Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

VPAT and Keyboard Shortcuts in FileCloud

Web Accessibility Series – Part 1

One of the quickest ways to boost productivity is to use keyboard shortcuts. Being able to click a button or two and get the results you need reduces your reliance on your mouse, giving you more time to focus on the important things. Since you can keep both hands on the keyboard when compared to using a mouse, using a shortcut to complete a task is often more efficient than seeing the monitor and navigating your cursor around the screen.

How are Keyboard Shortcuts Helpful?

Fun Fact: “An average person loses 2 seconds per minute of work” by going back and forth between the mouse and the keyboard, according to an infographic by American Express Open Forum. If you work 8 hours a day, 240 days a year, you might be wasting up to 64 hours if you don’t use keyboard shortcuts.

Compared to reaching for the mouse or navigating a menu, a single keyboard shortcut not only shaves a moment off your task but also ensures websites are accessible for specially-abled users, in compliance with WCAG Guideline 2.1. FileCloud has created a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) that lists the enabled keyboard shortcuts within the platform. Many of the commonly used actions in FileCloud are listed below:

Keyboard Shortcuts

1.     Upload a file: (Insert / U)

Press (U) to upload a file inside any currently opened folder from your computer.
You can also upload a file on FileCloud as you press the (U) key on the dashboard to bring up a “Select File” menu and choose the file to be uploaded on the selected path.

2.     Navigate through files in a list:

To navigate through the file’s list, use up/down arrow keys ( ↑ or ↓ ).

3.     Select the current item:

To select the current item, use the spacebar.

4.     Copy selected item in FileCloud: (⌘/ctrl + C)

Select the items you want to copy, then hold the ⌘/ctrl and press the (C) key. This will bring up the “Select File” menu, where you can navigate to copy the file in the destination folder.

5.     Move the selected item to FileCloud: (⌘/ctrl + X)

Select the items you want to move, then hold the ⌘/ctrl on the dashboard and press the (X) key. This will bring up the “Select File” menu, where you can move the file into the destination folder.

6.     Download selected items from FileCloud: (D)

Select the items you want to download, then press the (D) key.

7.     Lock/unlock selected items on FileCloud: (L)

Select the items you want to lock/unlock, then press the (L) key.

8.     Add a comment to the selected item: (C)

Select a document for which you wish to add a comment, then press the (C) key. This will navigate to the comment section directly.

9.     Delete a selected item: (delete)

Select the item(s) in the file list view, then press (delete) to remove them.

10.  Rename the selected item: (F2)

Select any file/folder you wish to rename, then press the (F2) key.

11.  Share any selected item: (.)

Select any file or folder you want to share with other users, then press the dot(.) key. This will share the files using your default share settings.

12.  Open file operations (More …) menu: (M)

Select any item from the file list and press the (M) key to open the ‘More …’ menu.

13.  Create a folder: (Alt+N)

Navigate inside a folder and press Alt+N to create a new folder.

14.  Preview file or open folder: (⏎)

To open any particular folder, press enter\return. After pressing the enter key, the preview for files can also be opened.

15.  Select/Unselect all: (Shift+A)

To select/unselect all items in the file list, hold shift and press the (A) key.

16.  Navigate to the next page of files: (pagedown)

To load and navigate to the next page of the file list, press (pagedown).

17.  Previous page of files: (pageup)

To navigate to the previous page in the file list, press (pageup).

18.  Navigate to the top of the page: (⌘/ctrl + home)

To navigate to the top of the page, hold (⌘/ctrl) and press home.

19.  Refresh file list: (Alt+R)

To refresh the file list, hold (Alt) then press the (R) key.

20.  Navigate to the next page: (Alt+→)

To navigate to the next page, hold (Alt) and press the arrow key (→).

21.  Go to the previous page: (Alt+←)

To go to the previous page, hold (Alt) and press key (←).

22.  Toggle sidebar: ([)

Use the left bracket ( [ ) to open\close the left sidebar.

23.  Toggle activity bar: (])

Use the right bracket ( ] ) to open\close the right activity bar.

24.  Toggle file operations dialog: (P)

To open/close the operation dialog box, press the (P) key.

25.  Go one folder up: (Alt+Shift+↑)

To go up one level of the directory tree, press the (Alt), (Shift), and Up arrow (↑) keys.

26.  Toggle file list/grid view: (V)

To view the documents list as a grid, press the (V) key.

27.  Show folder properties: (⌘/ctrl+I)

To view folder properties, hold (⌘/ctrl) in the dashboard, then press the (I) key.

28.  Open deleted files page: (Alt+D)

To view the deleted files list, hold (Alt) and press the (D) key.

29.  Filter file list: (Alt+F)

To filter the file list, hold (Alt) and press the (F) key.

30.  Show shortcuts: (Alt+F1)

To view shortcuts, hold (Alt) in the dashboard and press the (F1) key.

 

Conclusion

CodeLathe is committed to ensuring FileCloud is secure, easy-to-use, and feature-rich. You can find a complete list of keyboard shortcuts in the FileCloud documentation.

Article written by Niharika Sah

How to Automate Business Processes

Business Process Automation text accompanied by image of metal cogs in a pile

What is Business Process Automation?

For as long as humans have worked, we have used innovation to make work easier and more efficient. Business Process Automation (BPA) is simply the newest name for this strategy and takes advantage of modern technological advancements.

In brief, process automation can refer to any series of automated actions that fulfill a specific goal. This can range from something as simple and personal as a behavioral strategy (e.g., a new perspective for responding to email) to more complex automation solutions in the form of specific software or hardware tools (e.g., workflow software or assembly line machines).

Automation provides incredible benefits toward operating a business or organization. This is especially true in light of the significant changes the global workforce experienced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, huge swathes of the population were working from home. Maintaining productivity became a topic for discussion across all levels, not just business executives.

Automation tools were necessarily involved in these discussions, particularly as organizations pursued solutions to make their IT infrastructure both secure and accessible to remote employees. These automation tools are designed to improve quality, reduce waste, and fulfill ambitious business objectives.

Automated processes support consistency and efficiency throughout an organization’s operations. These include regulatory and financial requirements, tax record maintenance, HR processes, client and customer relations, support ticket resolutions, and marketing and sales campaigns, among others.

Benefits of Automation

Studies have estimated that automating certain activities can reduce costs anywhere from 30% to 90% depending on the business model. Automation saves organizations both physical and logistical resources, which can lead to more agile growth in the industry. When mundane, repetitive, or otherwise tedious tasks are automated, the organization’s workforce can focus on innovation and quality across products and services.

Automating processes across an organization also ensures tasks and operations are consistent, which has an overall impact of reducing resource consumption and human error. As demonstrated by Ford’s assembly line for the Model T automobile over 100 years ago, automation leads to greater efficiency, less waste, and higher cost-savings.

Automation tools empower users by streamlining tasks and promoting focus on the type of unique, creative, or otherwise complex work that cannot be automated. This type of work is sometimes referred to as “deep work.” (The concept of deep work is explored in the AirSend blog post “How to Stay Productive While Working Remotely.”)

Visualizing the Impact of Automation

There are many examples of how automation has been adopted across various industries and departments. These examples are considered routine now, but their impact has been monumental for our modern way of life.

Supporting Customers

For instance, most products and services offered around the world have a customer service component to promote buyer satisfaction and loyalty by resolving issues. The organization, receipt, and response for these support requests or tickets is a cycle that can be automated through software and personnel training.

Software platforms and websites can accept, classify, sort, and direct tickets to service desks, where support employees review information in a concise and efficient manner, distributing solutions with greater speed and precision.

This example combines both behavioral and technological automation to remove a burden of effort from employees. They can then provide higher-quality, person-to-person support when communicating directly with a customer.

Maintaining Information

Automation software also plays a role in trafficking information and approval requests. Businesses and organizations rely on accurate, up-to-date information.

Reliable communication channels and data networks can ensure information is accessible to a workforce, but it can be a challenge ensuring the right information reaches the right people. Automating these channels and networks using workflows erases the burden of remembering, which is one barrier to meaningful productivity.

Executing Decisions

Furthermore, any decision-making processes that contribute to operations, finances, or high-level management often require several approval steps to ensure accuracy and accountability. Automated workflows can also support these operations by actively responding to changes, updating data repositories, and/or sending notifications to relevant parties.

More sophisticated workflow solutions can even route approval requests with notifications, accept the information update (of someone approving or denying), and continue the process without hesitation.

By automating the process of updating relevant parties with information and routing approval requests, decision-making processes become more efficient. Organizations can enact policies, finalize contracts, act on projects, and complete other objectives that contribute to long-term goals.

How to Utilize Automation

After considering both what automation is and how it can impact a business, it is important to consider how automation can specifically be implemented within an organization.

