Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

White-label SaaS – Own your Brand

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! 

Your Essential Checklist for Remote Work Communication

Due to global events, remote work has become more common than going to the office, and some businesses are adapting better than others. Whether your organization is enjoying the new norm or struggling to find its footing, our guide on remote work communication is for you.

One of the most important and challenging parts of remote work is communication. Our guide covers everything you need to set up and implement a successful remote work communication infrastructure. You can read up with the free guide here, but if you’re crunched on time, here is a checklist from the guide to help you quickly and easily improve or create your remote work communication framework.

Once you have answered the questions in our checklist, you will be better equipped to handle the challenges of communicating with a remote team.

We recommend sitting down with your laptop or a sheet of paper and writing down your answers to the below questions. Your answers to these questions will create a complete remote work communication framework for you and your team so you can either start off on the right foot or optimize your pre-existing set-up.

Asynchronous Communication

  • What modes of async communication are you planning on using? (Email, Wiki, Discussion Forum, Task Management)
  • What tool or app are you using for each mode?
  • Is it clear to your team members which app to use for what modes and topics? Do you have a handbook, or do you need to create one to make this clear?

Synchronous Communication

  • How much face-to-face time do you have scheduled for your team?
  • Will you do in-person company retreats? If so, how many times per year?
  • What tool or apps are you using for chat, audio and video calling, note taking, and task tracking?
  • What is your approximate public vs. private message ratio in your chat app? Is it working well, or do you need to adjust?
  • What is your current video to voice call ratio? Is it working well, or do you need to adjust?
  • Have you provided clear guidelines to team members about chat and video/voice calling?

Other Considerations

  • What are your core working hours (hours each workday when everyone is required to be online and available)?
  • Are all of your team members meeting or exceeding expectations when it comes to communication and collaboration? Or do you need to adjust with training or hiring?
  • Do you have a clear set of written communication policies available to your team?

Now that you’ve answered the checklist questions, you should have a clearer idea of how to create or improve your set up for remote work communication.

If you want to learn more, you can read up on the free guide here.

Five Amazing Client Collaboration Apps for Accountants

Onboarding/ working with new accounting clients involves a fair amount of paperwork, organization, and reliable communication. Additionally, meeting with clients during a pandemic can be challenging. However, there are new arising platforms that ensure reliable communication between accountants and clients. Further, these new arising platforms help automate workflow between firms and clients. So, what and who are the latest collaboration apps that are assisting accountants? In this blog post, we list the five top collaboration apps for accountants. 

Symphony

Symphony is a team collaboration tool made for the finance industry. Symphony offers:

  • Data encryption
  • Compliance and certifications
  • Bots and apps
  • Automated trade flows
  • Messaging, file sharing, and conferencing 

Pros

The great thing about Symphony is that it works great with people inside and outside your company. The platform offers “rooms,” which allows accountants to stay connected with other team members and clients in an online workspace. Also, Symphony offers everything you need to hold large or small meetings securely over the internet. 

Finally, Symphony offers compliance and certifications. Through their compliance feature, Symphony enables data loss prevention, user entitlements, room monitoring, and automatic content archiving. In terms of their certification feature, independent security and privacy experts regularly conduct audits to certify their safeguards.

Cons

Based on several review sites, users have commonly noted the needed improvement of connecting to other tools. Additionally, some users complain that the product is difficult to navigate through. For those looking for a collaboration app that is easier to use, Symphony may not be the wisest choice; however, other tools deliver simplicity without harming the communication and collaboration between accountants and clients- like AirSend. 

AirSend

AirSend is an excellent tool for collaboration between accountants and clients. With AirSend, accountants can: 

  • Keep everyone in the loop
  • Share and organize everything
  • Track your tasks
  • Find messages and files fast
  • Create tax and audit notebooks
  • Works with email
  • Office 365 Integration
  • Audio and video calling

Pros

The highlight of AirSend is that it works with email. Working with email means that clients do not need to create an AirSend account. Instead, they can send emails to their accountant’s AirSend email address, and the messages will magically appear in the AirSend channel. 

To make matters better, AirSend seamlessly integrates with Office 365. Having this integration makes editing and uploading documents easier. Further, anything you edit will be saved to the original file uploaded to AirSend — no more deleting or uploading the same file.

