In any organization, it’s necessary to be able to share files easily. When you take your team out of the office, it becomes a little more complicated than setting up a shared drive on your network. Not only do you have to consider how to grant access to users outside of the office, but also how to get your team up to speed on whatever tool you choose to use. If you have a tech-savvy team, FTP may be an option, but if even one member of your team (or worse, a client) isn’t comfortable using it, you may need to look for something easier to get to grips with.
Looking at Easier Options
There are a number of web applications that essentially provide an online space to share large files. The cost from such services range from free (up to a certain amount of storage) to being on par with the cost of setting up an intranet. But most of them make it significantly easier to share files with team members who may never set foot inside your office. Giovanna Dimperio works at Shine Advertising Co., which uses Dropbox to share files. “It’s great since we…can’t access files on an internal server,” says Dimperio. “We’re often sharing Keynote files, Photoshop files, large spreadsheets and video files for advertisements we are working on.”
Setting up an account on a web application such as Dropbox can take a matter of seconds, followed only by dragging and dropping your files into a folder. It’s significantly faster to use, with relatively few new steps for a less tech-savvy team member to learn.
Making Your Technology Easier to Manage
Mike Walker’s company, WalkerTek relies on Global Folders to share files both internally and with clients. “We used to set up FTP sites for clients so they could upload or download large files, but this is easier for them to use and for us to give them access to. We don’t need our server admin to set up FTP access, and we don’t have to explain to clients how to use it. We looked at Box.net, Dropbox and a couple of other solutions, but Global Folders had the features we needed, which was mainly allowing clients to have access to their own folders, without seeing the other information on the server. The cost for a year of Global Folders is less than our hourly rate for a server administrator, so freeing up his time, plus making it accessible to everyone else is a great saving,” notes Walker.
Walker’s company has reduced its dependency on an individual systems administrator; Global Folders manages the technical aspects while letting WalkerTek focus on working with clients.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the technology and tools that we can use to facilitate remote working you should come to our Net:Work conference, coming to San Francisco in December 9.
What tools do you use for sharing files with remote workers?
Image by Flickr user Jared and Corin
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