Private Content Collaboration

How can you set up private content collaboration without a cloud solution?
How can you build a cloud-like content collaboration solution with your own file servers?

Content Collaboration in a Nutshell

Today's employees, including those who work from the office or home, want easy and mobile access to information that is available to them, from the devices of their choice. Content collaboration means that employees can access, share, sync, and collaborate on files from any device, including cell phones, laptops, and desktops.

Content collaboration solutions on the market

The most common content collaboration solutions on the market include Microsoft SharePoint, Citrix ShareFile and Box for the enterprise market segment. For small and medium businesses, other options include Dropbox, Egnyte, and several other file sync and share solutions.

However, these solutions are all in the public cloud market, meaning enterprises must upload or download content from these publicly hosted services to comply with content collaboration.

These solutions are not private because any company using the service has data hosted by these services.

Why do you need a private content collaboration solution?

Private content collaboration is not new. It may not have been called Private Content Collaboration, but organizations around the world all use Windows Active Directory and Windows File Server at some point to collaborate with their internal employees. Some may have successfully migrated to Microsoft SharePoint, but the majority of midsize companies and corporations still use an on-premises Windows IT infrastructure for private collaboration.

It is very common for organizations to both use internal Windows File Server for private collaboration and simultaneously use external services such as Box, Citrix ShareFile or SharePoint for external content collaboration. For some organizations, allowing multiple services to coexist is easy, and managing multiple data stores is relatively straightforward. However, many organizations have had to use some form of human effort or cumbersome business rules to combine disparate data repositories into one cohesive data source.

Have you ever wanted to combine internal private collaboration and external content collaboration into one solution?

A use case for private content collaboration

A technical publisher specializes in the documentation of sophisticated machinery, including submarines, satellite communications, and aircraft. For existing customers, very tight integration has already been established between the companies so that all document transfer is done over the intranet (site-to-site VPN) and controlled by Windows Active Directory. However, for the first handshake from potential customers, receiving data initially in a secure manner was not easy. They needed a solution that could receive large amounts of data without using a third-party hosting site.  

Is it easy to set up a private content collaboration solution?

If you already have Windows Active Directory and Windows File Server, setting up a private content collaboration solution is quite easy. All you need is file server mobilization software that can leverage your existing identity service (Active Directory) and data store (Windows File Server) to create a cloud-like solution with features like file access, sync and share directly on your existing Windows infrastructure. As shown below, the file server mobilization software (all-in-one server or a server farm) sits between the outward-facing firewall and the inward-facing firewall. The software adds remote access, file sharing, file synchronization, and offline editing capabilities to the internal file servers and the Windows infrastructure IT.

Triofox - Enterprise architecture 

Turn Local File Server into Online File Server with Web Interface

With the reference architecture described above, organizations can target specific file server network shares that become data stores for online content collaboration. External partners and potential customers can upload relevant data via the web interface, which is then transferred directly to the selected file server network shares for internal editing. After internal editing, the resulting documents can be saved to the same file server network share for download by external parties.

In this way, internal employees and external business partners and pre-sales customers can collaborate directly with the company's own storage and identity infrastructure without having to use a third-party public website. The end result is a private content collaboration solution that is integrated directly into the company's infrastructure.

Why Triofox helps when SharePoint doesn't work?

Triofox Solution

With the Gladinet Triofox solution, the cloud file access solution is interoperable with existing file server network shares and provides offline folder capabilities. It includes integration with Active Directory, cloud drive mapping, global file locking and NTFS permission control. These native integrations make the file sharing solution an extension of the current file server rather than another data silo that takes away data.

Mapped Drive

Mapped drive over the HTTPS channel to the corporate file server is a crucial feature. Employees are familiar with a mapped drive, and no additional training is required.

Active Directory

Corporate users already have corporate identities in Active Directory and related Active Directory federation service and SAML single-sign-on. They don't need yet another set of credentials to access a file-sharing solution.

File Locking

Most file-sharing solutions offer manual file locking in the forms of "file check-in" and "check out." Gladinet provides automatic file locking by detecting file opening requests. When Microsoft Word opens a file, the file locking process will be initiated automatically and finished automatically when the file editing finishes.

File Permissions

Finally, integrating with Active Directory and NTFS permission makes it easier for system administrators to set up the permission control. The permission features make the Gladinet solution stands out among its peers.

You can add the following content collaboration features to your private infrastructure.

With your Active Directory providing the necessary identity provider service and your Windows file server providing the data storage, the following features are added by Triofox to create a private content collaboration solution!

Productivity

Make it easier for your teams to collaborate with customers successfully:

Outlook Integration

Instead of sending files as Outlook attachments, files and folders can be shared as links via Outlook.

Send Large Files

Enhance large file transfers' performance by only sending the changes that were made instead of synchronizing the entire file.

Share Files and Folders

Files and folders can be turned into weblinks and accessed from web browsers or any mobile client.

Receive Files and Folders

Weblinks can be generated for web browser-based upload to receive files and folders.

Advanced Sharing

Policies such as expiration dates and read/write permissions can be attached to file sharing.

Desktop Integration

File-sharing can be as easy as right-click on a file from within Windows Explorer.

Security

Secure Data Room

Shared folders have optional secure data room features to enable view-only permissions that disable downloads.

Granular Folder

Define different permissions for folders at different levels of the directory structure.

Domain Control

The destination email domain is one of the white list parameters that control who can receive file-sharing invitations.

IP Address Control

The destination IP Address is another parameter to control who can be the receiver for a file-sharing action.

Collaboration

Co-Editing

Integrates with Office365 to take advantage of built-in co-editing features.

Notification

Keep track of important changes and events in the system.

Management

Audit Trace and History

Maintain compliance and control by keeping track of all management tasks and activities.

File-Sharing Reports

Keep track of all file-sharing activities. For example, it's easy to see who is sharing what with whom.

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