Cons

Currently, AirSend does not carry all the features accountants need. For instance, auditing capabilities and budget processing through bots. However, those who are not accustomed to bots will be sufficient auditing through AirSend. 

Wire

Wire is a modern-day collaboration tool that meets advanced security and user experience, a massive plus for accountants. Similar to AirSend and Symphony, Wire focuses on business-to-client and team-to-team communication. Wire features: 

  • Guest room access
  • Personal and group chats
  • Conference calls
  • Availability status
  • Mentions
  • Integrations

Pros

Through integrated apps, Wire allows accountants to securely add calendars, financial information, development progress, corporate news, or CRM information to conversations. As a finance manager, you want to ensure a positive return on investment and optimal expenditure on tools to make the business more efficient.

Through recent reviews, finance teams and accountants who use Wire indicate that the tool is great for checking in on

  • The daily business 
  • Budget processing 
  • Audits 
  • Financial statements

Cons

One of the few downsides to Wire is that they do not carry built-in task management. The platform is also limited in what financial teams can use with customers. Finally, according to several use cases, calls within Wire frequently drop. 

Slack

Slack is a radically simplified workflow collaboration app for accountants. As Slack preaches, “Unlike email, which is based on individual inboxes, Slack consolidates information and project history into channels,” (Slack financial service landing page). By creating a simplified environment, financial teams and accountants can work seamlessly through third-party integrations.  Slack offers:

  • Over 500+ Integrations
  • Channel search history
  • Slack Connect (Check out our blog to learn more about Slack Connect)
  • Voice and video calls
  • File sharing
  • Bots
  • Workflow builder

Pros

The biggest highlight of Slack is its integration capabilities. Accountants can integrate with practically thousands of apps. Integration makes working with clients and other team members much, much easier. Additionally, Slack bots help with your workflow needs — how cool is it to have an AI bot perform tasks at your every beck and call? 

The other big positive to Slack is its enterprise-grade security and compliance. Accountants and clients won’t have to worry about their financial information being compromised. 

Cons

Slack was designed originally as a communication tool. The negative, which is also a positive, is its use of integrations. Not many clients or accountants like the use of integrations- usually due to the lack of security in some integrated apps and the amount of app switching that happens within Slack. As noted from a study, switching between apps can cost up to 40% of someone’s time wasted. However, if you do not have a problem with integrations and instead favor them, Slack is an excellent choice to conduct your business. 

GSuite

GSuite is a fabulous collaboration tool. It is very similar to Office 365, but for Google users. In GSuite, accountants and clients can connect via: 

  • Email
  • Hangouts
  • Direct messaging through email
  • Direct meetings through email
  • Docs
  • Slides
  • Sheets
  • Drive
  • Keep Notes
  • Calendar

Pros

GSuite is an excellent collaboration tool for those who like to stay connected and quickly jump into any app related to Google. The platform is extremely user friendly, convenient, and efficient. The beauty behind GSuite is that communication works through email- though there are alternatives that Google offers for those who do not want to communicate with email, such as Hangouts. 

The more prominent feature of GSuite is that it’s perfect for multitasking. Accountants and clients can simultaneously edit documents together. Managing multiple email accounts is also great, especially when emails are attached to Google’s shared features- Drive, Docs, and Sheets.

Cons

GSuite is expensive. Not every organization is able to keep up with the inflated prices that Google offers, and therefore have to keep with a basic plan, which is quite lackluster when it comes to features. Additionally, some users fear that Google will shut down integrations that are often used.

Summary

Comprised in this blog post are our favorite collaboration apps for accountants. Each app has its pros and cons. However, there is no one-size-fit all when choosing the right app — make sure that you’re taking care to choose the platform that best fits your client’s accounting needs!

FileCloud 20.1 Updates & End-Point Backup

FileCloud 20.1 Updates, End-point Backup and More!

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FileCloud 20.1 Update

With Microsoft Office tag support, expanded notification configuration and much more, our 20.1 update is brimming with quality of life features! Read on for a little more detail about what we’ve done to take your file-sharing experience to the next level.