Automation succeeds under specific conditions. 1) Information is organized and accessible and 2) automation tools balance flexibility and structure. For example, automation tools or strategies must be able to assess and gather a wide array of information, determine the necessary action, and complete the action without encountering or producing errors.

To identity tasks suitable for automation, it’s useful to consider some factors:

  • Is the work inherently repetitive?
  • Does it involve many different people or groups of people?
  • Is the work time-sensitive or will it have a high impact on other systems and processes within the organization?
  • Does the work require documentation or audit trails to comply with regulations?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it may be beneficial to consider automation solutions.

Step 1 – Assess

Assess the situation you wish to automate and determine the “touchpoints.” This means any moment where someone needs to review or otherwise contribute to the process for it to continue. Creating a chart or outline using these touchpoints helps you trace the path of information, from the moment it enters the organization throughout processing until the information is archived or deleted.

Step 2 – Identify

Identify inefficiencies that slow or halt a process. By visualizing the process, you can identify points of overlap that can be streamlined or potential blockages that can be dissolved for better flow. This evaluation also helps you identify potential tools or support systems you may need.

Step 3 – Test

Test different solutions to determine which system best supports your operational needs. Be sure to track both successes and pain points. Not all tools are created equal, and not all businesses will benefit from the same support. It’s important to evaluate what works best for your organization.

Step 4 – Implement

Implement the selected BPA solution and fine-tune processes as needed. Business process automation is a significant investment in an organization’s growth and development. By finding the right solution, you can eliminate bottlenecks and inefficiencies, support deep work initiatives for your workforce, and coordinate between people, applications, and services.

FileCloud Workflows

FileCloud is an innovative file storage and collaboration platform that provides an all-in-one solution that incorporates the latest advancements in cloud technology, cybersecurity, and business productivity. With the 21.2 release, FileCloud users will be able to take advantage of workflows within the environment to automate their business processes.

Workflows in FileCloud are dynamic and intuitive. Users can create an automated exchange of data between other users and groups, both within and outside their organization. All steps in the workflow comply with pre-existing security and sharing policies set by admins. This hierarchy of security, sharing, and retention policies ensures that data is protected in all contexts.

The workflow’s drag-and-drop tool and no-code approach make building workflows easy and approachable. Users can also review the status of running workflows through the workflow dashboard. Managers and admins can stay on top of projects and processes through real-time reports and automated notifications that provide a summary of activities.

High ROI

The addition of workflows to the FileCloud environment complements existing features and tools available for users, business managers, IT admins, and CTOs. This powerful yet flexible cloud-agnostic solution scales with organizations and responds to changing industry requirements around the world, providing high value and an adaptive strategy.

In addition to workflows, FileCloud has invested in collaborative tools, such as Microsoft Teams and OnlyOffice integrations (newly released), file versioning, locking, and editing conflict management, and granular folder and file-sharing permissions. Built-in document view and editing make working in the FileCloud web application easy, and users can also take advantage of Sync and Drive and mobile applications to work offline or on the go. Endpoint backups preserve your files without the additional burden of manually uploading to the cloud.

Security is a high priority in FileCloud, with such protections as 256-bit encryption for data at rest, SSL/TLS encryption for data in transit, two-factor authentication, SAML and SSO options, embedded antivirus and malware protection, smart classification, data leak protection, and end-user device management (including remote-wipe), among many other settings. The 21.2 release also includes a new ITAR Compliance Center to support emerging regulatory requirements across governments and industries.

Customer service is another significant area of focus. FileCloud has some of the highest ratings across industry comparison sites in the market. Responsive sales and supports teams ensure clients have the exact configuration that meets their organization’s needs and industry requirements. A wealth of support materials, from webinars, articles, and software documentation to explanatory videos and training seminars with FileCloud specialists, provide users with the knowledge and confidence to wield the full strength of FileCloud.

Find out how FileCloud can help you automate your business processes today! Sign up for a FREE 14-day trial or schedule a demo.

A Deep Dive into Workflow Automation

 

Over the past few decades, organizations have faced the challenge of digital transformation. How do you transition from and improve a workplace previously dominated by email, phones, whiteboards, spreadsheets, and hand-written notes? Each of these tools is based mainly on human memory, increasing the possibility of human error. They can be challenging to use for collaboration and provide poor visibility by management, particularly in the remote or hybrid workplace that is becoming the norm.

Organizations can significantly reduce the reliance on outdated communications and tracking software by implementing workflow automation. Workflow automation improves the efficiency and productivity of organizations by streamlining business processes. It also ensures that a clear record of work tasks is maintained for easy tracking and auditing.

There is far less dependence on human memory, task tracking spreadsheets, and employee manuals. Instead, the structure of essential and ongoing processes is held in an accessible, central repository that can easily be accessed or distributed by anyone with the proper authority (using Role-based Permissions).

What is Workflow Automation?

In concise terms, workflow automation is the design, creation, deployment, and management of business processes based on preset rules. This allows work tasks to be automatically triggered between people, technology, data, and other resources.

Workflow automation can be used to standardize work. It allows for compliance policies and business rules to be met. It reduces or eliminates human error and deviation and provides transparency and accountability at all levels of the process. The tactical goal is to ensure that the appropriate workers are focusing on the correct tasks at the proper time and have everything they require to complete said tasks.

A History of Workflow Automation

  • The 1990s. The first workflow-based automation software solutions were created. This software replaced the paper-based workflow processes with electronic versions, allowing companies to replace paper tasks-routing activities with electronic-form processes.
  • The late 1990s. Business rules and tools for modeling allow companies to build, analyze, and visualize business processes. They can see graphical views of current organizational processes and compare them with prospective trial processes to make work more efficient.
  • From 2005. The current era of workflow automation begins with the introduction of business process management (BPM).

Workflow Automation’s Primary Benefits

There are several key benefits to automating workflows and processes:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • More accuracy
  • Real-time visibility of work
  • Individual accountability at the highest level
  • Ability to set meaningful KPIs and collect real-world data that can be used in process improvement
  • More data for better decision-making
  • Improvement in data security

Other possible benefits include:

  • Better customer experience and vendor relations with a reduction in wait times and errors and improvement in communication
  • More job satisfaction since employees are better able to prove and reap the rewards of high performance

In summary, workflow automation can provide a more consistent, positive experience for all your customers regarding the delivery of finished work products. It makes it easier to get work done and track what is being completed.

The ultimate goal of workflow automation is to give you an advantage over manually-driven competitors. This can be achieved by offering higher quality work, lower prices, and faster decision-making.

Statistics on Workflow Automation

Statistics can provide a wealth of information about how workflow automation is affecting organizations. Here are some statistics on the importance of process automation for digital transformation from a survey of 400 IT decision-makers across the US and Europe.

  • 97% of IT decision-makers agree that process automation is key to digital transformation.
  • 67% of businesses are currently implementing business process automation solutions that improve visibility across various systems.
  • 47% of IT leaders agree that the most significant ROI in automation is achieved within operations.
  • 36% have already implemented workflow automation technology.
  • 29% of organizations plan to implement low-code or no-code workflow automation software soon.

How Workflow Automation Can Help Departments

Automation can streamline the work of any department. Here are some ways that workflow automation software can help:

IT

  • Reduce time and energy spent on building tech processes for other departments by empowering others to build workflows with no-code, drag-and-drop workflow automation
  • Manage department assets and track usage trends
  • Assign escalations and tickets to team members based on availability
  • Avoid duplicate support requests
  • Easily execute stakeholder updates

Sales

  • Standardize processes to simplify list building
  • Ensure that all leads receive excellent treatment and never miss a lead because of human error
  • Get in-depth reports of ongoing processes

HR

  • Reduce paperwork and manage documents more easily
  • Streamlined approval process makes it easier to find, verify and hire candidates quickly
  • Improve and speed up onboarding and off-boarding experience
  • Increase the visibility of your workflow

Finance

  • More easily track expenses to avoid unwelcome expenditures
  • Build workflows for approvals and notifications of employee travel, budgeting, and reimbursements
  • Save time processing approvals

Marketing

  • Streamline content creation process
  • Improve quality by making sure the right people approve all content
  • Increase employee accountability
  • Nurture quality leads with a consistent and trackable process

How to Get Started with Workflow Automation

A workflow automation plan starts with a clear goal and ends in process evaluation. Below are the five steps that go into a workflow automation plan.

1. Identify a Core Process

The first step is to determine a process that is core to your team or department. Ask questions like “Is this process mature enough to automate?” and “Do I have the support of the team to automate it?”

2. Define the Objective

Automation has many benefits. It can increase ROI, speed to market, and team productivity. Clarify the expectations of your team regarding automation.

3. Build the Workflow

Next, it is time to build the workflow using your workflow automation platform. The general steps are to create a new workflow, assign rules and permissions for each step, publish the workflow, and share it with your team.

