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Dropbox AdminX: 5 Things to Know About Team Folders

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

It wasn’t even a year ago (November 2015) that Dropbox launched its enterprise-focused initiative, appropriately dubbed Dropbox Enterprise, an extension of Dropbox Business that added finer management tools and controls aimed at the needs of larger-scale organizations. Now, Dropbox further courts its business crowd with the debut of AdminX, a new set of tools for IT administrators managing Dropbox Business and Dropbox Enterprise accounts.

AdminX’s toolbox is designed to maintain order amidst the oft-times chaos of secure, managed file collaboration. And its most alluring new collaborative feature — for both admins and users alike — is its implementation of Team Folders.

MORE: Dropbox vs. OneDrive: What’s the Right Choice for the Enterprise?

Previously, a user would have to share either an entire Dropbox, or just a single file. Team Folders extends collaboration to a designated, shared folder for users whose permissions are administered by the admin, and whose activities can be monitored by the admin as well.

Friendly Interface

AdminX’s goal is to bridge the usability gap in a way that provides IT admins with the security and manageability they crave, while providing users with the flexibility and usability they’ve come to expect from Dropbox. The tools are rolling out slowly, with some things available now and some available later this year, so don’t expect everything about your Dropbox admin experience to change overnight.

Everything about AdminX’s approach — from the updated Admin Console that has a simpler design to the convenient permissions tools — screams of consumerization.  As in, a consumerized interface for simplifying the very IT-centric admin duties IT managers need to do on a large scale in order to keep cloud collaboration humming smoothly.

The improvements will make it easier for staffers to collaborate with one another, or with outside contractors and vendors. But, more critically for IT administrators, the update also means you can more easily, and more flexibly, than before keep tabs on who has access to what.

5 Things to Know About Dropbox Business Team Folders

1. The Team Folder provides a central space for one, or multiple, teamsto work. It’s a digital, centralized content hub, just as the office water cooler is a centralized social hub in the real world. The admin can create a folder and sub-folders; invite groups to the Team Folder; and choose whether it should automatically sync to team members’ computers. You can also control which folders and sub-folders automatically sync to any new device, including how many devices are allowed and the type of device (mobile, desktop).

2. Team Folders can be a shared resource between both internal and external collaborators.  As an admin, you can invite only people already on your Dropbox Business account, or invite anyone. You can also choose who can manage access to a particular folder, setting it to only admins or anyone on your Dropbox Business account, for instance. The part about sharing an entire folder — versus a whole Dropbox or an individual file only — with anyone is a critical distinction, because it acknowledges collaborators who may not be on your email domain (which is often used as a way of securely defining collaborators on other services). Whether your users are dealing with contractors, freelancers, or reviewing files from outside vendors, Team Folders will prove a useful and friendly environment.

3. Admins can set granular access permissions for anyone on any team, down to whether a person can edit, delete and add files to their team Dropbox folder; or whether they can only view and download the folder, but can’t edit it. A central view makes it easier to set all of the policies from one place.

4. Since Team Folders lets the admin decide what files or folders a “member” user will be allowed to sync to, IT admins can be the gatekeepers to what users have access to. It ensures employees new and current get access to only the files they need; and, it will improve internal security by keeping curious folks from nosing around in project folders outside their purview. It also allows users to sync just the specific files they want to with a Team Folder, as opposed to an entire Dropbox.

5. Admins now get improved event logging that’s so deep in the weeds it’s possible IT could be tapped to figure out who messed with a critical presentation the night before showtime. You’ll be able to see edits, versions, the type of changes, the IP address and username of who made what change — all visible at the admin level.