Workplace is easy to install and use, but to get the most out of the service, it’s a good idea to invest in some planning time before implementation. Migrating your data into Workplace is a terrific opportunity to fix questionable organizational practices and inefficient workflows that may exist in your current folder structure.
Even when a team has a folder structure they are perfectly happy with, some minor tweaks to support the principles below will result in better performance and greater long-term satisfaction with the Workplace service.
The first step when setting up a new Workplace team is to evaluate the team, their data set, and how the team uses and accesses that data set.
Some important questions to consider when setting up a new team are...
- What data do users need access to and what level of permissions should they have for that data?
- What in particular is the team trying to achieve with implementing the Workplace service?
- How will users access the data? Via Workplace Online, Workplace Desktop, or Workplace Mobile, or all three?
- Do you have a significant number of remote employees or employees who work off-site regularly?
- Will all users access the service, or will some access a centralized data set via the local area network which in turn syncs to the Workplace service?
- What data is most important? What files are going to be used frequently and leverage the Workplace file-sharing features? Organize this key data into projects and sync those projects first.
When setting up a new Workplace team, there are some key concepts that are important to understand and to take into consideration:
For syncing to function effectively, it is imperative that Workplace Desktop / Workplace Server has sufficient bandwidth to successfully transfer files. This concept applies both to the Internet connection and the connection to the local storage, particularly when the storage is not an internal hard drive (for instance, a network storage device).
Any constraints at any point between Workplace Desktop/Workplace Server and the storage can cause a bottleneck and have detrimental affect on syncing.
We recommend performing a test with a moderate size data set to verify that syncing speed is as fast as expected. If that speed falls below expectations, focus on isolating the bottleneck and, if necessary, contact Manage Protect Support at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep in mind that shared volumes can have high load, which may affect the throughput of data, so testing should also be performed during periods of peak traffic.
Before deploying Workplace, we strongly recommend that you restructure the data set in accordance with the concepts outlined in the Getting Started: Projects guide.
While every scenario is unique and will require a customized folder structure, some basic adaptations will ensure optimal performance and simpler administration.
The last preparatory step is to have a clear understanding of which projects should be uploaded first. Dependent on the data set, the initial upload can take quite a while.
To ensure the team can begin using the Workplace service as soon as possible, assess what data is most frequently accessed and is most critical for the team to work on collaboratively. With this in mind, decide which projects to upload first.
Once the key projects are uploaded, upload the lower priority projects, and leave the least important data for last.
We recommend creating a table, as illustrated in below, listing all projects, their priorities, the project owners, and the sequence in which the projects will be uploaded. It's also useful to list the file count, just to ensure you are within the recommended limit per project.
Some features of the Workplace service can be particularly useful during deployment. We recommend reviewing these features in full to gain a clear comprehension of the functionality and to consider using these features as part of deployment:
Active Directory Integration
The Active Directory integration allows you to sync users and groups from Active Directory into Workplace. By enabling the integration, users can be controlled via Active Directory and the users will authenticate with their Active Directory credentials.
Defaults and policies can be set to define the default settings when creating users and to manage which features and functions are available. Additionally, Policy Profiles can be created and assigned to further manage the available features and functions with infinite granularity and flexibility. For more information, refer to Policy Profiles.
Silent Installation and Deployment
Workplace Desktop can be silently installed on users machines via a endpoint management tool. For more information, refer to Silent Installation.
In conjunction with with silent installation, Workplace Desktop can be configured, allowing users to start using Workplace Desktop with no need to first configure it themselves. For more information, refer to Deployment.
The Project Loader feature can save a massive amount of time and bandwidth when getting your team in sync. The Project Loader allows a local data source to be specified - this local data source is then scanned, and any files that are precise matches to those in the specified project are copied from the local source and linked to the counterpart in the Workplace service. This means the actual files do not have to be downloaded but merely copied and linked, saving time and bandwidth.
Once complete, any files available in the Workplace service that were not copied from the local source will be synced down to ensure a complete, locally-cached project.
By default within Workplace Desktop, all projects are synced to the Workplace folder. The Folder Sync feature allows projects to be synced to alternative locations. This is particularly useful when deploying in an environment where the team wants to retain the current folder structure and not move the data to the Workplace folder.
Selective Sync allows you to specify which folders within a project are synced to the local machine. This is especially useful when large projects exist and only sub-sections of the project must be synced to the local machine.
Online editing allows users to create, open, and edit Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents without installing those applications. Online editing also allows different users to work on the same documents simultaneously.
For more information on editing documents online with Workplace, refer to Creating and Editing Documents Online.
For information on how to configure your preferred online document editors, refer to Document Editors.
Local Editing via Workplace Online
Local editing allows users to open files locally within the associated application on your computer without having to sync the file to their computer first. Once a file is opened using this feature, saving the file will automatically update the version on Workplace Online.
During the deployment, we recommend educating your team on the basics of the Workplace service. Use your judgment concerning when to provide training - you want your users to understand the basics before providing them access to Workplace, but you want the users to have access so that detailed information provided makes sense.
Based on the support ticket topics most frequently submitted by new users, the concepts outlined below are the most critical to explain when getting members started on the Workplace service:
Sharing & Permissions
Ensure that users understand how to share projects, folders and files.
We strongly recommend all users that will own projects review the Getting Started: Projects guide.
A common mistake users new to cloud computing make is removing synced files that they don’t want on their machines. Please understand that removing data from projects, via Workplace Online or your Workplace folder on your desktop or laptop, results in the removal of that data from Workplace, and therefore, from all your devices and all your team members' devices.
IMPORTANT In Workplace, if a user deletes a file or folder, it is deleted for everyone!
NOTE Setting permissions appropriately may help you avoid deletions that inadvertently affect other users.
The Workplace six-month data retention feature, however, allows you to undelete data deleted by mistake. But it's best not to accidentally delete data in the first place.
Give it time to sync...
...especially if you've been offline for a while. Depending on file size, the pending files in the queue, and a variety of factors, there may be a slight delay in syncing of files.
If a user has been offline for a period of time (on vacation, for example) it may require some time to get fully in sync.
Ensure that users understand the significance of the sync status icons and let them know that they can monitor the Progress window if desired.
Moving forward with the deployment, you should categorize the team into one of these three categories:
The local data storage is maintained and accessed by users connected locally.
The local storage is synced with Workplace, providing access to these files via Workplace for users that do not have direct access to the local storage.
For Hybrid Deployments, refer to Deploying Workplace: Hybrid Model.
The entire data set is being moved to Workplace Manager and the current local storage is being decommissioned after transferring the data.
For Full Migration Deployments, refer to Deploying Workplace: Full Migration Model.
The current data set is scattered across multiple users' local storage devices and all this data is to be moved to the Workplace Manager service.
For Dispersed Data Deployments, refer to Deploying Workplace: Dispersed Migration Model.