Download our Guide to Remote Work: Microsoft SharePoint and Teams here.

Community IT Innovators has been helping clients move their file collaboration functions from on-premise file servers to cloud services for some time now. Generally, our go to recommendation is Office 365 SharePoint and OneDrive for Business (SP/ODfB).
Why? Our experience of Office 365’s Exchange Online email service is very good. We point our clients to Office 365 for email and have had close to 100% satisfaction. And once you’re using Office 365 for email, the value of using it for file sharing is greatly increased (the services are integrated), plus SP/ODfB integrates well with the Microsoft Office Desktop Suite, which our clients also already use.
It’s a manifestation of decades-old Microsoft strategy: create an integrated vertical suite of products, draw the customer in with a can’t-miss product(s) and then up- and cross-sell them your additional integrated offerings. This Ben Thompson blog post has more on this Microsoft strategy. The risk to the customer is that some parts of the vertical aren’t actually all that great, as anyone who implemented Microsoft CRM or FrontPage might recall.
For years we found SharePoint to be an upsell that was not worth the risks. We had tried SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010, and while each version improved on its predecessors, none delivered enough value to be worth the time and investment they required.
We really weren’t won over until the iteration that came as a service with Office 365. Microsoft have been constantly improving their suite of services and that includes SharePoint, and now yes, we do like SharePoint:

So, yes, we feel good about recommending SharePoint.  We also will implement and support Dropbox for Business, and Box, and sometimes Google Drive or other Cloud File Sharing options.   The last and most important bullet point above is true for all the cloud file sharing services and makes them increasingly useful in nonprofit settings.
But we’ve also learned some lessons about how we recommend SharePoint. We’ve executed SharePoint implementations flawlessly (technically) and had them fail for nontechnical reasons. Seeking to avoid such outcomes, our SharePoint sales process now almost feels like an un-sales process.
Here are some of the points we make before we sign clients up for an implementation project with us.  You can find the slides from our March 2016 Webinar on this topic here.
SharePoint has to solve specific business needs, ideally specific business needs of the people who are going to use SharePoint

SharePoint is a net positive, but it’s not all positive. There are challenges, they are real and we address them upfront. We actually demonstrate some of these challenges in our un-sales process.

Implementation takes time.

Leadership has to be on-board.

Really we are big fans of SharePoint and do think it’s a good solution for many of our clients. But we also realize that it’s a big undertaking and not one our clients should take on without knowing the challenges as well as the benefits that the platform delivers.

For more information on SharePoint, check out our posts on FAQs and our recent webinar resources.