePoint vs. File share overview:
|Usability / Working|
Interface might seem complicated; you can do one thing from a number of views:
Network places are hard to manage and get use to.
Explorer view misses
While you are using the above two, you cannot profile your documents.
It is fairly simple. It has been here for a long time.
Very good, it is not Google, but works just fine.
There is no out of box search available for a network file share.
Only basic properties available.
Built in folder navigation is complicated and hard to manage.
Great folder navigation.
Completely flexible but interface for setting permissions is hard to use.
Flexible. Permission report is missing.
Completely flexible. A great feature! Content types also allow you to manage policies (expirations for each content type separately).
There is no support for templates
amount of files
If not planned correctly you might end up with all your files stored in a
Although you can easily move files and free some space, it might be difficult to
This is great for a single document library; however it is not so great when
There are no views on file shares.
|Collaboration / Approving|
This is very good when you have a team of people working on documents.
From the overview you will see that there are real benefits of using SharePoint. However this really depends on the end user. If usability and ease of use are the most important thing to you, stick with file shares.
SharePoint is great, but it requires a user with at least intermediate knowledge, a user that is willing to learn new stuff and to use the whole potential of the SharePoint platform.