4. Team Training

Workflow automation will only succeed if its stakeholders are willing to use it. Share the benefits with process owners, show them what you have built, and encourage feedback.

5. Measure Performance

Automation will not be fully realized unless your business measures the differences it has made to pre-existing processes through reports or data analytics. How has workflow automation impacted your KPIs and ROI? That is the question you want to answer.

How to Choose the Best Workflow Automation Software

There are many choices in the workflow automation market. Some are universally applicable, while others cater to specific needs. No matter your situation, workflow automation software must be flexible, fast, and able to fulfill your specific requirements. Below are the most important features in workflow automation software.

Easy to Use

Seeing as automation is intended to make life easier, the product must be simple to learn and use. Look for a user-friendly interface, no-code solutions, and a drag-and-drop design.

Good Pricing

Some vendors charge thousands of dollars just to install workflow automation software. Consulting and implementation are not included. Say no to those vendors. As with any product purchase, avoid shady pricing models and look for something transparent and predictable. 

Customization

The ability to build custom processes is essential to reap the full benefits of automation. You need software that can manage everything from simple to complex workflows with many steps and decision branches.

Simple Tracking

Without the ability to review a process, you can’t improve it. The best workflow automation software tools provide built-in reporting that allows you to monitor and analyze tasks so you can refine your processes.

 

Workflow Automation with FileCloud

Below are some benefits of FileCloud’s workflow automation.

Excellent ROI

FileCloud’s workflow automation is integrated with all of FileCloud’s other benefits, including enterprise file storage, collaboration, flexible infrastructure (self-hosted, hybrid, or cloud), unmatched security and compliance, and award-winning support. Managers can replace unnecessary subscriptions like Nintex by using an all-in-one solution.

Ease of Use

The drag-and-drop tool enables users to create business workflows of all levels of complexity. Managers can easily create and share customized workflows with their staff to improve productivity, reduce errors, and simplify high-volume tasks. Additionally, it is easy for users to automate their work thanks to our no-code design. 

Real-time Tracking

Administrators and users can track every step of their processes with an intuitive dashboard that shows all running workflows. 

Get more information about FileCloud’s Workflow Automation >>>

Using “Allow Manage” on FileCloud Team Folders

One of the most used features in FileCloud is “Team Folders”; it is an ideal solution for sharing folders and files within a team and later sharing the same files and folders with external users, such as customers and vendors partners, etc.

Team Folders have many options for managing users that can access files and folders stored in them:

In the user portal:

  • Your users can share to external users from the User portal‘s share option.

In the Admin UI:

  • You can add/remove users and groups from a Team Folder’s Manage Share window.
  • You can manage the access level to files and sub-folders by using the “Permissions” option in Team Folders.
  • You can give your FileCloud users Allow Manage permission for a Team Folder in the Manage Share window.

In today’s article, we will focus our attention on the Allow Manage feature. You can give this permission to individual users when you add them to a Team Folder.

How to enable the Allow Manage feature for a full user

To add a user to a Team Folder:

  1. Log in to the Admin portal.
  2. Go to Team Folders (in the left menu).
  3. Click on Manage for the folder you want to add the users to.

Add the user and set the permissions.

Example of adding a user to a Team Folder

The common actions you can enable for a user are Allow View, Allow Download, Allow Upload, Allow Share, and Allow Sync; however, there are two special actions that can be added: Allow Delete and Allow Manage. You can access them by clicking the Edit button in the Misc section:

When you open the Miscellaneous permissions for the selected account, you will find that Allow Delete is checked by default and Allow Manage is not.

misc permissions

Please check the Allow Manage checkbox and hit Save to allow the selected user to manage. You can then close the Manage Share main window.

We have now enabled the manage features for the selected user.

 

What options does the Allow Manage feature give to a user?

 

After you enable this for a full account user, it will give the user the ability to:

  1. Add full users to the Team Folder from the User Portal.
  2. View and manage other users’ shares within the Team Folder.

 

Adding full users to the Team Folder from the user portal

 

The Full user to which we enabled the Allow Manage permission now has the ability to add other team members to the Team Folder. After the user logs in to the user portal and navigates to the Team Folder when the Team Folder is selected, the Details pane (right sidebar) will show the Team Folder share options:

 

share details

The user can click on the “Manage Share” link to view the Team Folder share options; from here, the user can see the Team Folder users and add/remove other Full users to it.

Users who are part of share

To add a new user to the share, you invite a new user as you typically add users to a share:

Invite users to share

And the permissions for the new users can be enabled/disabled the same way as in the admin portal.

Set user permissions

View and manage other user’s shares within Team Folders

 

By default, other users can’t see what another user has shared externally; now, the user has access to this information with the Allow Manage feature enabled.

For example, if a user shares a sub-folder from a Team Folder that has Allow Manage permission, the main user can now view/manage the external share from the user portal.

When the full user navigates to the shared folder and selects it, it will display new information in the Details tab:

share details

 

Now, you can view the shares from other users. Some examples of how this is useful include but are not limited to:

  1. View/Add/Remove users from an existing share.
  2. Avoid creating duplicate shares to the same external user from other team members.
  3. Change the share settings (expiration date, access level of the external user – upload, download).

 

White Label SaaS Software Services for Resellers | FileCloud

Whitelabel SaaS

 

“White label” means that you can brand the SaaS product as if it were your own.

It’s the process of buying a re-brandable product/service, and then re-selling it under your own brand name to the end customer. It’s a great way to offer more services to clients without adding additional work for your team! White-labeling gives providers access to a large distribution network through their reseller partners, and resellers can expand their product and service line easily. The key to Whitelabel is anonymity, as consumers who buy the end product are not aware that it was originally produced by a white-label provider.

The affiliate can tweak the item with their own image, logo, and character, enabling clients to connect the item with the affiliate. In the interim, the producer can concentrate on discovering savvy approaches to make the product, without worry about the promotion of products. white label solutions can enable you to use your business’ exceptional marking to offer an item or administration without putting resources into a framework or innovation creation around the solution. Thus you can concentrate on building your brand and offering your services while rearranging the changing way for your customers.

This has many advantages compared to developing a new product or service from scratch-  we have listed some for you.

1. Own Your Brand

If you are aiming to build your brand, white-label software offers a quick and impressive way to get your name in front of your leads. When the clients and leads see your name on software, your business becomes credible and reliable. Credibility helps you expand very fast. At the end of the day, the customer is doing business with your company and you are who they trust – if they suddenly end up using software with a completely different name from your own, that is not good for the customer experience.

2. Faster Service to your customers

Rather than spending time and money on developing new tools/features, using white label software allows you to provide all these features/services to your clients quicker and better. This helps to ensure that your users aren’t going to start considering your competitors.

3. Cost-saving Solution

The less money you spend on development, the more opportunity you’ll have to increase your own revenue. White-labeled SaaS products and services allow you to provide your users with cost-effective solutions, and in turn, can increase your earnings.

4.  Access to Great Talent.

Building high-quality enterprise solutions require talent. It’s difficult to hire and manage a team of talented designers, developers & managers. By simply licensing a white-label solution you can get access to a great team that may be willing to collaborate on new requirements & features.

Factors to Consider When  White Labeling

1. Is it the right fit for the company?

Your existing customers are a captive audience and the set of leads to go after to make a sale. Will the white-label SaaS be a service that fits their needs, wants, and priorities to the point that it will make sense for them to get it? If the white label SaaS software is out of alignment with your company, your vision, and the problem you are trying to solve, you will have difficulty selling it — and closing deals is the whole point of becoming a white label software reseller. Also, look at this article on SaaS Product business model to further improve your SaaS business model.

2. Reputation and Track Record

Are they honest?  Transparent and upfront? Do they have a good reputation?  So do your homework on the business. See what their reviews say. How long have they been around? Are they considered an expert in the industry? Keep in mind- It is your reputation at stake at the end of the day. So make sure you partner with the right people.

3. Service and Support

Is there a clear and organized method for onboarding and training your business so you can start selling soon? Is there a detailed and thorough training process for the process and using the software/service? Do they have adequate resources to help you learn and grow? How fast they have been responding to you so far? Are they quick getting back to you if you have queries and need help?

4. Contracts and Terms

Do they have a detailed contract process and are they clear about the terms and conditions? If they are transparent and open, you will be able to tell now if you haven’t been able to tell before. They should be clear on their minimum lock-in period. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before signing on the dotted line.

Conclusion

If there is someone else who can create a product better than you can, it is worth the cost and time savings. By using white label solutions, you will have more time to devote to business development. It is clearly a high ROI expansion for your business and revenue. As long as you are careful when it comes to monitoring the quality output of the final product, white labeling can be a great way to grow your business

Best Alternatives for Citrix Sharefile in 2021

In our age of information, most modern enterprises have started to move towards the digitization of data. Never have there been quite so many enterprise file-synchronization and sharing (EFSS) solutions available on the market — and while a wide range of choice is always good, it also makes it much more difficult to choose the perfect solution for your organization. 

