Understanding collaboration using Storage Made Easy

There are many ways which you can use the Storage Made Easy Organization Cloud Platform to collaborate with colleagues and business partners. We'll have a look at some of the ways this can be done and provides some help and tips so that you can pick the best mechanism to collaborate.

2 Sharing Files

Email Sharing (Individual files):

When you share a file via email from the web file managers or the windows tooling then the user will be notified that a file is shared with him in an email from Storage Made Easy. To access this file the user has to login to Storage Made Easy so if he does not have an account he will need to create a free account. The reason for this is that this mechanism of sharing lets you assign an expiry time for the link so you can, for example, set the link to expire in two days.

If you are sharing files via our mobile clients then the files are shared via an email link that is created directly on the device and sent via the device's email.

**Note** The email branding and email account can be changed to your own organization if you have a Storage Made Easy Organization account.

Email sharing (multiple files)

You can use the cloud clipboard from the Rich File Manager to add files that you want to share. Once you have added all the files you want to share, you can again set expiry links and the email that is sent is done using the Storage Made Easy branding and the recipient needs to login to Storage Made Easy or create a free account to access the files.

The Cloud Clipboard can also be used from the mobile clients and the list of files are shared with links directly from the email client of the device.

**Note** As above the email branding and email account can be changed to your own organization if you have a Storage Made Easy Organization account.

Sharing via URL

You can get a Storage Made Easy URL or TinyURL for any file and you can send this to a anyone via email or use in a blog etc. They will not require a Storage Made Easy account to access the file. This URL does not expire and will only be unusable if you change any details of the file otherwise it will always be able to be used to download the file.

This options is available from the Web, Windows, Mac and also the mobile clients.

Public Files

You can set a file to be public from the web, windows tools or from the mobile clients. Once a file is made public it is accessible from your public files page which you can find on your sidebar when you login to Storage Made Easy. You can share the link to your public files page and users do not need to be logged in to access it. All files shared on this page are indexable by search engines and available for anyone to download. You can of course choose to encrypt files publicly shared which means that anyone wishing to download the file will need to have been given a password as they will be taken to a password page before the can download the file.

Collaboration Groups

You can setup business Collaboration groups as a mechanism to share files (see Business Groups Section). Once you have setup a group and invited users, any files that you share with the group will automatically generate an email with the file link to all other users in the Group. Other users can also be  collaborators  and can share files with the group in this way.  This is a great way to manage partners for example in which you want them to have the latest updated content and white papers without having to directly email each one.

Mixing and Matching the above way to share files with Encryption

All of the above options can be mixed with file encryption, even when making file public. You could for example, choose to make 1o files public, all of which are encrypted and no-one would be able to download them without the password key that you provide. The same approach works for files shared over email, or via URL or even with collaboration group members.

For example we have a user who wanted to figure out the best way of having his users access file without having to login but without making the file available to any users who came across them. To this end he uploaded his files to Amazon S3 and encrypted them on upload. He shared the public url of the page with his  user-base but gave them the key to access the files.

One last note is that we would ask you to please review our Terms of Use before sharing files. Our platform cannot be used for sharing copyrighted content, such as movies, Mp3’s or e-books.

3 Sharing Files: Encryption

Files can only be encrypted using the web or Windows Dashboard clients. The Web, Windows tools, Mac and Mobile tools will recognise an encrypted file and ask you for a password if you try and access it.

4 Organization Folders

Organization folders are analogous to public folders for an Organization and when created are shared with all users of the Organization Cloud. They are a great way to share files and information within an Organization. Commonly used folder names can be things such as 'Marketing', 'Human Resources', Projects' etc.

5 Organization Folders: Creating

Organization Admins can choose to create Organization folders by checking   the “is Organization folder” checkbox. A special folder is created that is denoted by a briefcase. In the example above we have created an Organization folder called 'Marketing' that is stored on Amazon S3.

When an Organization folder is created all members of the Organization Cloud automatically view this folder, and any content, in their file tree when they login. It is a great way to keep users updated on company information.

Organization users can also upload to these folders.

6 Organization Folders: Protecting

You can assign permissions on Organization Folders as to which users have permission to view, access or upload to the Organization Folders. This can be accessed by clicking on the“Org Folders” from the sidebar when logged in via the web.

Currently the OS or mobile tooling does not support Organization Folders as this is a relatively new feature, but this will make it's way into all of the clients before the end of 2010.

7 Organization Folders: Filebox

Each Organization folder also has a FileBox (see the FileBox section for more information on FileBox) in which Organization Folders can be assigned a special email address and emails and content can be sent directly to the Organization Folder from the email address that is registered with the user from SME.  

