Office Integrations Demonstrate the Adaptability of Cloud Collaboration
Change can be daunting, and, with migration, there comes a whole lot of change. For many organizations considering migrating to the cloud, one of the biggest concerns is how working in a new platform might force them to abandon the apps and programs with which they’ve become most comfortable, or make continuing to use those programs incredibly inconvenient.
Cloud collaboration providers recognize this, and many have taken major strides to ensure that migration to their platforms doesn’t force users to upend or completely discard their old ways of working.
This is why Dropbox, Box, Egnyte, and Google Drive have recently taken strides to help users access, edit, and comment on their Office documents (created in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint), without having to constantly jump between platforms. Even for those who don’t use Office 365 or OneDrive, Microsoft’s Office programs have long been the industry standard. Their use and deployment is so wide-reaching that they’re almost ubiquitous. Now, organizations who are interested in migration to Google Drive, Egnyte, Box and Dropbox don’t have to worry that this migration will disrupt their work in Office. In fact, many of the integrations that cloud service providers are rolling out, make working in Office even better.
Dropbox remains the largest repository for Office documents in the world, and with that distinction comes the recognize that Dropbox users are extremely comfortable and reliant on Office for content creation and collaboration.
With this in mind, Dropbox recently announced that users can now edit Office Online documents directly from their Dropbox, and that these same users can access their Dropbox directly from Office Online. Changes made to these documents in Office Online will save directly to Dropbox, updating the document immediately.
What does this mean? For one, it means Dropbox users no longer have to rely on, or even have, the desktop versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It also means that you can easily edit and collaborate on these documents from any computer, not just your own. As a result of Dropbox’s recent partnership with Microsoft, users have a bevy of new options and a boatload of extra flexibility in how they access, store, and amend their files!
With a recent update, Google Drive has now made it so that users can comment on Office files in Drive, without having to convert or download the file, use Office Compatibility Mode, or rely on a third party application. Any comments a user makes in the file in Google Drive, will automatically appear on the file when it’s opened in Office, ensuring increased consistency in collaboration and communication among teams.
While the actual process of editing will still require one of the three aforementioned solutions, Google’s addition to its platform is nothing to bat an eye at. Coordinating editing is an essential part of collaboration, especially with large projects involving numerous users, some perhaps working remotely. By ensuring that comments made in Drive now carry over to Office, Google has made it so users have an increased set of options as to how they edit, and increased confidence in the success of a project, knowing that their comments and suggestions won’t suddenly disappear if another user decides to edit in Word.
As with Dropbox, Box has taken major strides to integrate as completely as possible with Office applications to ensure smoothness and consistency when it comes to creating files and collaborating on them. With Box for Office users can now upload files to Box directly from the toolbar of their Office application. Changes made in the file will automatically be saved in Box as a new version of the document, so users can quickly access and store all their Office files, while also having the ability to revert back to an earlier version if the situation demands. Additionally, users can create Share links right in Office, and email those links to their colleagues and collaborators. This puts users in control of all of their files, and who exactly has access to them.
When looking to edit a file, a user can open that file either from their desktop or from Box, and–if that file is shared among multiple users–the file will automatically lock so that, while one user is editing, another doesn’t make separate changes that mess with the project. This way, collaborators are always kept up to date on exactly who is making what changes, ensuring that team members are all, quite literally, on the same page.
Similar to Box, Egnyte is giving users the ability to save and open Office documents directly to and from Egnyte. In addition, Egnyte provides users with the opportunity to automatically save Outlook attachments to their cloud account. In Outlook, users further have the ability to request files from a colleague or collaborator’s account all at the touch of button. Furthermore, when choosing to send a file via an Egnyte link, users have the opportunity to customize the link’s security: who can see it, when it expires (either after a certain date or a certain number of clicks), and whether you would like to be notified once the link is accessed.
Best of all, these features are available on mobile devices as well as your desktop, which means the degree to which you’re able to edit, create, and collaborate is never limited by where you are or what devices you have access to at the moment.
These features, like those released by Box and Dropbox, promise enhanced flexibility in functionality and collaboration among users.
Cloud Collaboration Caters To You
Burger King may have copyrighted “Have it Your Way,” but cloud collaboration platforms are far more deserving of the slogan. At their best, enterprise cloud storage opens up a world of possibilities for your business: how you create, collaborate on, and protect your data. With the cloud, users have a flood of options that they can tailor specifically to how they individually work, and the ever-increasing adoption of Microsoft integrations by providers such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and Egnyte is only the latest example of this.
When you migrate to the cloud, you should have enhanced flexibility, not be tethered to one basic, rigid way of doing business, and the best platforms understand this, and are implementing new and exciting ways to fulfill that promise.
Migration doesn’t mean your organization has to throw out what worked well before. It just means you have new and better ways to make the most of that.