Citrix Sharefile is one such top contender and one of the biggest solutions on the market. However, there are certain issues with Citrix Sharefile that make it a less-than-desirable option for certain enterprises. As such, we’ve put together a list of great EFSS solutions for your consideration, as well as their pros and cons, so that you can pick the one that offers all the features your enterprise might need, while remaining affordable and within your price range. 


Citrix ShareFile

Localized ShareFile WebUI available | Citrix Blogs

  Pricing: Standard Plan: $55/5 users/month | Advanced Plan: $85/5 users/month | Premium Plan: $135/5 users/month | Virtual Data Room Plan: $375/5 users/month

✓  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. File-versioning features.

Sharefile is Citrix’s enterprise-class cloud storage solution, and they’re well-known in the commercial software and service industry. Notable features of Sharefile include an auditing system that generates activity reports, integration with Single Sign-On, download alerts, and two-factor authentication. This cuts down on the amount of time it would take to print out a document, sign it, and scan it to the cloud.

Unfortunately, despite their generous offer of unlimited storage, they do have a file size limit. The solution itself doesn’t support Linux. Plus, with a standard plan starting at $55, paywalls for features and their enforced 5-user pricing plan, it’s safe to say that Sharefile isn’t the most affordable solution for smaller organizations. Reportedly, Sharefile’s licensing plans are also misleading.

Pros

  • Great plugin support. For instance: the Outlook plug-in makes it easy to share files securely with customers via email.
  • Flexible folder creation and sharing process
  • Easily share large files with clients, vendors and external personnel
  • Allows multiple remote teams to collaborate in real-time with a simple management process.

Cons

  •  Interface is less intuitive compared to other solutions.
  • Not commonly used in all industries, presenting a learning curve to some users.
  • Sorting out your preferences is time-consuming. As a standalone product it suffers from lack of integration with Google and/or Microsoft products.
  • Confusing and varied pricing with many features locked behind paywalls

Now that we’ve gone over Citrix Sharefile in-depth, let’s go over some alternatives, in case those aforementioned issues are in fact a deal-breaker for your company.


FileCloud

 

  Pricing: FileCloud Online: $10/user/month (Standard), $15/user/month (Enterprise) || FileCloud Server: $4.20/user/month | FileCloud Server: Contact for Quote

✓  Storage: FileCloud Online: 1TB out-of-the-box, +100GB/user  (Standard), +200GB/user (Enterprise)  || FileCloud Server: Unlimited

✓  Security: FileCloud is compliant with all the most stringent data governance policies, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Encryption at rest and in transit, 256-bit AES encryption, granular file-sharing, password-protected, public and private shares.

✓  Features: From deployment models to unlimited client accounts, branding capabilities and more, FileCloud is filled with incredible enterprise-level features.

Naturally, we’re proud of our own product and firmly believe FileCloud to be one of the most powerful and affordable EFSS solutions on the market. FileCloud offers on-premise, public and a unique hybrid cloud deployment model. This deployment flexibility separates FileCloud from its competitors, and ensures that your team can enjoy the benefits of both on-premise and cloud storage systems — read more on our hybrid infrastructure here.

Our pricing is also one of the most affordable on the market, while offering larger storage plans, better enterprise-level features, and unlimited FREE external client accounts — all great for your wallet and your ROI. Feature-wise, we consider seamless, remote access to your data as the bare minimum that a good file-solution should offer. Collaborative and content management tools, a comprehensive admin panel, plus infinite customization options are all features that ensure not just your team, but also your clients and sysadmins get in on the enhanced EFSS experience.

Last but certainly not least, FileCloud is compliant with most data security governance policies, meaning that you’ll never see your organization’s good name tainted in headlines labelled with “Security Breach” or “Data Leaks”. Plus. it’ll save you tons on the fines and fees that’ll rack up if you go with a less-secure option.

Pros

  • Beautiful, simple, intuitive and responsive user interface that can be accessed via local client or browser.
  • Tons of keyboard shortcuts and quick actions to cut down on time
  • No file limit — massive files can be exchanged with anyone anywhere in the world at enterprise level speeds.
  • Ultimate data governance compliance and security, with DLP functionalities, an extensive admin panel, audit trails, encryption and multi-factor authentication
  • Collaborative tools and integration with tons of common office software
  • Enterprise-level content management capabilities: file-versioning, metadata classification, user policy management and light workflows for the easier management and organization of your team’s hard work.
  • Unlimited free external accounts for clients, vendors, etc.

Cons

  • Setup process can be intimidating without proper training, although there is documentation to mitigate that.
  • Unable to use a protocol different than HTTPs for downloads; this can be problematic for companies that restrict it.
  • The solution does not offer a free plan, although there is a two week free trial and a 10$/year Community Edition Plan.

Dropbox

Dropbox -

  Pricing: Basic Plan: Free | Plus Plan: $11.99/user/month  | Professional Plan: $19.99/user/month

✓  Storage: Basic Plan: 2GB | Plus Plan: 2TB | Professional Plan: 3TB

✓  Security: AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and AES 128-bit encryption for data in transit; however, known past security issues

✓  Features: Unique “Paper” and “Showcase” features: basic “Notes” and “Portfolio” app respectively

With its clean, intuitive UI and easy-to-use features, Dropbox has become a well-known, household name in terms of file storage. Dropbox also offers password-protected links, integration for Office 365 and Google Drive, and strong administrative tools. However, while it certainly has its pros, we feel strongly that there are better enterprise-level file-sharing solutions — and here’s why. 

Due to the system’s popularity, it’s always been a popular target for hackers. Even now, it doesn’t offer local encryption. Their customer service certainly leaves more to be desired, as seen from their lack of 24/7 customer support.

And above all that, despite having fewer features than many enterprise-level solutions out there, Dropbox is far from the most affordable on the market, especially with their 5-user minimum. Plus, with their measly 2GB- free storage and paywalls for unlimited storage, it certainly feels like the solution is out to milk their users dry.

Pros

  • Offers file-versioning: Once a file has changed, Drive keeps an older version of the file as backup in case of malicious activity or negligence
  • Fantastic conflict resolution features – automatically creating a “conflicted copy” of a file whenever a potential conflict is detected (i.e. a file is being edited by two people at the same time).
  • Plugins for Microsoft Office that allow for multiple people to edit a file simultaneously without creating conflicts.
  • Provides a “smart sync” feature, allowing for files to be seen on the computer locally, but not stored locally until opened up. This allows a user to access all of his/her Dropbox files without using up disk space

Cons

  • Dropbox for Business is very limited compared to alternatives, which usually include not just file syncing capabilities but an entire office suite.
  •  You cannot edit files without downloading them
  • The Dropbox file compression will degrade the media quality to a noticeable extent when clicking a direct play link
  • Mobile versions face challenges when dealing with big files, rendering the solution less flexible

Google Drive

How to Find Anything in Google Apps - The Ultimate Guide to G ...

  Pricing: Free Plan: Free | Basic Plan: $6/user/month | Business Plan: $12/user/month | Enterprise Plan: $25/user/month

✓  Storage: Free Plan: 15GB | Basic Plan: 30GB | Business & Enterprise Plan: Unlimited, or 1TB / user if less than 5 users

✓  Security: Encryption in transit; no option to encrypt individual documents. Multi-factor authentication.

✓  Features: Google Drive comes with powerful, recognized collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Having quickly risen in popularity over the past couple of years, Google Drive is now a powerful file-sharing solution on the market. A file storage and synchronization program created by Google, it’s best known for its collaborative capabilities via Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which offer real-time collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets and slides respectively. 

The solution’s enterprise plan, GSuite, comes with a similarly clean and intuitive UI, as well as integration with popular enterprise softwares such as Autodesk, Salesforce, and more. Apart from this, Google Drive for Business offers unlimited cloud storage, access from any device, offline file access, includes 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 syncing issues while using Google Drive. Plus, while Google Drive has fairly beefy data security with encryption in-transit and at-rest, human error on part of the developers has led to security issues, such as when Google Photos started sending private videos to strangers

Pros

  • Lovely mobile application and collaborative tools for anywhere, anytime access
  • Has a great free option, making it useful for any small businesses that do not have a lot of funds
  • Readily compatible with many apps.
  • Ease of installation, ease of setup and you don’t need much technical knowledge to use it as an end-user.
  • Gmail integration

Cons

  • The processes of uploading (automatically), deleting, scrolling, and downloading are tedious as they have to be done by checking each file.
  • Interface can quickly become cluttered when large amounts of files are uploaded and edited
  • No virtual drives or mounting to computers as hard drives
  • Security issues galore in the past; they’ve been fixed today, but it’s still certainly concerning.

