Being a trusted advisor to our clients is the holy grail of what we do here at Sheepdog. It’s a mantra you are likely to overhear in the hallways if you are in our office for more than a few minutes on any given day.
As the first Google Apps partner in Canada we showed up early to the Cloud game and for the past 5+ years we’ve had a lot of success as well as valuable learnings helping our clients through the process of moving to the cloud. People are often surprised to learn that we are also a Microsoft partner as well. What we often say to them is that it’s very difficult if not impossible to be a knowledgeable / effective advisor if you don’t have the ability to be open minded and truly objective for your clients.
Google Apps for Business is a great option, but it’s a complex and dynamic space so understandably it doesn’t always address every need that exists for every use case in the world today. Understanding this, we’ve made it our mission to discover, evaluate and develop expert knowledge in the vast array of cloud solutions to help our customers fill the gaps. The landscape is constantly shifting, It’s not enough to just pick one or two solutions and always try to put every peg you find into a round hole.
Compliance is a frequent and important example. This is more of a concern depending on your industry obviously, but even if your organization isn’t in an industry where regulatory requirements are imposed, compliance remains an important piece of the “cloud-puzzle”. Let’s say you have 350 employees actively collaborating using Google Drive, efficiency is up and your team, although remote from one another, couldn’t be more in sync than if they were sitting at desks side-by-side. Great right!? Google Drive / Docs is certainly a great tool to add value to many collaborative teams, but one that can also create less obvious risks pertaining to the exposure or loss of confidential information.
Google does not currently offer a solution to archive Google Drive documents (although it is rumoured that may be a future feature), as a result, if for whatever reason (intentional or not) if an employee deletes a file, it’s gone forever. Additionally, your users can also “accidentally” share any document publicly, regardless of what information may be available on said document. These are some of the concerns keeping information managers up all hours of the night.
There are a number of ways to mitigate this concern depending on a number of factors but by and large we typically recommend solutions like CloudLock or Backupify as established providers that have a great track records in this area. They offer a “Compliance-as-a-Service” solutions that provide administrators with easy to use dashboards providing visibility into items such as how many documents are shared externally, internally, publicly and so on. Furthermore, administrators have the ability to set rules that will automate and therefore enforce internal sharing policies.
Compliance is just one example and an easy way to illustrate the concept as it’s a proven solution to a very real problem. The point is that in our view if the folks like us who are in the cloud reseller community are going out of their way to seek out and understand the value of these kinds of tools only then can they truly be valuable and objective when it comes to finding the right fit for their clients. One size does not fit all and one company (even the very very large ones) don’t have all the answers because the questions are many and they keep changing at an increasing rate.
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