ATTACH2CLOUD - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What is the point of storing Outlook attachments in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams?
It is infinitely more productive for a group of users working on a set of files to store a single copy of these files in OneDrive rather than sending and returning these files by email to each other after each modification.
OneDrive is needed to support Office 365 advanced collaboration features like co-edition in Word Excel and PowerPoint, advanced file sharing features, selective file synchronization, integrated version management, etc.
If their files are not stored in the Cloud (in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams), O365 users cannot benefit from these features. This is the reason why OneDrive adoption is key to any Office 365 deployment project.
At customers starting with Office 365, and sometimes even at customers using Office 365 for some time already, the main vector of file exchange is Outlook.
Attach2Cloud provides a bridge between Outlook and OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams, accelerating and increasing the adoption and usage of these platforms, and, consequently, increasing the Office 365 advanced collaboration features adoption and usage as well.
Attach2Cloud not only improves Office 365 user productivity but it also significantly maximizes your investment in Office 365 by accelerating the adoption and increasing the usage of all Office 365 advanced collaboration features.
As a side benefit, the size of emails in which attachments have been replaced by Modern Attachments (i.e., OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams links) is expressed in KB instead of MB (they are 1,000 times smaller). As part of a global use, this has an extremely positive impact on the agility and performance of Outlook and Exchange.
You’re talking about attaching files in emails with no size limit? Isn’t this contradictory with the goal of engaging Outlook users to use OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams more intensively?
Not at all, quite the contrary!
Indeed, these attachments are in fact only attached to emails in appearance. Attach2Cloud creates the appearance of an attachment but in reality, these files are uploaded to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams and replaced by Modern Attachments (i.e., links) when sending the email. (This is performed automatically and transparently by Attach2Cloud).
For the Outlook users, everything is as usual: They create an email, attach some files of any size (several GB if needed) to it, complete their email and click on Send. That’s it!
In fact, for the O365 users, attaching files to Outlook emails without any size limits is often the most attractive Attach2Cloud feature, as a first step in Attach2Cloud usage.
Then, they most often start understanding the benefits of sharing files in the Cloud (compared to exchanging standard Outlook attached files) very fast 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 Office 365 users adopting OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams, or, for more advanced O365 users, to help them making a more intensive and more productive use of these platforms.
No email size limit?
There is still a maximum size limit for an attached file that is the maximum allowed file size in OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams (currently set to 250 GB).
But regarding the email itself, there is no limit. With Attach2Cloud 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 by itself.
This is generally enough to cover all needs.
How can Attach2Cloud help Office 365 customers refocusing large file exchanges made through public cloud platforms to OneDrive?
Thanks to Attach2Cloud, Office 365 customers can maximize their investment in Office 365, and regain control over the exchange of large files often performed through third-party platforms located outside the customer’s managed infrastructure like WeTransfer or other similar platforms.
As soon as Office 365 users see they can use Outlook to exchange large and very large files exceeding by far the maximum allowed Outlook email size limit, they instantly adopt this solution.
Because for O365 users, nothing is simpler and more efficient than writing an Outlook email and attaching files to it to cover this type of needs.
After all these years of restrictions in terms of Outlook maximum allowed email size, it is quite amusing to see our customers’ IT departments now encouraging using Outlook to exchange multi-GB large files!
This is a real revolution for all Outlook users!
Does Attach2Cloud impose a change in user habits?
No, and this is really a key point!
Once Attach2Cloud is installed, users continue attaching their files to their Outlook messages exactly as they usually do, using the Outlook paper clip button, dragging and dropping or copying and pasting files from Windows Explorer to their emails (or doing a right-click + “Send to Recipients” from Windows Explorer).
When they press the Outlook “Send” button, their email is put 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 the email is effectively sent.
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.
So, from the users’ point of view everything is as if they had sent their email as usual?
Users can continue to work in Outlook and even send and receive other emails while Attach2Cloud is uploading the attachments of some emails waiting to be sent in the Outbox to OneDrive SharePoint Online and Teams.
Sent e-mails that do not contain attached files to upload to OneDrive will be sent without waiting for Attach2Cloud to finish the emails it is processing.
Emails being sent containing attached files to upload smaller than the ones being currently processed by Attach2Cloud are prioritized.
Is it possible for the users to choose which attachments to replace with Modern Attachments (i.e., OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams links) and which attachments to keep as standard attachments in their emails?
Yes of course. At the time Outlook users send their emails (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 OneDrive.
For attachments to be uploaded to OneDrive, users can also specify a target destination on OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams, which sharing permission they want to use, and a number of days after which the file must be deleted.
Another possibility is to define rules that apply without user intervention, and in this case not to display The Attached File Control Center, or to display it only when at least one file has to be uploaded (based on a rule).
For example: “All attachments larger than 5 MB must be uploaded to OneDrive” or “All video attachments must be uploaded to OneDrive”.
A mix of the 2 above options is possible: Display the Attachment Control Center and define some rules. In this case, the attached files targeted by the rules will be pre-selected for upload to OneDrive in the Attached File Control Center.
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:
Attach your files (whatever their size is) as usual to your email and send the email.
