How Yadle Can Help Your Remote File-Based Workflows
Updated: Feb 8, 2021
Most of us now work from home. This has presented a few changes in how we collaborate, interact, and share. Video meetings have become the norm. Chatting and emails replaced face-to-face communication. It was, and remains, a disruption. But this is mostly a solved challenge.
Everyone quickly discovered how much of our daily work depends on services beyond video calls, email, and chat. A significant challenge remains in efficiently finding and accessing files needed to do our jobs.
Remote Access to Files Is Painful
Most of us have files stored on internal systems at the office. Even if we use the cloud too, there are always needed files on non-cloud systems like servers, NAS, and even on our workstations. We need these files to complete our projects.
Many of us also have files on cloud file services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. This distribution of files across physical and cloud storage devices presents problems for finding files and keeping everyone in sync with changes.
The Current "Solution"
Working with multiple office locations, multiple cloud storage services, and multiple storage devices makes finding the files you need hard. Now the added dimension of people working remotely has created new challenges that are impacting workflow and productivity.
Most companies were not prepared (or even able) to have employees remotely accessing these files to provide the continuous, high-volume needs of large numbers of people working from home.
The common solution is to have people use the company VPN to connect to the office. We hear stories about this approach often. Everyone has VPN access to the company. But that VPN access was almost certainly built to handle a small number of occasional users. Not 300 employees continuously.
We hear these complaints constantly on calls: “I could not connect to VPN”, “My VPN connection keeps dropping”, “VPN is too slow to use”.
And VPN is a way to reach into the office. It is not a way to get a file from a co-worker’s house. So even if VPN is working, people now need to send their file from home to the office so their co-workers can copy it from the office to their home to work on it. And then repeat. For every file, for every employee, every day.
“Where is that file?”
Here is what your team is probably experiencing every day while working remotely.
As people work on their projects, they create files on their laptops or home systems. In file-based workflows a lot of file sharing is needed, so as people complete their work they copy files to a company system over the Internet via VPN so other workers can access it. The transfer takes time, and during the transfer time the user cannot modify or use the file they are transferring. This frustrating waste of time happens repeatedly each day. Everyone is impacted as they wait for files to go in and out of the office.
This entire save-and-transfer process is managed by lots of emails or chat messages about where files are and the mechanics of multiple people using those files over time. We hear from customers that while this appears to work, it really is just “different” and fails to solve the issue around performance and finding needed files by remote workers.
People want to do meaningful work, not copy files around. So your team may hesitate or simply not copy files to company storage as often as desired, creating risk of loss and also preventing other employees from using the file. They do this to save time, but it will create multiple problems over time.
While some people will try to manage these issues by being very selective with what they store on the company infrastructure, others will get creative and use other solutions such as cloud file storage. We talk to companies where employees try to work around remote access issues using the cloud. Some will use Dropbox, others use Google drive. Each of these attempts to solve the issues around getting needed files creates even more islands of files. While it may work for few people in the short-term, we are not seeing good results – the unmanaged cloud strategies increase risk of lost files, adds complexity to finding files, and is just adding to the large set of poorly managed files.
So now your infrastructure looks like this the diagram below. Imagine you are working late at night on a project and need a file. Where will you look among the hundreds of possible locations?
And the answer to “Where is that file?” remains elusive and challenging. And incredibly frustrating.
Yadle has a better way.
Yadle Finds Files
The Yadle solution is to leverage both the cloud and company’s files into a single, searchable set of files. The first step is to have Yadle index the files in all of your physical offices. This is a simple, no effort activity to capture the catalog of all files that already exist in your infrastructure.
Workers can store their work files from home to a cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive. They probably already have personal or company accounts that can be used. They may already be using the cloud with their co-workers.
Using cloud services avoids the bottleneck of using the company VPN and also allows broad access to these files from other users without the company infrastructure being in the middle of all file transfer activities. You also get things like versioning to help unravel issues that may arise later.
Each of these cloud accounts can be added to Yadle, making the files searchable and visualized. The files can be searched for by context and tags, not by just by filenames. The Yadle generated thumbnails include support for complex formats that are not generally visualized as thumbnails on the desktop nor in cloud services.
Yadle will now provide a view of all files in all offices and on all cloud services you use. Yadle even knows if a file in the cloud is the identical version of a file stored at any office, as well as a copy on some other worker’s cloud storage. Existing files can remain on the company storage infrastructure. These files can also be added to Yadle.
Now with a single search, employees can look across multiple office storage locations and all cloud storage services being shared with them to find the files they need.
Once the selected folders and cloud services are indexed by Yadle, all of these files are made searchable for other employees. Users can now search for what they need – even across different cloud file services – without thinking about where it is stored. And without asking others to help find it. Yadle will help find the file, see a thumbnail of it, and directly get it from wherever it is stored.
People can focus more on work, less on moving files around. Less time wasted, less frustration.
This is just one way that Yadle can help your remote file-based workflows. Other ways Yadle can improve your workflow include:
Create File Channels to organize files virtually without moving them
Insights to view file activity and changes by time, date and location
Insights on storage utilization by device and location
Cloud-only workflows that require no installation
Desktop app with drag-an-drop of search results directly into folders & applications
Automatic tagging of files based on AI and rules
We would love to explore your challenges to help your team stop struggling with technology and get back to being creative.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or click here to schedule a call.