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It is no secret that understanding the Microsoft licensing model in any of their products takes a degree in rocket science in most instances. If you’re in a large organisation, one really needs to approach Microsoft to get the correct advice as you may have enterprise agreements in place that could affect your decision.
There are two main types of SharePoint – on premise, and in the cloud.
On premise means you have your own servers with software installed on them and you have user licenses for everyone that needs to use SharePoint.
In the cloud means that it is hosted by either Microsoft of other hosting partners and you subscribe to services on a per user license basis. There are two cloud options Office 365 or SharePoint Online. Office 365 gives you Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Lync and Outlook along with SharePoint. SharePoint Online is just SharePoint.
There are different versions and families of SharePoint. The last three versions have been 2007, 2010 and 2013. Most companies in South Africa are on either 2010 or 2013. The you also get different families of those, they would either be Foundation, Standard or Enterprise.
The different versions of SharePoint offer different functionality. Foundation will give you the basics, Standard includes Foundation plus a few more features; Enterprise is the top of the food chain. The price also escalates accordingly.
Below are feature comparisons for 2010 and 2013. We have also indicated what functionality is most used by users with little to no SharePoint experience for your convenience. This is based on our interaction with this target audience over 5 years; feel free to download and use them.