Box

Cloud Storage Services for Business Use - armix.one

  Pricing: Box Starter: $5/user/month | Box Business: $20/user/month | Box Business Plus: $33/user/month | Box Enterprise: $47/user/month

✓  Storage: Box Starter: 100GB | Box Business: Unlimited | Box Business Plus: Unlimited | Box Enterprise: Unlimited

✓  Security: A regulatory-compliant Zero-Knowledge Provider. Tools to manage user perms and customer-managed encryption keys.

✓  Features: Secure collaborative and project-management tools, as well as rule sets for work-flow automation

While perhaps less of a household name than Dropbox, Box, founded in 2005 and based in California, is also an incredibly strong contender on the EFSS market. With tools that integrate with other services, like Google Docs, Box also goes above and beyond in offering custom branding capabilities and letting users create a professional appearance for their organization.

Plus, Box’s security is nothing to scoff about, being a uniquely zero-knowledge provider and offering tons of options for encryption and user management.

Unfortunately, with their heavy local encryption, Box transfers tend to get slow — something that could impede or even cripple the seamless remote workflows that have become the norm today. Box also does not offer any options for on-premise or self-hosting, nor local storage, and does not perform end-point backups. Plus, while it certainly provides tons of enterprise-level features, it’s also significantly pricier than almost any solution on the market.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of its finer points, for ease of comparison:

Pros:

  • Mobile access
  • Integration with other applications  such as: Microsoft Office, Google, Salesforce, DocuSign etc
  • Ability to add/edit multiple users
  • Editing documents
  • Workflow automation
  • Box “Notes” functionality for project management tasks, such as status updates and meeting notes
  • Custom Branding
  • Global compliance standards, such as ITAR, HIPAA, PCI DSS 3.1, FINRA/SEC 17a-4, FISMA, ISO27001:2013, and ISO 27018

Unfortunately, as mentioned, there are some huge deal-breakers that come with the solution.

Cons:

  • No indication when a file is open by another user, leading to over-saving of each other’s work during collaboration.
  • Box is relatively pricey compared to its competitors
  • Not much documentation and an unfriendly user interface make it hard to get into
  • Box Sync doesn’t work on older Windows OS versions
  • Transfers can be slow due to heavy local encryption

OneDrive

Microsoft updating OneDrive with better web UI and sharing options ...

  Pricing: Business Plan 1: $5/user/month | Business Plan 1: $10/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/user/month

✓  Storage: All Plans: 1TB – extra storage space can be purchased separately for up to 1TB/$9.99/month

✓  Security: Standard encryption, file-locking, paywalls for SSO/SAML Authentication

✓  Features: Advanced sharing, mobility and security. Heavy integration with Office software.

Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its web version of Office. Naturally, this Microsoft-based solution heavily integrates with Office 365 programs that most teams use, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as Outlook, which is a huge plus. Certain plans even grant access to said software. It also provides encryption at rest and in transit. Overall, it has robust features that make it a strong solution, as expected from Microsoft.

Unfortunately, data privacy issues have surfaced time and time again with large corporations, and OneDrive is no exception. When using this solution, Microsoft can scan your files for “objectionable content”, stating that file security cannot be guaranteed for said content.

Pros

  • Great integration with other Microsoft Office Tools
  • Device synchronization ensures access of files from any device.
  • Cloud storage of data makes it’s easy to access files and documents.
  • Multiple files can be uploaded simultaneously

Cons

  • Data privacy issues and lack of multi-factor / other authentication options
  • Has less base storage and quickly gets pricey past the 1TB storage option
  • User interface is clunky and takes time to get used to
  • Syncing of shared files can produce issues and even get slow

Conclusion

There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all EFSS option, but we hope that this helps your enterprise, company or organization make a better and informed decision about which EFSS solution is best for you. If you have any questions about our FileCloud solution, we are always happy to answer them — just pop over to our main site and strike up a conversation with any of our live chat specialists!

Best Alternatives for Google Drive in 2021

In our age of information, most modern enterprises have started to move towards the digitization of data. Never have there been quite so many enterprise file-synchronization and sharing (EFSS) solutions available on the market — and while a wide range of choice is always good, it also makes it much more difficult to choose the perfect solution for your organization. 

Google Drive is one such top contender and one of the biggest solutions on the market. However, there are certain issues with Google Drive that make it a less-than-desirable option for certain enterprises. As such, we’ve put together a list of great EFSS solutions for your consideration, as well as their pros and cons, so that you can pick the one that offers all the features your enterprise might need, while remaining affordable and within your price range. 


Google Drive

How to Find Anything in Google Apps - The Ultimate Guide to G ...

  Pricing: Free Plan: Free | Basic Plan: $6/user/month | Business Plan: $12/user/month | Enterprise Plan: $25/user/month

✓  Storage: Free Plan: 15GB | Basic Plan: 30GB | Business & Enterprise Plan: Unlimited, or 1TB / user if less than 5 users

✓  Security: Encryption in transit; no option to encrypt individual documents. Multi-factor authentication.

✓  Features: Google Drive comes with powerful, recognized collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Having quickly risen in popularity over the past couple of years, Google Drive is now a powerful file-sharing solution on the market. A file storage and synchronization program created by Google, it’s best known for its collaborative capabilities via Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which offer real-time collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets and slides respectively. 

The solution’s enterprise plan, GSuite, comes with a similarly clean and intuitive UI, as well as integration with popular enterprise softwares such as Autodesk, Salesforce, and more. Apart from this, Google Drive for Business offers unlimited cloud storage, access from any device, offline file access, includes 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 syncing issues while using Google Drive. Plus, while Google Drive has fairly beefy data security with encryption in-transit and at-rest, human error on part of the developers has led to security issues, such as when Google Photos started sending private videos to strangers

Pros

  • Lovely mobile application and collaborative tools for anywhere, anytime access
  • Has a great free option, making it useful for any small businesses that do not have a lot of funds
  • Readily compatible with many apps.
  • Ease of installation, ease of setup and you don’t need much technical knowledge to use it as an end-user.
  • Gmail integration

Cons

  • The processes of uploading (automatically), deleting, scrolling, and downloading are tedious as they have to be done by checking each file.
  • Interface can quickly become cluttered when large amounts of files are uploaded and edited
  • No virtual drives or mounting to computers as hard drives
  • Security issues galore in the past; they’ve been fixed today, but it’s still certainly concerning.

Now that we’ve gone over Google Drive in-depth, let’s go over some alternatives, in case those aforementioned issues are in fact a deal-breaker for your company.


FileCloud

 

  Pricing: FileCloud Online: $10/user/month (Standard), $15/user/month (Enterprise) || FileCloud Server: $4.20/user/month | FileCloud Server: Contact for Quote

✓  Storage: FileCloud Online: 1TB out-of-the-box, +100GB/user  (Standard), +200GB/user (Enterprise)  || FileCloud Server: Unlimited

✓  Security: FileCloud is compliant with all the most stringent data governance policies, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Encryption at rest and in transit, 256-bit AES encryption, granular file-sharing, password-protected, public and private shares.

✓  Features: From deployment models to unlimited client accounts, branding capabilities and more, FileCloud is filled with incredible enterprise-level features.

Naturally, we’re proud of our own product and firmly believe FileCloud to be one of the most powerful and affordable EFSS solutions on the market. FileCloud offers on-premise, public and a unique hybrid cloud deployment model. This deployment flexibility separates FileCloud from its competitors, and ensures that your team can enjoy the benefits of both on-premise and cloud storage systems — read more on our hybrid infrastructure here.

Our pricing is also one of the most affordable on the market, while offering larger storage plans, better enterprise-level features, and unlimited FREE external client accounts — all great for your wallet and your ROI. Feature-wise, we consider seamless, remote access to your data as the bare minimum that a good file-solution should offer. Collaborative and content management tools, a comprehensive admin panel, plus infinite customization options are all features that ensure not just your team, but also your clients and sysadmins get in on the enhanced EFSS experience.

Last but certainly not least, FileCloud is compliant with most data security governance policies, meaning that you’ll never see your organization’s good name tainted in headlines labelled with “Security Breach” or “Data Leaks”. Plus. it’ll save you tons on the fines and fees that’ll rack up if you go with a less-secure option.

Pros

  • Beautiful, simple, intuitive and responsive user interface that can be accessed via local client or browser.
  • Tons of keyboard shortcuts and quick actions to cut down on time
  • No file limit — massive files can be exchanged with anyone anywhere in the world at enterprise level speeds.
  • Ultimate data governance compliance and security, with DLP functionalities, an extensive admin panel, audit trails, encryption and multi-factor authentication
  • Collaborative tools and integration with tons of common office software
  • Enterprise-level content management capabilities: file-versioning, metadata classification, user policy management and light workflows for the easier management and organization of your team’s hard work.
  • Unlimited free external accounts for clients, vendors, etc.

