ATTACH2CLOUD - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What is Attach2Cloud?
What is the point of storing MS Outlook attachments in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams? And what is the point of using Attach2Cloud for this purpose?
It is infinitely more productive for a group of MS Outlook users working on a set of attached files to store a single copy of these files in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams, rather than emailing back and forth updated copies of these attached files to each other after each modification.
Sharing files in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams is the prerequisite to benefit of MS 365 advanced collaboration features like co-edition in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, advanced file sharing features, selective file synchronization, integrated version management, and automatic backup.
If MS 365 users do not store their files in the Cloud (in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams), they cannot benefit from these features. This is the reason OneDrive adoption is so critical to any MS 365 deployment project.
At customers starting with MS 365, and sometimes even at customers using MS 365 for quite some time already, most often, the main method of exchanging files is still Microsoft Outlook.
Attach2Cloud provides a bridge between MS Outlook and OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams, accelerating and increasing the adoption and usage of these cloud storage platforms, and, consequently, increasing the MS 365 advanced collaboration features adoption and usage as well.
All this with no need for any user eduction or training.
Advanced MS 365 users also loves Attach2Cloud which offers the quickest and easiest way to upload and share files to OneDrive, SharePoint Online, and Teams, to send invitations to upload files to their OneDrive space in one click, and, with the version 6 of Attach2Cloud, to interact with their OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams storage spaces from a Microsoft Outlook side panel: the Attach2Cloud Cloud Explorer.
By drastically improving the productivity of both novice and more advanced advanced MS 365 users, Attach2Cloud maximizes your investment in MS 365.
Furthermore, the size of MS Outlook messages in which Attach2Cloud has replaced classic attachments with modern attachments (OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams links) is now expressed in KB rather than MB. As modern attachments only contain links and not the binary content of the files, their size is only a few KB, regardless of the size of the files originally attached to the messages. This has an extremely positive impact on the agility and performance of MS Outlook and Exchange online and drastically reduces the need for MS Exchange online storage.
Attach2Cloud allows attaching files to MS Outlook emails with no size limit. Doesn’t this conflict with the aim of encouraging MS Outlook users to make more intensive use of OneDrive, SharePoint Online, and Teams?
Not at all, quite the contrary!
Indeed, with Attach2Cloud, files attached to MS Outlook emails are in fact only attached in appearance. Attach2Cloud creates the appearance of an attachment but, in reality, it automatically uploads these files to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams, and replaces them by Modern Attachments (i.e., links) when sending the email.
For MS Outlook users, everything is as usual: They create an email, attach files of any size to it (up to 250 GB per file if needed, with no email size limit), complete their email and click on Send. That’s it!
For novice users, attaching files to MS Outlook emails without any file or email size limits is often the most attractive Attach2Cloud feature.
Then, they most often start understanding very quickly the benefits of sharing files in the Cloud (compared to exchanging standard MS Outlook attached files) and let Attach2Cloud uploading not only their largest attached files, but also most of the attached files implied in collaboration processes.
Attach2Cloud is a great solution to engage your MS 365 users adopting OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams, and, for more advanced MS 365 users, to help them making a more intensive and more productive use of these platforms while drastically reducing the time needed to share files in the cloud.
No size limit for MS Outlook attached files?
Well, to be honest, even with Attach2Cloud, there is still a maximum size limit for a single attached file that is the maximum allowed file size in OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams (currently 250 GB).
But regarding the email itself, there is no maximum size limit. With Attach2Cloud, MS Outlook users can attach as many files as they want to their emails. The only rule is that a single Attached file cannot exceed 250 GB.
This is generally more than enough to cover all needs!
How can Attach2Cloud help MS 365 customers refocusing large file exchanges made through public cloud platforms (like WeTransfer) to OneDrive, SharePoint Online, or Teams?
Thanks to Attach2Cloud, MS 365 customers can regain control over the exchanges of large files often performed through third-party platforms located outside the customer’s managed infrastructure like WeTransfer or other similar platforms.
With Attach2Cloud, MS 365 users can use MS Outlook to exchange large, even very large files, far exceeding the maximum size allowed in Outlook messages. Currently, the limit is 250 GB per file, with no limit on the size of e-mails. (250 GB is the maximum file size supported by OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams).
As there’s nothing quicker and easier than writing an Outlook message and attaching files, they instantly adopt this solution to exchange their large files and share them in the MS 365 Cloud!
After all these years of restrictions in terms of MS Outlook maximum allowed email size, it is quite amusing to see our customers’ IT departments now encouraging using Outlook to exchange multi-GB files!
Of course, these large files are never physically attached to Outlook messages, but for users, everything happens as if they were.
This is a real revolution for all MS Outlook users!
