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Effective and secure team collaboration
Effective and secure team collaboration

Today, making sure that employees have the collaboration tools they need to drive productivity is key to company success. In fact, 65% of full-time employees feel that remote working would increase their productivity, and more than 55% of leaders are extending their team collaboration to external parties.

Security is top of mind
At the same time, Enterprise IT and Line of Business leaders need to be sure that shared content, which may include sensitive customer and partner information and intellectual property, stays safe and secure. The impact of security breaches from newer and different types of attacks is significant. Based on a recent security study, security breaches have widespread impact: 55% of organizations have had to manage the public scrutiny of a security breach. And nearly 20% of breaches cost organizations upwards of $2.5M to address.

As the head of the security and enterprise product team for the Webex Platform, I have a laser-focus on helping organizations maximize the productivity of their teams, in a way that supports IT needs.

Bringing enterprise file storage and team collaboration together, seamlessly
And so I am delighted to share more about our recent announcement that Webex Teams now supports native integration with enterprise file storage and Content Management solutions, which delivers on both end-user productivity and IT needs. We have started by introducing OneDrive and SharePoint Online integrations and look forward to sharing details of more integrations soon. Now, why is this important for today’s enterprise?

A proliferation of applications
Enterprises are rapidly adopting cloud and SaaS services in their quest to be more innovative, and to harness market transitions to deliver products and services more quickly and at lower cost. Most companies use dozens of SaaS apps ranging from productivity suites like Microsoft Office 365 to collaboration apps like Webex Teams as well as role-specific tools like ServiceNow, JIRA and, together with file storage systems like SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Box.

As content gets stored in so many siloed applications, there is not only an impact on user productivity, as people waste time switching between applications and searching for the latest document versions, but also a huge challenge for IT in keeping files secure across all systems.

As I work with Line of Business leaders and security professionals, one request is consistently highlighted: help them address this productivity and data loss challenge. They need a solution where all user documents are ONLY stored in an approved Enterprise Content Management (ECM) or file storage system and where all SaaS apps simply make use of that content without replicating it.

Addressing the application switching headache – and more
Native integration in Webex Teams with Office 365 increases user productivity by eliminating application switching. It lets users share and co-edit Office 365 documents directly from Webex Teams with no need to learn any new applications.

However, our Webex Teams file storage integration solution not only enhances productivity, but also delivers a unique approach to content security. Here is a short summary of the key features:

  • You can create, open, share and edit files from your file storage and sharing system right in Webex Teams spaces
  • You can define who can see and co-edit any shared files
  • You can upload local files and folders from your computer directly into the file storage system from Webex Teams spaces
  • You can ensure that users can always see the latest version of any file
  • Links to shared files are encrypted end-to-end
  • Our integration works with your chosen DLP and CASB solution. So sensitive information won’t fall into the wrong hands by mistake, even when employees are working with others outside your company
  • No additional copies of files are created as they are shared directly in Webex Teams spaces. No file sprawl!
  • Administrators can block personal or unapproved IT OneDrive or SharePoint Online folders, and only allow approved instances
  • You can turn off native file sharing in Webex Teams to route all content through your file storage system of choice
  • You can enable this integration for a select group of employees or open it to everyone in your company

Security and control
As with any feature that we build in the Webex platform, security and enterprise IT needs are top of mind. The setup has zero deployment cost, requiring just a single toggle in Webex Control Hub. And it requires no change to your existing data loss prevention (DLP) policies, or any need to buy additional licenses. Moreover, unlike our competitors, Webex Teams also provides IT administrators with full control, so that they can decide which SharePoint Online and OneDrive domains or Office 365 Tenant they want to use. This means that only IT approved domains are available for use. Which not only removes data loss risk but also protects against Malware threats.

We also allow IT managers to choose to disable storage of user documents in the Webex cloud while maintaining a seamless user experience. All user files can ONLY be stored in IT’s selected file storage system- including file previews. This screen shows how easy it is to configure content management settings.

Figure 1. Defining an approved domain as the exclusive user document store for Teams 

 The integration has already been well received by our customers and partners. A Collaboration Architect at a large multinational mining corporation commented – “Enabling the enterprise file storage integration has opened new opportunities for us to further drive user adoption of Webex Teams across our business and global teams. This helps our users recognize the true value of the application for teamwork by using the built-in co editing features of Microsoft Office 365 directly from Webex Teams. A great step forward for Webex integrations.” 

 For a quick snapshot of the way that the Webex Teams integration can help increase productivity while addressing the needs of IT, take a look at this infographic. 

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Three Tips for “Office-On-The-Go” Apps

Just last year, almost half a billion mobile devices and connections were added to networks, increasing to 7.4 billion from 6.9 billion in 2013. Clearly, mobility is on the rise, and its skyrocketing trajectory shows no signs of slowing.

For businesses and brands, this presents a wealth of new opportunities as more embrace and promote BYOD practices with their employees, enabling them to conduct business during an Uber ride in Chicago, on a plane flying over San Francisco, or from a hotel lobby in India, without electronic leashes of desktop computers and cable-equipped handsets holding them back.

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