Share Files with your Customers Quickly and Easily
As documents continue to grow in size and detail, it has become a challenge to share these documents with your customers and vendors. End users are often frustrated that a file is too large for their email and IT staff is amazed at the amount of growth in Exchange databases related to all of these large files. Without a centralized system provided by the organization, many end users turn to DropBox, Microsoft OneDrive or other free services to share these documents which opens up the organization to the risk of data loss.
SWC recently investigated options to solve this problem and found two systems that make sharing files with customers quickly and easy: Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Citrix ShareFile.
Microsoft OneDrive for Business
OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud document storage service. OneDrive for Business takes all of the features of OneDrive for personal use or the old SkyDrive and centralizes it for your organization. With OneDrive for Business you can upload and share all of your documents to an easy to use web interface.
As with all Microsoft cloud products, one of the benefits of OneDrive is that it integrates with the Microsoft Live ID system. If you are sending documents to a customer or vendor then you don’t need to create an account for them or setup a username and password. Instead, just share the documents to their email address and they can use their Live ID to access them. If you prefer to send a file that doesn’t require a log in, you can do that as well—making it easy to send files that anyone can see. As an added bonus, if your OneDrive includes Office Web Apps, your customers can view and edit the file directly in their browser instead of having to download it.
OneDrive for Business also allows you to share out a folder so you can receive files form a customer or vendor.
Are you looking for more security auditing or an on-premises data storage option? Citrix ShareFile may be the solution for you. Just like with OneDrive for Business, ShareFile allows you to share out documents and folders with your customers and vendors, and it also has a web application component to easily view files in any browser. Unlike OneDrive, ShareFile also includes an option to send an upload link to your customers to easily upload their documents. With an intuitive web interface and file management system, ShareFile is one of the easiest tools we have found for sharing documents.
ShareFile’s added benefit lies in its security features. ShareFile reporting allows you to report on file access by either a specific user or by a specific file/folder, so you can see exactly who accessed the files and when they were accessed. ShareFile also allows you to set user permissions to make sure that access to sensitive information is restricted. If you have sensitive data that you are concerned about storing in the cloud, ShareFile also has connectors that allow you to use its interface but store the data in an on-premises server. This lets you control and store the data locally while maintaining the easy-to-use ShareFile interface for your end users and customers.
Do you need help deciding upon and deploying the right file sharing solution? Contact SWC to learn more.
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If you enjoyed reading this post from Aaron, please check out a few of his past posts:
Creating an Azure Environment On-Premises with Windows Azure Pack
Preparing for Server 2003 End of Life by Migrating to Microsoft Azure
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How to Move a Hyper-V Virtual Machine into Microsoft Azure Using System Center
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Five Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Cloud Service