Does Attach2Cloud require users to change their habits?
No at all, and this is really a key point!
Once Attach2Cloud installed, users continue attaching their files to their MS Outlook messages exactly as they usually do, using the MS Outlook paper clip button, drag and dropping, or copy and pasting files from Windows Explorer to their emails (or doing a right-click + “Send to Recipients” from Windows Explorer).
When they press the MS Outlook “Send” button, their email goes in their Outlook Outbox, as usual. Attach2Cloud then uploads the attachments to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams and replaces them with Modern Attachments (i.e., links) before Outlook finally sends the email.
An optional panel, The Attached File Control Center, can be displayed at the time users send their emails containing attached files, allowing them to choose the attached files to upload to the Cloud, as well as other options like target Cloud destinations on OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams, the type of sharing permissions and file elapsing dates.
Attach2Cloud can optionally display a window (the Attachments Control Center) when users send emails containing attachments. In this window, they can select the attached files to upload to the cloud, as well as other options such as file destinations in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams, the type of sharing permissions, and ask Attach2Cloud to delete the uploaded files after a given number of days.
So, from the users’ point of view, everything is as if they had sent their email as usual?
Users can continue working in MS Outlook and even send and receive other emails while Attach2Cloud is uploading attachments belonging to emails paused in the Outbox to the Cloud .
In this case, emails being sent by the user not containing any attached files are sent immediately, without having to wait for Attach2Cloud to finish uploading attached files belonging to other emails paused in the Outbox.
And Attach2Cloud prioritizes emails to send containing attached files to upload smaller than the ones Attach2Cloud is currently processing.
A user has sent an MS Outlook message containing multi-GB attachments.
Attach2Cloud is loading these attachments to the Cloud after having paused this message in the MS Outlook outbox.
If the user sends a new message containing no attachments, or attachments that should not be uploaded to the Cloud, MS Outlook will sent it immediately.
If the user sends a new message containing attachments to be uploaded to the Cloud that are smaller in size than the attachments Attach2Cloud is currently uploading to the Cloud, Attach2Cloud will prioritize the upload of these attachments. This will give a chance to the new message to which the small attachments belong to be sent before the completion of the upload of the multi-GB attachments belonging to the first message.
Receiving messages in MS Outlook is not affected by Attach2Cloud. Users continue to receive messages in MS Outlook while Attach2Cloud is loading attachments in the Cloud.
As you can see, not only do Attach2Cloud users not have to change their habits, they also can keep using MS Outlook while Attach2Cloud uploads and shares their attachments to the Cloud.
Does Attach2Cloud systematically upload all attachments to the Cloud?
Can users choose which attachments Attach2Cloud must upload to the Cloud and replace with Modern Attachments, and which attachments to keep as classic attachments in their emails?
Attach2Cloud supports both usage cases and even more.
At the time MS Outlook users send their emails containing attached files (when clicking the Send button in the email form), Attach2Cloud can display a window (the Attached File Control Center) listing the files attached to the email being sent.
In the Attached File Control Center, users can select the attached files they want to upload to the cloud.
For the attachments to upload, users can specify a target destination on OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams, which sharing permission they want to use, and, optionally, a number of days after which Attach2Cloud must delete the uploaded file.
Another possibility is to define rules applying without user intervention, and in this case not to display The Attached File Control Center.
For example: “All attachments larger than 5 MB must be uploaded to OneDrive” or “All video attachments must be uploaded to OneDrive” or “If the size of the email exceeds 15 MB upload all attached files to OneDrive”.
A mix of the two above options is also possible: Displaying the Attached FIle Control Center and defining some rules. In this case, the attached files targeted by the rules will be pre-selected to be uploaded to the Cloud in the Attached File Control Center.
And finally, there is the option to display the Attached File Control Center only when Attach2Cloud must upload at least one file (based on one or more given rules).
What is really fantastic with Attach2Cloud is that users never have to wait:
With the usual ways of uploading and sharing files to OneDrive (would it be from Windows Explorer or from Outlook), users have to wait for the files to be uploaded to OneDrive before to go to next steps (for instance modifying permissions or sending links to the uploaded files), and these successive steps require using a variety of menus and options.
In comparison, with Attach2Cloud, there is zero time lost, all users have to do is:
– Attaching their files (whatever their size is) as usual to an Outlook email and sending the email.
– If Attach2Cloud is configured to display the Attached File Control Center dialog, set the file target cloud destinations, sharing permissions, and elapsing dates (only in case the user needs to change the proposed default values for these options), then validate this dialog and they are done!
The email goes to the MS Outlook Outbox. Attach2Cloud automatically uploads the attached files to their OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams destinations, and shares them (users can continue working in Outlook during this time). Once Attach2Cloud has completed this process, Outlook finally sends the email.