  • More Ways to Control and Configure Notifications – Notifications — can’t live without them, but they sure can get annoying when they’re pinging you about stuff that doesn’t matter. So we made configuring everything about them including the type of notifications per user and per folder possible. Gone are the days of email clutter!
  • Built-In Microsoft Office Tag Support – FileCloud now allows users to import Office tags into FileCloud as well as to seamlessly search by them. With most organizations using Microsoft Office for daily professional and personal needs, FileCloud has always heavily prioritized Office integrations — and this update is no exception. Users can now even set up Content Classification Engine (CCE) and Data Leak Protection (DLP) rules based on Office tags. Check out our support documentation here.
  • Automatic Team Folder Permission Updates – New team folder permission updates are now applied during folder-syncing operations, ensuring that no one is able to access secure data at any point of the syncing process. Read up on how to enable this here.
  • SMS Integration & Gateways – FileCloud now seamlessly integrates with custom SMS gateways to enhance your security and convenience. Receive verifications and authentication from your custom SMS gateways to your personal mobile devices!
  • Integration with Multiple Identity Providers (IdP – )FileCloud now integrates with multiple identity providers to support large enterprises who authenticate and authorize multiple IdPs.
    Learn More →

AirSend

The Importance Of FileCloud Endpoint Backup

Seeing a system error and wondering if your data got lost or compromised, is terrifying. Realizing that your data is gone, irretrievable and you just lost hours and hours of tedious work is devastating. We know the feeling all too well and that is why we made sure you will never go through that rollercoaster of emotions!

You can configure endpoint backup settings for all users or specific users, and view all users’ backed up files from your FileCloud account. You can enable this from the server-side to allow “end” users to “backup” all their important files from different devices using FileCloud Sync (Windows/macOS) and mobile applications. All files automatically go to “My Files/Backups,” creating a new folder for each device.

Learn More →

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FileCloud Tips: Microsoft Office365 Preview

FileCloud now supports Microsoft Office365 Preview and you can easily enable this from your FileCloud Admin Portal settings to allow users to see MS Office documents the way they are intended to be seen.
ServerSync

Learn More →


AirSend

AirSend’s Email to Channel

Send messages via email directly to Airsend channels without having to switch windows! You can now choose to message your client directly via our desktop apps, reply from your email with your unique channel email address, or respond via email to a channel notification. Whether you’re using Airsend to communicate with your team, clients or acquaintances, your convenience is always our priority.

 

Top 5 Box Alternatives for Business File Sharing in 2020

Looking for alternatives to Box? With the recent push to remote work, many organizations are looking for a Cloud Content Collaboration software to help with the interface, file sharing, file support, and file Audit. What’s important is finding out what software is right for you. We have a list of Cloud Content Collaboration tools that are best suited for your needs if you are looking for an alternative to Box.

Before jumping on to the list of the best alternatives, let us breakdown and see what box offers and compare the features with others

Box

Box is a cloud content management solution that enables enterprises to transform how they operate digitally; enabling a secure, digital workplace that drives employee productivity and team collaboration from anywhere, while streamlining collaborative business processes and driving intelligence across the extended enterprise.

The system places a strong emphasis on security, especially with collaboration and workflow. For instance, a user or administrator can protect their shared links via passwords set with an expiration date. Or, they can view the times and frequencies of when specific content is viewed or edited. Box also allows users to share content outside of the company (i.e. clients or other partners), no matter what device they use. It also allows for 10GB of free storage.

  • 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

 

Box Sync 4.0.8004 Download for Windows / Screenshots / FileHorse.com

Pros

  • Sync allows users to sync folders/files from Box Cloud to your finder so it feels like your just working from finder but it’s being backed up the cloud! BoxSync when used in conjunction with a box account does a great job of doing automatic backups on the cloud, that also help in access from different computers/collaborators simple.
  • Box is a great way to securely store and share files in the cloud. The granular permission settings within each folder allow the administrator to help regulate privileges from editing to downloading, and reading which is a great tool when looking to share with multiple parties at different levels.
  • Box is easy to set up and uses with decent functionality for the initial version
  • MetaSearch on Enterprise allows granular searching. Every time someone has ever used a single word is indexed.
  • Security focuses on compliance, encryption, enterprise-grade management.

Cons

  •  There’s no indication when a file is open by another user. This has led to multiple users editing a document, and those documents don’t merge well or at all, leaving a red exclamation point indicating there’s an issue or an alternate file.
  • When compared to its competitors (Google Drive/OneDrive), Box does look a bit unappealing owing to its price tag.
  • For new users, it can be a bit difficult getting started with Box
  • Box sync doesn’t work on older Windows OS versions
  •  The user interface is not the best for Box. It’s not as user friendly as some of the other software

Now that we have covered some pros and cons on Box let’s go through some of the other file-sharing software available.