The administrator of the Organization Cloud needs to assign the FileBox unique names and distribute them to users.

8 FileBox: Sharing email attachments.

Organizations have different challenges. Having emails in inboxes appertaining to Marketing, or Hunan Resources, or clients is fine, but it’s easy for this to be ‘lost’ in some users inbox and not available to the whole department.  

FileBox changes this because it allocates a unique email to each user and also to Organization Folders. Each user of the Organization Cloud can send or CC an email to either personal or the public Organizational folder and the email will be stored as a text along with any attachments so that it is instantly stored in the correct place and available to all Organization users.

9 FileBox: Working with FileBox

The way FileBox works for users is as follows:

1. Users have an extra setting in their My Account→ Options page which appertains to Filebox

2. The user is given the option of assigning a keyword to the filebox@StorageMadeEasy.com email address so that the end email address become filebox.<keyword>@storagemadeeasy.com.

3. This is your unique address to send or forward an email. All emails that are received to this address that are sent from your registered Storage Made Easy email address will be added to a folder called “My Filebox”

4. You can choose whether just to store emails or emails and attachments.

5. Within the Filebox folder the subject line of the email will become a folder name and within this will be stored the email, as a text file, and any attachments if this is the configuration you chose.
The way FileBox works for and Organisaiton:

Organization Admins get some extra features from the ‘Org Folders’ sidebar options. Here Admins can also choose the keywords for the Organization Folders they have created so that email information and attachments can be sent directly to this folder. As with the Individual use, the subject line becomes the folder name.  

**Note** You must send the emails from the email address registered with your Organization Cloud for the emails to be picked up**

**Note** FileBox emails are processed every 5 minutes so it may take 5 to 10 minutes for the email to appear in your FileBox

10 Business Groups

Business Groups are one of the collaboration of Storage Made Easy. The basic premise is that you can create a Group and invite users to it. This is very easy to do as outlined below. Any file content that you then share with the Group will be shared with all members of the group. Group members will receive an automated email message letting them know that a new file has been shared with them.

Members can also receive Twitter messages when a file is shared with them if they have chosen to enter their Twitter details in their Storage Made Easy user preferences. You can also choose to allow other users to share files with your business group, or decide whether to let group members be visible to each other (These last two options are only available when setting up business groups using the rich File Manager from the web).

So what are groups useful for? Well we polled some of our users to see what they were using them for and we found some interesting uses. One of our users is using Groups as a way to keep his sales partners updated with corporate product collateral and technical documentation. He has formed what he calls a content sharing network. Another of our users is in a band and after doing some live recording he tweaks the results in Garage Band and shares them with his bandmates.

The key to business groups is that they let you share content with external parties, or let them share content with you and you can create and manage the either from the web, Windows Cloud Dashboard, or directly from your mobile client.

11 Business Groups: Rich FIle Manager

The Rich File Manager is one of two file managers available from the web. We call it the RIch FIle Manager because it has slightly more functionality than the Lite File Manager and due to the way it works takes a little longer to load. It also uses JavaScript/Ajax and not all Organizations support this. In the event that your Organization does not support the use of JavaScript you can use Windows Cloud Dashboard to create Groups (or any mobile client) and the Lite File Manager to access them.

To setup a Business Group navigate to the Groups tab and click the icon that lets you setup a group (the icons have tooltips if you hover). Once the groups is added you can choose to add members. Members will receive an email in which they need to confirm they wish to join and setup an account that enables them to access or share content. During the process you can also decide whether members see each other and whether they are also able to upload content.

12 Business Groups: Lite File Manager

As outlined above the Lite File Manager enables you to get access to your Business Groups content and use the Menu option 'Business Groups Admin' to manage and create groups.

Remember that you can also do this direct from your phone using our mobile clients.

13 Notifications

It is possible to use Business Groups to create notifications for internal Organization users (as well as for external users of a business Group). We will outline how this can be done.

14 Setting up Notifications

To create notifications on any of these 3 things for files:

- Name
- Description
- File extension

From the Rich File Manager or the web, create a business group with all the members that you want to receive notifications. The members will receive an email and need to accept being a member of the business group.

Once this is done:

1. Navigate to whatever folder you want to use for notifications on the Rich File Manager
2. Go to the business groups tab that you just created and click on it
3. Click 'Auto Rule'
4. Decide what the text is and the type of things you want to look for in a file
5. Decide whether this is only for the current folder outlined or also sub folders
6. Click' Add Rule'

Now whenever files of the type you specified get added to a folder the group members will automatically receive an email.

15 Document Collaboration

Collaboration on revisions of different documents is currently in beta and will be released soon.

© 2007–2010 TheSMESpace

© 2007–2010 TheSMESpace