What is the default behavior of Attach2Cloud?
By default, Attach2Cloud displays the Attached File Control Center window when MS Outlook users send email containing attached files. Attach2Cloud ticks all attached files for upload to OneDrive. The proposed OneDrive target folder is “/Attachments” (+ there are other default (configurable) destination folders based on main file types like Office files in “/Attachment Office”, picture files in “/Attachments/Pictures” etc.
The default file sharing permission is the default OneDrive permission (as configured in the SharePoint Online admin center) and automatic file deletion after a certain number of days is not enabled.
Users can change these options, on a per file basis, for each of the files displayed in the Attached File Control Center window. The Attach2Cloud administrator can restrict or lock these options based on policies that can be centrally managed, (we have a ready to use Intune-compatible ADMX file available).
Of course, if, for a given email, the total size of the attached files exceeds the maximum size allowed for MS Outlook emails (e.g., 10 attachments of 5 MB each and a maximum allowed size of 35 MB for MS Outlook emails), the user will ultimately have to select at least 3 attachments to upload to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams before to be allowed to send his/her email.
Similarly, for a given email with one single attached file, if the unit size of this attachment exceeds the maximum size allowed for MS Outlook emails, user cannot do otherwise than uploading this attached file to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams (or cancel sending the email).
Can customers manage Attach2Cloud parameters centrally?
Yes, of course!
Customers can manage all Attach2Cloud settings through Windows Group Policy Objects (GPOs) or any other registry management utilities.
If you use Windows GPOs, we can provide ready-to use Intune-compatible ADMX and ADML files containing all Attach2Cloud parameters (as well as a brief description for each parameter). Simply import these files in your GPO repository and you can instantly start managing your Attach2Cloud parameters centrally.
The Attach2Cloud Enterprise subscription also includes access to the Attach2Cloud parameter online update service. Thus, Attach2Cloud Enterprise customers can ask us to update their Attach2Cloud parameters online. Attach2Cloud parameter online updates can target all users, lists of users, or even one single user.
For each of the Attach2Cloud parameters, it is possible to specify a default value (other than the default value encoded in the product), for example:
“Delete attachments stored in OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams after 90 days”.
It is also possible to define rules that apply by default such as:
“MP4, MP3, AVI attachments must always be uploaded to OneDrive”
The Attach2Cloud administrator can also lock Attach2Cloud settings and rules to prevent users from modifying them.
Users can modify settings and rules the administrator has not locked via the Attach2Cloud ribbon in the main MS Outlook window (to set their default values) or directly in the Attached File Control Center window (to overwrite their default values).
For example, if the administrator has specified the number of days beyond which Attach2Cloud must delete attachments it has uploaded to OneDrive but not locked this parameter, users will be able to modify the specified number of days in the Attached File Control Center window. They will also be able to modify the default value of this parameter in the Attach2Cloud ribbon available in the main Outlook window.
While if the administrator has specified and locked this parameter, users will not be able to modify its value, neither in the Attached File Control Center window, nor in the Attach2Cloud ribbon.
The administrator can also define a locked range, for instance between 20 days and 60 days, thus users can only select or specify a value within this range.
If the administrator specifies this rule but does not lock it:
“MP4, MP3, AVI files must be uploaded to the Cloud”
Attach2Cloud will, by default, check MP4, MP3 and AVI files for upload in the Attached File Control Center window, but users will be able to uncheck them if they don’t want to upload them to the Cloud (provided the size of the email remains under the MS Outlook maximum allowed email size).
While if the administrator has specified and locked this rule, users will not be able to uncheck these files in the Attached File Control Center window. However, they will be able to specify (in the absence of other rules), the target cloud folders for these attached files as well as their sharing permissions and the number of days beyond which Attach2Cloud must delete these files from their cloud location.
The Attach2Cloud administrator can manage any single Attach2Cloud parameter in the same way.
Can users change the default behavior of Attach2Cloud?
Can they create their own Attach2Cloud rules?
Yes, provided the Attach2Cloud administrator has not restricted the right to do so, users can use the Attach2Cloud Ribbon (in the Outlook main Window) to create their own rules.
Even better, the Attach2Cloud administrator can let users create their own rules inside locked limits:
For example, the Attach2Cloud administrator can specify a range of values between 30 and 365 days for the number of days after which Attach2Cloud must delete the attachments it has uploaded to OneDrive.
Users won’t be able to select values outside this range in the Attached File Control Center.
But they will be able to create their own default rule in this matter as long as it complies with the locked range (for example “by default, delete uploaded files after 60 days”) in the Attach2Cloud ribbon available in the main MS Outlook window.
