We have a fairly dispersed team at VoguePay and we love it….
But, the challenge is that when you have teams spread across 2 countries in Africa and an international HQ in London you often realize how frustrating it could be to access information that is on the local drive of your colleague who is 5,000 miles away.
(Imagine a hypothetical example where a staff in Germany’s office needed to submit a proposal to a client within hours, but because the necessary documents are sitting somewhere in Uganda, the proposal requirements could not be met)
That was the kind of challenge that the digital media and technical teams were saddled with recently.
We needed to develop a central file repository where every team member, irrespective of location can retrieve and collaborate on files. So, in choosing our approach, we decided not to develop a complex solution from scratch, we simply chose to adapt Google Drive solution.
Here are the steps we took.
We Created a top-level “master” folder in Google Drive
Step 1: The technical team signed up a new account on Gmail which was used to create the Google Drive account.
NOTE: It is also possible to create a Gmail account using your company domain if you pay for the Google Suite starting at $5/month/user. The suite comes with Gmail, drive, calendar and doc.
Step 2: We logged in to our Drive account and created a “master” folder for the entire organization.
We created sub-folders for each department in Master folder of our Google Drive.
Step 3: We have up to 10 different departments as well as project units in the organisation, so we created sub-folders for each of these departments and project units.
For easy referencing, we named the folders in a simple convention. For example, the digital marketing and strategy unit is aptly abbreviated to DMS.
NOTE: Each project team or unit can create more folders for their respective units based on the projects they are working on.
We Set up access level for each department and project unit.
After creating the master structure above, the next thing was to provide each of the department and project units with adequate access to upload files to their own allocated sub-folders.
With Google Drive, it is possible to limit access to each shared folder. And this function is important for us as there is need to limit access to some confidential information among the whole team 🙂 . To set this up, we simply share the link of each sub-folder with the relevant department.
For example, here is the link shared with the DMS team.
The good part is that the shared link does not require a Gmail account to access. Hence, staff can collaborate and upload documents to their respective repository with the official emails or without logging in at all.
We understand that the scale of this solution is very small since a free Google Drive account is limited to only 15G storage. Hence, we advice migrating to their paid plans or consider other options like DropBox, Box, Amazon S3 or Microsoft cloud for your enterprise needs.
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