Cons

  • Setup process can be intimidating without proper training, although there is documentation to mitigate that.
  • Unable to use a protocol different than HTTPs for downloads; this can be problematic for companies that restrict it.
  • The solution does not offer a free plan, although there is a two week free trial and a 10$/year Community Edition Plan.

Dropbox

Dropbox -

  Pricing: Basic Plan: Free | Plus Plan: $11.99/user/month  | Professional Plan: $19.99/user/month

✓  Storage: Basic Plan: 2GB | Plus Plan: 2TB | Professional Plan: 3TB

✓  Security: AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and AES 128-bit encryption for data in transit; however, known past security issues

✓  Features: Unique “Paper” and “Showcase” features: basic “Notes” and “Portfolio” app respectively

With its clean, intuitive UI and easy-to-use features, Dropbox has become a well-known, household name in terms of file storage. Dropbox also offers password-protected links, integration for Office 365 and Google Drive, and strong administrative tools. However, while it certainly has its pros, we feel strongly that there are better enterprise-level file-sharing solutions — and here’s why. 

Due to the system’s popularity, it’s always been a popular target for hackers. Even now, it doesn’t offer local encryption. Their customer service certainly leaves more to be desired, as seen from their lack of 24/7 customer support.

And above all that, despite having fewer features than many enterprise-level solutions out there, Dropbox is far from the most affordable on the market, especially with their 5-user minimum. Plus, with their measly 2GB- free storage and paywalls for unlimited storage, it certainly feels like the solution is out to milk their users dry.

Pros

  • Offers file-versioning: Once a file has changed, Drive keeps an older version of the file as backup in case of malicious activity or negligence
  • Fantastic conflict resolution features – automatically creating a “conflicted copy” of a file whenever a potential conflict is detected (i.e. a file is being edited by two people at the same time).
  • Plugins for Microsoft Office that allow for multiple people to edit a file simultaneously without creating conflicts.
  • Provides a “smart sync” feature, allowing for files to be seen on the computer locally, but not stored locally until opened up. This allows a user to access all of his/her Dropbox files without using up disk space

Cons

  • Dropbox for Business is very limited compared to alternatives, which usually include not just file syncing capabilities but an entire office suite.
  •  You cannot edit files without downloading them
  • The Dropbox file compression will degrade the media quality to a noticeable extent when clicking a direct play link
  • Mobile versions face challenges when dealing with big files, rendering the solution less flexible

Box

Cloud Storage Services for Business Use - armix.one

  Pricing: Box Starter: $5/user/month | Box Business: $20/user/month | Box Business Plus: $33/user/month | Box Enterprise: $47/user/month

✓  Storage: Box Starter: 100GB | Box Business: Unlimited | Box Business Plus: Unlimited | Box Enterprise: Unlimited

✓  Security: A regulatory-compliant Zero-Knowledge Provider. Tools to manage user perms and customer-managed encryption keys.

✓  Features: Secure collaborative and project-management tools, as well as rule sets for work-flow automation

While perhaps less of a household name than Dropbox, Box, founded in 2005 and based in California, is also an incredibly strong contender on the EFSS market. With tools that integrate with other services, like Google Docs, Box also goes above and beyond in offering custom branding capabilities and letting users create a professional appearance for their organization.

Plus, Box’s security is nothing to scoff about, being a uniquely zero-knowledge provider and offering tons of options for encryption and user management.

Unfortunately, with their heavy local encryption, Box transfers tend to get slow — something that could impede or even cripple the seamless remote workflows that have become the norm today. Box also does not offer any options for on-premise or self-hosting, nor local storage, and does not perform end-point backups. Plus, while it certainly provides tons of enterprise-level features, it’s also significantly pricier than almost any solution on the market.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of its finer points, for ease of comparison:

Pros:

  • Mobile access
  • Integration with other applications  such as: Microsoft Office, Google, Salesforce, DocuSign etc
  • Ability to add/edit multiple users
  • Editing documents
  • Workflow automation
  • Box “Notes” functionality for project management tasks, such as status updates and meeting notes
  • Custom Branding
  • Global compliance standards, such as ITAR, HIPAA, PCI DSS 3.1, FINRA/SEC 17a-4, FISMA, ISO27001:2013, and ISO 27018

Unfortunately, as mentioned, there are some huge deal-breakers that come with the solution.

Cons:

  • No indication when a file is open by another user, leading to over-saving of each other’s work during collaboration.
  • Box is relatively pricey compared to its competitors
  • Not much documentation and an unfriendly user interface make it hard to get into
  • Box Sync doesn’t work on older Windows OS versions
  • Transfers can be slow due to heavy local encryption

OneDrive

Microsoft updating OneDrive with better web UI and sharing options ...

  Pricing: Business Plan 1: $5/user/month | Business Plan 1: $10/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/user/month

✓  Storage: All Plans: 1TB – extra storage space can be purchased separately for up to 1TB/$9.99/month

✓  Security: Standard encryption, file-locking, paywalls for SSO/SAML Authentication

✓  Features: Advanced sharing, mobility and security. Heavy integration with Office software.

Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its web version of Office. Naturally, this Microsoft-based solution heavily integrates with Office 365 programs that most teams use, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as Outlook, which is a huge plus. Certain plans even grant access to said software. It also provides encryption at rest and in transit. Overall, it has robust features that make it a strong solution, as expected from Microsoft.

Unfortunately, data privacy issues have surfaced time and time again with large corporations, and OneDrive is no exception. When using this solution, Microsoft can scan your files for “objectionable content”, stating that file security cannot be guaranteed for said content.

Pros

  • Great integration with other Microsoft Office Tools
  • Device synchronization ensures access of files from any device.
  • Cloud storage of data makes it’s easy to access files and documents.
  • Multiple files can be uploaded simultaneously

Cons

  • Data privacy issues and lack of multi-factor / other authentication options
  • Has less base storage and quickly gets pricey past the 1TB storage option
  • User interface is clunky and takes time to get used to
  • Syncing of shared files can produce issues and even get slow

Citrix ShareFile

Localized ShareFile WebUI available | Citrix Blogs

  Pricing: Standard Plan: $55/5 users/month | Advanced Plan: $85/5 users/month | Premium Plan: $135/5 users/month | Virtual Data Room Plan: $375/5 users/month

✓  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. File-versioning features.

Sharefile is Citrix’s enterprise-class cloud storage solution, and they’re well-known in the commercial software and service industry. Notable features of Sharefile include an auditing system that generates activity reports, integration with Single Sign-On, download alerts, and two-factor authentication. This cuts down on the amount of time it would take to print out a document, sign it, and scan it to the cloud.

Unfortunately, despite their generous offer of unlimited storage, they do have a file size limit. The solution itself doesn’t support Linux. Plus, with a standard plan starting at $55, paywalls for features and their enforced 5-user pricing plan, it’s safe to say that Sharefile isn’t the most affordable solution for smaller organizations. Reportedly, Sharefile’s licensing plans are also misleading.

Pros

  • Great plugin support. For instance: the Outlook plug-in makes it easy to share files securely with customers via email.
  • Flexible folder creation and sharing process
  • Easily share large files with clients, vendors and external personnel
  • Allows multiple remote teams to collaborate in real-time with a simple management process.

Cons

  •  Interface is less intuitive compared to other solutions.
  • Not commonly used in all industries, presenting a learning curve to some users.
  • Sorting out your preferences is time-consuming. As a standalone product it suffers from lack of integration with Google and/or Microsoft products.
  • Confusing and varied pricing with many features locked behind paywalls

Conclusion

There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all EFSS option, but we hope that this helps your enterprise, company or organization make a better and informed decision about which EFSS solution is best for you. If you have any questions about our FileCloud solution, we are always happy to answer them — just pop over to our main site and strike up a conversation with any of our live chat specialists!

Best Alternatives to Dropbox in 2021

In our age of information, most modern enterprises have started to move towards the digitization of data. Never have there been quite so many enterprise file-synchronization and sharing (EFSS) solutions available on the market — and while a wide range of choice is always good, it also makes it much more difficult to choose the perfect solution for your organization. 

Dropbox is one such top contender and one of the biggest solutions on the market. However, there are certain issues with Box that make it a less-than-desirable option for certain enterprises. As such, we’ve put together a list of great EFSS solutions for your consideration, as well as their pros and cons, so that you can pick the one that offers all the features your enterprise might need, while remaining affordable and within your price range. 

Dropbox

Dropbox -

  Pricing: Basic Plan: Free | Plus Plan: $11.99/user/month  | Professional Plan: $19.99/user/month

✓  Storage: Basic Plan: 2GB | Plus Plan: 2TB | Professional Plan: 3TB

✓  Security: AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and AES 128-bit encryption for data in transit; however, known past security issues

✓  Features: Unique “Paper” and “Showcase” features: basic “Notes” and “Portfolio” app respectively

With its clean, intuitive UI and easy-to-use features, Dropbox has become a well-known, household name in terms of file storage. Dropbox also offers password-protected links, integration for Office 365 and Google Drive, and strong administrative tools. However, while it certainly has its pros, we feel strongly that there are better enterprise-level file-sharing solutions — and here’s why. 