How can customers who do use Windows GPO or other user registry administration utilities configure Attach2Cloud?
We offer our Attach2Cloud Enterprise customers the possibility to insert their own preferred settings into the Attach2Cloud setup packages we deliver to them.
By doing so, Attach2Cloud will work as per their specifications as soon as they install it.
Attach2Cloud parameter values can also be specified at installation time, on the command line launching the Attach2Cloud setup package.
Attach2Cloud Enterprise version customers can also ask us to update their Attach2Cloud parameters online. Attach2Cloud parameter online updates can target all users, lists of users, or even one single user.
As we are talking about deployment, what is the size of the Attach2Cloud installation package?
15 MB for the 32-bit and 64-bit MSI packages and 30 MB for the executable package automatically installing the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Attach2Cloud depending on the MS Office version installed on the target computers.
Our installation packages are of course pre-configured for automatic and silent deployment.
Why do Exchange messaging teams love Attach2Cloud?
The reason is simple: Outlook – Exchange messaging rationalization.
From a technical point of view, Attach2Cloud commonly reduces the size of emails for which it has replaced attachments by Modern Attachments (i.e., links) by a factor of 1,000 or even more. For example, if you take an email initially containing 35 MB of attachments Attach2Cloud reduces its size to only a few tens of KB.
It is as if these attached files had disappeared.
This is an undeniable benefit in terms of agility and performance for all of your MS Outlook users (think about OST synchronization for instance) as well as for your messaging infrastructure (network bandwidth and MS Exchange storage savings).
MS Exchange Online messaging teams and infrastructure teams love Attach2Cloud!
What is the cost / benefit justification of Attach2Cloud?
Attach2Cloud delivers major benefits:
- Maximizing your MS 365 investments by accelerating adoption and increasing usage of MS 365 advanced collaboration features.
- Saving huge amount of time to users sharing files in the MS 365 Cloud. Attach2Cloud is certainly the easiest and fastest way to share files in OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams. It is also the fastest way to invite others to share files with you in your own OneDrive storage space.
- Providing MS 365 customers with an ideal solution to exchange and share large and very large files. Attach2Cloud allows to attach files up to 250 GB unit size to Outlook emails in order to automatically upload these files to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams and share them with the recipients of the email, and this without asking users to do anything other than what they usually do: attaching files to an email and sending it.
Depending on the customer, one or the other of these benefits is predominant, but in all cases, they reinforce each other.
Let us take a closer look at this:
Maximizing your Office 365 investments by accelerating adoption and increasing usage of Office 365 advanced collaboration features:
Attach2Cloud provides a real service to all MS Outlook users by transparently replacing the totally unproductive process of exchanging standard attached files back and forth, by a new cloud-centric collaboration mode, based on sharing a single copy of these files stored in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams.
Attach2Cloud does this without changing users’ habits. On the contrary, it takes their “bad” habits (sending Outlook attached files) as a starting point for discovering new, and by far more productive, (and also by far more satisfying and rewarding), practices.
This drastically improves the ROI of your MS 365 subscription.
Saving huge amount of time to users sharing files in the Cloud:
Using Attach2Cloud is at least 2 to 3 times faster than any other way of sharing files in OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams.
At large customers with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of users, this single benefit is worth hundreds of thousands of Dollars per year and covers several times the cost of the Attach2Cloud yearly subscription.
Plus, since it is now that easy to share files in the cloud, users start doing it massively, improving very significantly, as developed above, the ROI of your MS 365 subscriptions.
Providing an ideal solution to exchange large and very large files:
Attach2Cloud, by providing MS 365 users with an ideal solution to the need of exchanging large and very large files, makes it unnecessary to use specific platforms that are often located outside the customer IT administrative and security perimeter.
Using such platforms (legitimate of Shadow IT platforms) sometimes raises integration or security questions and sometimes has costs. It also requires using specific apps or web sites, breaking the continuity of the MS 365 user environment.
Attach2Cloud, by refocusing large file exchanges to MS 365, cancels integration issues, risks, and costs, while improving the productivity of MS 365 users.
As you can see, Attach2Cloud really has the power to significantly increase MS 365 ROI at any MS 365 customer.
This is particularly true for all organizations facing low to moderate MS 365 advanced collaboration features adoption rate and not wishing to invest heavily in user education and training, (i.e., based on our experience, the vast majority of MS 365 customers), as well as for organizations needing to exchange (sending but also receiving) and share large and very large files, internally and externally.
For MS 365 customers of any sizes, would they have dozens, hundreds, thousand, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of MS 365 users, what is the value of a 10%, 20%, 30% (or more) increase of their MS 365 subscription ROI?
In any case, by far higher than the cost of Attach2Cloud!