Dropbox

Dropbox is simple. It’s just a folder—a magical folder that syncs everything you put in it up to the cloud. Before Dropbox, file sharing and sync were geeky and confusing, so it’s no wonder that it quickly became the default cloud-storage app after it launched in 2007. While it’s far from the only way to sync your files, the hidden features put Dropbox a step ahead of the rest.  Dropbox has provided the opportunity for employees in the organization to manage and share files locally and remotely without the need for carrying thumb drives from workstation to workstation. Not only has this feature enabled flexibility and efficiency in the workspace but also improving the standard of work, saving time and energy as compared to other file management solution. While the sharing of information is critical Dropbox for Business allows the administrators to issue special permissions for users to access links and files. Administrators can further perform other security tasks such as the setting of expiration dates for every information that has been shared with the Cloud. These types of security measures are available to avoid a breach of information on Dropbox for Business.

 

The new dropbox.com—files and team activity, all in one place ...

Pros

  • File Versioning – Once a file has changed still it keeps an older version of the file and can be accessed as well which is great and is kind of a backup on its own.
  • Dropbox has 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).
  • Dropbox also has plugins for Microsoft Office that allow for multiple people to edit a file simultaneously without creating conflicts.
  • Dropbox 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. Both Google’s G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 cost comparable or less, and includes not just file syncing capabilities but an entire office suite.
  •   You cannot edit files without downloading them. It would be great to see this feature added in the future.
  • The Dropbox file compression will degrade the media quality to a noticeable extent when clicking a direct play link.
  • Mobile version faces challenges when dealing with big files hence not as flexible as the desktop version Syncing folders from desktop

 Google Drive

Google Drive is simply a cloud-based storage option that gives you the ability to keep your photos, emails, and other files on their server.

But having extra storage is just the beginning.

Google Drive also comes with a suite of office tools rivaling the heavyweights from Microsoft Office, including:

  • Docs, Google’s word processor comparable to Microsoft Word
  • Sheets, Google’s version of Excel
  • Slides, the Google answer to PowerPoint

You can even share these documents and make edits in real-time so collaborating with your team has never been easier.

How to Use Google Drive | Tips, Tricks, and Advice | Digital Trends

Pros

  • With mobile application and website access, You can access your files anywhere you have internet.
  • It is free, which makes it a great asset to any small business that does not have a lot of funds to spend on IT.
  • Readily compatible with many apps. All your data stored in one place. With your Google account, all the stored data can be accessed at any time.
  • Ease of installation, ease of setup and you don’t need the knowledge to use it as an end-user.

Cons

  • The processes of uploading (automatically), deleting, scrolling, and downloading are tedious as they have to be done by checking each file.
  •  Sometimes the interface could become a bit cluttered with the files that were uploaded and it was difficult to tell which ones were most recently shared/ uploaded without sifting through and organizing them myself, however, this is probably more of an aesthetic issue.
  • There isn’t an offline option to work on a document saved to Google Drive.
  • No mounting to your computer to use as a hard drive

One Drive

Microsoft OneDrive supports a specific file-syncing technology called block-level copying, where files are broken into smaller packages. When you make a change to a file, only the packages that house those changes are re-uploaded to the cloud—instead of the entire file. The result is data transfers that take far less time. Microsoft OneDrive’s backup options are more limited, only allowing for photo and video backup. But on the plus side, you get more control over your photo backup settings, including organization options for new photo uploads and the ability to select a file type for HEIC photos.

 

Microsoft OneDrive - Screenshots

Pros

  • It interfaces with the Microsoft suite well, which is good if you’re already engaged with much of the other software applications. Being able to access anywhere with the shortcut is very useful.
  • Great with device synchronization which ensures access of files from any device. Integration is more reliable and effective. Cloud storage of data makes it’s easy to access files and documents.
  • Multiple files can be uploaded simultaneously. If we add the Active X tool, you can upload elements unlimitedly.
  • OneDrive is far easier to set up than using a flash drive. The reason why is because all you need to set it up is a Microsoft account and you’re good to go!