Due to the system’s popularity, it’s always been a popular target for hackers. Even now, it doesn’t offer local encryption. Their customer service certainly leaves more to be desired, as seen from their lack of 24/7 customer support.

And above all that, despite having fewer features than many enterprise-level solutions out there, Dropbox is far from the most affordable on the market, especially with their 5-user minimum. Plus, with their measly 2GB- free storage and paywalls for unlimited storage, it certainly feels like the solution is out to milk their users dry.

Pros

  • Offers file-versioning: Once a file has changed, Drive keeps an older version of the file as backup in case of malicious activity or negligence
  • Fantastic conflict resolution features – automatically creating a “conflicted copy” of a file whenever a potential conflict is detected (i.e. a file is being edited by two people at the same time).
  • Plugins for Microsoft Office that allow for multiple people to edit a file simultaneously without creating conflicts.
  • Provides a “smart sync” feature, allowing for files to be seen on the computer locally, but not stored locally until opened up. This allows a user to access all of his/her Dropbox files without using up disk space

Cons

  • Dropbox for Business is very limited compared to alternatives, which usually include not just file syncing capabilities but an entire office suite.
  •  You cannot edit files without downloading them
  • The Dropbox file compression will degrade the media quality to a noticeable extent when clicking a direct play link
  • Mobile versions face challenges when dealing with big files, rendering the solution less flexible

FileCloud

 

  Pricing: FileCloud Online: $10/user/month (Standard), $15/user/month (Enterprise) || FileCloud Server: $4.20/user/month | FileCloud Server: Contact for Quote

✓  Storage: FileCloud Online: 1TB out-of-the-box, +100GB/user  (Standard), +200GB/user (Enterprise)  || FileCloud Server: Unlimited

✓  Security: FileCloud is compliant with all the most stringent data governance policies, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Encryption at rest and in transit, 256-bit AES encryption, granular file-sharing, password-protected, public and private shares.

✓  Features: From deployment models to unlimited client accounts, branding capabilities and more, FileCloud is filled with incredible enterprise-level features.

Naturally, we’re proud of our own product and firmly believe FileCloud to be one of the most powerful and affordable EFSS solutions on the market. FileCloud offers on-premise, public and a unique hybrid cloud deployment model. This deployment flexibility separates FileCloud from its competitors, and ensures that your team can enjoy the benefits of both on-premise and cloud storage systems — read more on our hybrid infrastructure here.

Our pricing is also one of the most affordable on the market, while offering larger storage plans, better enterprise-level features, and unlimited FREE external client accounts — all great for your wallet and your ROI. Feature-wise, we consider seamless, remote access to your data as the bare minimum that a good file-solution should offer. Collaborative and content management tools, a comprehensive admin panel, plus infinite customization options are all features that ensure not just your team, but also your clients and sysadmins get in on the enhanced EFSS experience.

Last but certainly not least, FileCloud is compliant with most data security governance policies, meaning that you’ll never see your organization’s good name tainted in headlines labelled with “Security Breach” or “Data Leaks”. Plus. it’ll save you tons on the fines and fees that’ll rack up if you go with a less-secure option.

Pros

  • Beautiful, simple, intuitive and responsive user interface that can be accessed via local client or browser.
  • Tons of keyboard shortcuts and quick actions to cut down on time
  • No file limit — massive files can be exchanged with anyone anywhere in the world at enterprise level speeds.
  • Ultimate data governance compliance and security, with DLP functionalities, an extensive admin panel, audit trails, encryption and multi-factor authentication
  • Collaborative tools and integration with tons of common office software
  • Enterprise-level content management capabilities: file-versioning, metadata classification, user policy management and light workflows for the easier management and organization of your team’s hard work.
  • Unlimited free external accounts for clients, vendors, etc.

Cons

  • Setup process can be intimidating without proper training, although there is documentation to mitigate that.
  • Unable to use a protocol different than HTTPs for downloads; this can be problematic for companies that restrict it.
  • The solution does not offer a free plan, although there is a two week free trial and a 10$/year Community Edition Plan.

Box

Cloud Storage Services for Business Use - armix.one

  Pricing: Box Starter: $5/user/month | Box Business: $20/user/month | Box Business Plus: $33/user/month | Box Enterprise: $47/user/month

✓  Storage: Box Starter: 100GB | Box Business: Unlimited | Box Business Plus: Unlimited | Box Enterprise: Unlimited

✓  Security: A regulatory-compliant Zero-Knowledge Provider. Tools to manage user perms and customer-managed encryption keys.

✓  Features: Secure collaborative and project-management tools, as well as rule sets for work-flow automation

While perhaps less of a household name than Dropbox, Box, founded in 2005 and based in California, is also an incredibly strong contender on the EFSS market. With tools that integrate with other services, like Google Docs, Box also goes above and beyond in offering custom branding capabilities and letting users create a professional appearance for their organization.

Plus, Box’s security is nothing to scoff about, being a uniquely zero-knowledge provider and offering tons of options for encryption and user management.

Unfortunately, with their heavy local encryption, Box transfers tend to get slow — something that could impede or even cripple the seamless remote workflows that have become the norm today. Box also does not offer any options for on-premise or self-hosting, nor local storage, and does not perform end-point backups. Plus, while it certainly provides tons of enterprise-level features, it’s also significantly pricier than almost any solution on the market.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of its finer points, for ease of comparison:

Pros:

  • Mobile access
  • Integration with other applications  such as: Microsoft Office, Google, Salesforce, DocuSign etc
  • Ability to add/edit multiple users
  • Editing documents
  • Workflow automation
  • Box “Notes” functionality for project management tasks, such as status updates and meeting notes
  • Custom Branding
  • Global compliance standards, such as ITAR, HIPAA, PCI DSS 3.1, FINRA/SEC 17a-4, FISMA, ISO27001:2013, and ISO 27018

Unfortunately, as mentioned, there are some huge deal-breakers that come with the solution.

Cons:

  • No indication when a file is open by another user, leading to over-saving of each other’s work during collaboration.
  • Box is relatively pricey compared to its competitors
  • Not much documentation and an unfriendly user interface make it hard to get into
  • Box Sync doesn’t work on older Windows OS versions
  • Transfers can be slow due to heavy local encryption

Now that we’ve gone over Box in-depth, let’s go over some alternatives, in case those aforementioned issues are in fact a deal-breaker for your company.


 Google Drive

How to Find Anything in Google Apps - The Ultimate Guide to G ...

  Pricing: Free Plan: Free | Basic Plan: $6/user/month | Business Plan: $12/user/month | Enterprise Plan: $25/user/month

✓  Storage: Free Plan: 15GB | Basic Plan: 30GB | Business & Enterprise Plan: Unlimited, or 1TB / user if less than 5 users

✓  Security: Encryption in transit; no option to encrypt individual documents. Multi-factor authentication.

✓  Features: Google Drive comes with powerful, recognized collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Having quickly risen in popularity over the past couple of years, Google Drive is now a powerful file-sharing solution on the market. A file storage and synchronization program created by Google, it’s best known for its collaborative capabilities via Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which offer real-time collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets and slides respectively. 

The solution’s enterprise plan, GSuite, comes with a similarly clean and intuitive UI, as well as integration with popular enterprise softwares such as Autodesk, Salesforce, and more. Apart from this, Google Drive for Business offers unlimited cloud storage, access from any device, offline file access, includes 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 syncing issues while using Google Drive. Plus, while Google Drive has fairly beefy data security with encryption in-transit and at-rest, human error on part of the developers has led to security issues, such as when Google Photos started sending private videos to strangers

Pros

  • Lovely mobile application and collaborative tools for anywhere, anytime access
  • Has a great free option, making it useful for any small businesses that do not have a lot of funds
  • Readily compatible with many apps.
  • Ease of installation, ease of setup and you don’t need much technical knowledge to use it as an end-user.
  • Gmail integration

Cons

  • The processes of uploading (automatically), deleting, scrolling, and downloading are tedious as they have to be done by checking each file.
  • Interface can quickly become cluttered when large amounts of files are uploaded and edited
  • No virtual drives or mounting to computers as hard drives
  • Security issues galore in the past; they’ve been fixed today, but it’s still certainly concerning.

OneDrive

Microsoft updating OneDrive with better web UI and sharing options ...

  Pricing: Business Plan 1: $5/user/month | Business Plan 1: $10/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/user/month

✓  Storage: All Plans: 1TB – extra storage space can be purchased separately for up to 1TB/$9.99/month

✓  Security: Standard encryption, file-locking, paywalls for SSO/SAML Authentication

✓  Features: Advanced sharing, mobility and security. Heavy integration with Office software.

Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its web version of Office. Naturally, this Microsoft-based solution heavily integrates with Office 365 programs that most teams use, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as Outlook, which is a huge plus. Certain plans even grant access to said software. It also provides encryption at rest and in transit. Overall, it has robust features that make it a strong solution, as expected from Microsoft.

Unfortunately, data privacy issues have surfaced time and time again with large corporations, and OneDrive is no exception. When using this solution, Microsoft can scan your files for “objectionable content”, stating that file security cannot be guaranteed for said content.

Pros

  • Great integration with other Microsoft Office Tools
  • Device synchronization ensures access of files from any device.
  • Cloud storage of data makes it’s easy to access files and documents.
  • Multiple files can be uploaded simultaneously

Cons

  • Data privacy issues and lack of multi-factor / other authentication options
  • Has less base storage and quickly gets pricey past the 1TB storage option
  • User interface is clunky and takes time to get used to
  • Syncing of shared files can produce issues and even get slow

Citrix ShareFile

Localized ShareFile WebUI available | Citrix Blogs

  Pricing: Standard Plan: $55/5 users/month | Advanced Plan: $85/5 users/month | Premium Plan: $135/5 users/month | Virtual Data Room Plan: $375/5 users/month

✓  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. File-versioning features.

Sharefile is Citrix’s enterprise-class cloud storage solution, and they’re well-known in the commercial software and service industry. Notable features of Sharefile include an auditing system that generates activity reports, integration with Single Sign-On, download alerts, and two-factor authentication. This cuts down on the amount of time it would take to print out a document, sign it, and scan it to the cloud.

Unfortunately, despite their generous offer of unlimited storage, they do have a file size limit. The solution itself doesn’t support Linux. Plus, with a standard plan starting at $55, paywalls for features and their enforced 5-user pricing plan, it’s safe to say that Sharefile isn’t the most affordable solution for smaller organizations. Reportedly, Sharefile’s licensing plans are also misleading.

Pros

  • Great plugin support. For instance: the Outlook plug-in makes it easy to share files securely with customers via email.
  • Flexible folder creation and sharing process
  • Easily share large files with clients, vendors and external personnel
  • Allows multiple remote teams to collaborate in real-time with a simple management process.

Cons

  •  Interface is less intuitive compared to other solutions.
  • Not commonly used in all industries, presenting a learning curve to some users.
  • Sorting out your preferences is time-consuming. As a standalone product it suffers from lack of integration with Google and/or Microsoft products.
  • Confusing and varied pricing with many features locked behind paywalls

Conclusion

There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all EFSS option, but we hope that this helps your enterprise, company or organization make a better and informed decision about which EFSS solution is best for you. If you have any questions about our FileCloud solution, we are always happy to answer them — just pop over to our main site and strike up a conversation with any of our live chat specialists!

FileCloud Aurora – All About DRM Capabilities

Introduction

In November 2020, FileCloud released update 20.2 – a complete rehaul of our Sync, Mobile and browser UI and functionalities. We at FileCloud have been working on this for a very, very long time, and so we’re incredibly proud to present to you: FileCloud Aurora.

Today, we’re going to be covering one of the most important security functions that Aurora introduces: DRM Capabilities.

For a comprehensive overview of all of FileCloud Aurora’s new features, please visit our previous blog post Introducing FileCloud Aurora!.

Secure Document Viewer

If the new UI was the biggest change in terms of appearance, FileCloud Aurora’s new Digital Rights Management (DRM) capabilities are unquestionably the most significant change in terms of functionality. 

Your data security has always been FileCloud’s number one priority. We’ve got all the files you’re storing with us safe and sound, but what happens when you need to send out or distribute important documents, such as external contracts, reports, or training materials? Our new DRM solution ensures that nothing you send out gets used in a malicious or abusive manner, even after it’s left your system and entered others. 

Our secure document viewer helps you protect confidential files from unsolicited viewing with FileCloud’s restricted viewing mode. Show only selected parts of the document and hide the rest of it — or choose to reveal sections only as the user scrolls, minimizing the risk of over-the-shoulder compromisation.

For more details, read more about the FileCloud DRM solution here

Screenshot Protection

Utilize the Screenshot Protection feature to prevent recipients from taking screenshots of secure information and documents.

This is an option that can be selected when you create your DRM Document or Document Container, and prevents any recipients from taking screenshots of the document. Not only that, the recipient won’t be able to share screens or screen-record to share the documents either, nullifying any chance of your documents being distributed without your permission or consent.

Document Container 

Easily and securely export multiple documents in an encrypted document container (AES 256 encryption), and share it via FileCloud or third party emails. 

DRM Protection

Support for Multiple File Formats

Protect your Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), PDF, and image (jpeg, png) files, and include multiple types of files in a single encrypted document container! FileCloud’s DRM solution doesn’t discriminate, ensuring all your most regularly used file, folder and document formats can all be easily handled by our containers and viewer. 

Anytime Restriction of Access to Your Files

Remove the risk of accidentally transmitting confidential files and enforce your policy controls even after distribution. You can revoke file access or change view options (screenshot protection, secure view and max account) anytime, via the FileCloud portal.

Thanks for Reading!

We at FileCloud thank you for being a part of our journey to creating the most revolutionary user interface and experience on the market. We’d love to know what you think about these changes. For full information about all these changes, release notes can be found on our website here

We hope that you’re as excited about these new changes as we are. Stay safe, and happy sharing, everyone!

FileCloud Aurora – All About Single-Click Actions

Introduction

In November 2020, FileCloud released update 20.2 – a complete rehaul of our Sync, Mobile and browser UI and functionalities. We at FileCloud have been working on this for a very, very long time, and so we’re incredibly proud to present to you: FileCloud Aurora.

Today, we’re going to be covering one of the most important functionality additions to our new UI: Single-Click Actions.

For a comprehensive overview of all of FileCloud Aurora’s new features, please visit our previous blog post Introducing FileCloud Aurora! Brand New UI and DRM Capabilities!.

What Are Single-Click Actions?

We’re all about helping you and your team save time. FileCloud Aurora brings workflow efficiency to the next level with tons of quality of life updates that help you work fast. One of these is the introduction of single-click, or quick, actions.

What does this mean? Well, you might have noticed that when you hover over any file or folder in your library, a toolbar appears on the item. It might look something like this:

These icons represent all of the most commonly-used actions that you could ever need to take with your files. Hover over each icon to see what they do, or read on for a more in-depth explanation for each one. 

List of  Single-Click Actions

Preview

The first icon, which looks like an eye, is the Preview action. It lets you preview your files, folders and documents. As FileCloud Aurora integrates fully with Microsoft Office and many other file extensions, you’ll be able to open and preview all of your files without actually needing to download them.

Download

The second icon, which looks like a downwards-pointing arrow is the Download action. It lets you download whichever file, folder or document you’re hovering over in one simple, quick click.

Edit

The third icon, which looks like a pencil, is the Edit action. Depending on your file type, you may be able to edit it directly in the browser or open the file in Office Online. Some files, of course, cannot be edited, such as video or audio files.

You may have noticed that at the end of each hover description, there are different keys in square brackets – for instance, [Enter] for the Preview icon. These are keyboard shortcuts, and are covered in our All About Keyboard Shortcuts blog post!

Share

The fourth icon, which looks like three dots connected to each other, is the Share action. Clicking it will open the following window:

You’ll be able to copy the share link of your file, change sharing options, and remove the share from there on.

Direct Link

Next up is Direct Link, which looks like a hyperlink icon. This opens up the following window:

-Where you can copy a direct link to your file, maximizing efficiency when sharing files with your team.

Copy

This is the Copy quick-action, which looks like two squares overlapped over each other. Clicking this will open a window where you can select where to make a copy of the file.

Move

This is the Move quick-action, which looks like an arrow. Clicking this will open a window where you can select where to move the file to.

Delete

Next up is the Delete quick action, which looks like a trash can. This is pretty self-explanatory — clicking this will delete the file in question.

Lock

Last but certainly not least is the Lock option, which looks like a, well, lock icon. This opens up the following window:

That lets you lock a file to indicate that you’re working on it. That way, your team won’t be able to modify the file and override your changes, or vice versa.

Conclusion

Gone are the days of tedious right-clicking and dragging stuff around. Need to copy or download something? Just hit the corresponding button! Need to move something to another folder? Before you start dragging it all over your screen, just hit the single-click action for it and a window will open for you to choose your destination folder. 

It might seem like a subtle change, but when your team is shaving seconds off every file action, it all adds up to save you and your team tons of time. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope that you’re enjoying our FileCloud 20.2 Update: FileCloud Aurora!