Cons

  • Private vault doesn’t have great 2FA options. You’ll need to get an authenticator app code, as opposed to just using something like Windows Hello
  • More difficult to upgrade storage once you get past 1TB
  • It has less storage on a free plan compared to drive.
  • User Interface is clunky and takes time to get used to
  • Synchronization of shared files needs work.

Citrix Sharefile

The latest version of ShareFile has updated workflow options allowing you to send documents out for signatures, feedback, and approvals. There’s integration with Microsoft Outlook, which lets you push document attachments directly from Outlook to ShareFile, sharing those documents securely with others. There are new desktop integrations, similar to those you’ll find in Dropbox, which let you do drop a file into a folder on your Mac and have it synchronize with ShareFile so it’s available on all your device. While it still lacks the kind of refined group management tools we see in other modern file-sharing application, the service’s Distribution Groups are a move in the right direction.

ShareFile Dashboard

Pros

  • Great plugin support, such as the Outlook plug-in makes provision for secure file-sharing with customers as well as secure emails very easily.
  • Flexible folder creation and sharing.
  • Easy to share and request for large size files to personnel inside and outside the organization
  •  Ability to integrate with existing Office 365 Deployment for ease of use. It allows multiple remote teams to collaborate in real-time with a simple management process.

Cons

  •  Interface not always intuitive compared to other solutions.
  • Not commonly used in all industries, presenting a learning curve to some users.
  •  Sorting out your preferences, in the beginning, is time-consuming. As a standalone product it suffers from not being that well interconnected to Google and/or Microsoft products.
  • Sharefile subscriptions come with very different pricing options with varied features. So, if you go with a basic plan you would only get basic features like storage and sharing. Other plans are a little bit costly and include features like Office 365 co-editing, Gmail and Outlook plugins, encryptions, and electronic signatures.

FileCloud

FileCloud, by Codelathe, is an on-premise as well as a cloud-based file sharing and sync solution offering a much secure environment for sharing and storage with unlimited client accounts allowing for a much greater ROI (return on investment) compared to solutions such as Box and Dropbox. The client base spans globally with over 3000+ enterprises.

FileCloud has been focusing on security, data leak prevention, content classification, data governance, and retention for some time with an intuitive and easy to use interface and advanced administration controls. Here are some features that FileCloud provides:

  • Access files from anywhere for uninterrupted work on the go. You just need an internet connection to access data in real-time
  • Remote file sharing without VPN or FTP
  • A collaborative workspace ensures that multiple teams working on the same project can collaborate seamlessly
  • FileCloud ServerLink provides geographically-distributed multi-site enterprise file sharing solution
  • Hybrid storage for fast, low-latency access via LAN and anywhere access from the cloud
  • Security and encryption for protection against data breaches
  • Regulations and Compliance for HIPAA, FINRA, EU-GDPR, FIPS-140 2
  • Unlimited file versioning
  • Free unlimited client accounts
  • A storage agnostic solution which can be deployed across any scale-out NAS or an object-based storage system

FileCloud has two plans FileCloud server (self-hosted/on-premise) and FileCloud online.

Plans start at $5,000/ year for 100 users and go up to $18,000 for the enterprise version. Dropbox’s comparable Dropbox business advanced plan costs $24,000/ year for 100 users.

Pros

  • FileCloud allows users to quickly able to upload and share with a customized link and easy to organize. Setting the restrictions is fairly easy as well and notifications of who accessed what is a good confirmation that the intended party received the files.
  • The FileCloud user interface is simpler and completely web-based for full functionality, which is a nice change from the most popular cloud-based file-sharing tools. Drag and drop to copy, click to share, the URL for a file can be easily copied and transferred to emails / messages by any user who understands the “paste” function.
  • The GUI is simple to use and massive files can be exchanged with anyone anywhere in the world. Speeds for uploading and downloading are pretty good and there have been no vendor issues when transferring files of 100 + MB to GB.
  • With FileCloud you can share and store commercial data and at the same time offer a backup and guarantee of access through mobile devices. Its interface is very minimalist and you can access its options with a few clicks. There are various ways in which you can access the files of the company or organization in which you work, without compromising security.

Cons

  • The setup process can be a bit intimidating due to its numerous features, but there are plenty of resources and a wiki to help with this.
  • Inability to use a protocol different than HTTPs for the downloads, as some companies can restrict it. Having the possibility of using sFTP would bring a huge plus in the flexibility of the tool.
  • It’s not a free service.