If the Attach2Cloud Attached File Control Center dialog is displayed, set file target cloud destination, sharing permissions and elapsing dates (in case you need to change the proposed default values for these options), then validate this dialog and you are done!
Your email is put to the Outlook Outbox, the upload of the files to their OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams destinations and the sharing occurs automatically (and asynchronously, you can continue using Outlook) and once completed, the email is sent.
What is the default behavior of Attach2Cloud?
By default, Attach2Cloud displays the Attached File Control Center window when an email containing attached files is sent. All attached files are checked 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., 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 settings for each of the files displayed in the Attachment Control Center window. (These options can be restricted or locked based on policies that can be centrally managed).
Of course, if, for a given email, the total size of the attached files exceeds the maximum size allowed for Outlook emails (e.g., 10 attachments of 5 MB each and a maximum allowed size of 35 MB for Outlook emails), the user will ultimately have to select at least 3 attachments to upload to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams before to he/she is 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 Outlook emails, this attachment has to be uploaded to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams.
Can Attach2Cloud parameters be managed centrally?
All Attach2Cloud settings can be managed using Windows Group Policy Objects (GPOs) or any other registry management tool.
If you use Windows GPOs, we can provide ready-to use ADMX and ADML files containing all Attach2Cloud parameters (as well as a short description for each parameter). Simply import these files in your GPO repository and you can instantly start managing your Attach2Cloud parameters centrally.
Attach2Cloud Enterprise version customers can also ask us to update their Attach2Cloud parameters online. This service is included in Attach2Cloud Enterprise subscriptions. 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”
Settings and rules can be locked by the administrator to prevent users from modifying them.
Settings and rules not locked by the administrator are considered as default values and can be modified by users.
For example, if the number of days beyond which attachments should be deleted from OneDrive is specified but not locked, the specified number of days will be displayed in the Attached File Control Center window and users will be allowed to change it.
If this same setting is specified and locked, users won’t be able to modify its value in the Attached File Control Center window.
It is also possible to define a range, for instance between 20 days and 60 days, so users can only select a value within this range.
Another example; if this rule is specified and not locked:
“MP4, MP3, AVI files must be stored in OneDrive”
These attachments will, by default, be checked for upload to OneDrive in the Attached File Control Center window but users will be able to uncheck them if they don’t want to upload them to OneDrive.
If this same rule is specified and locked, users won’t 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 OneDrive folders for these attached files as well as their OneDrive permissions and the number of days beyond which these files must be deleted from OneDrive.
Any single Attach2Cloud parameter can be managed in the same way.
Can users change the default behavior of Attach2Cloud?
Can they create their own Attach2Cloud rules?
Yes, provided that the Central Administrator let them the right to do so, users can use the Attach2Cloud Ribbon (in the Outlook main Window) to create their own rules.
Even better, you can let users create their own rules inside managed limits:
For example, The Administrator, can specify a range of values between 90 and 365 days for the number of days beyond which attachments stored in OneDrive must be deleted automatically. Users won’t be able to select values outside this range but they will be able to create their own default rule in this matter, for example “by default, delete uploaded files after 60 days”.
How can customers who do not have a user registry administration tool configure Attach2Cloud?
As with all our software, we offer our customers to insert their own preferred settings into the setup packages we deliver to them.
By doing so, Attach2Cloud will work as per their specifications from the moment it is installed.
The values of the Attach2Cloud parameters to be installed can also be specified at setup time, on the command line launching the Attach2Cloud setup package.
+ Attach2Cloud Enterprise version customers can also ask us to update their Attach2Cloud parameters online. This service is included in Attach2Cloud Enterprise subscriptions. 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?
13.5 MB for the 32-bit and 64-bit MSI packages and 36.5 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 reduces the size of emails for which it has replaced attachments by Modern Attachments (i.e., links) by a factor of 1,000. For example, the size of an email initially containing 35 MB of attachments is reduced to a few tens of KB by Attach2Cloud.
It is like if these attached files had disappeared.
This is an undeniable benefit in terms of agility and performance for all of your Outlook users as well as for your messaging infrastructure.
Messaging teams loves this!
And this also benefits to the users:
Because instead of having attached files being sent and resent back and forth, and versioned manually by each of their recipients, users get, thanks to Attach2Cloud, one single copy of each attached file properly stored and shared in the Cloud as soon as their email is sent, and automatically versioned when modified.
And the recipients of these Modern Attachments can even collaborate in real time on these files.
Outlook users and the Exchange messaging team have a common interest in adopting Attach2Cloud!
What is the cost / benefit justification of Attach2Cloud?
Attach2Cloud delivers several major benefits:
- Maximizing your Office 365 investments by accelerating adoption and increasing usage of Office 365 advanced collaboration features.
- Saving huge amount of time to users sharing files in the 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 Office 365 customers with an ideal solution to exchange and share large and very large files.
Not only 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, but it also allows Outlook user to insert in emails being edited and in a couple of clicks, invitations to share files with them, in their own OneDrive storage space.
Depending on the customers, one or the other of these benefits is predominant, but in any case, they are fully mutually reinforcing.
Let’s 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 Office 365 Outlook users by transparently replacing the totally unproductive process of exchanging standard attached files by a new collaboration mode based on a single copy of these files stored in OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams, and allowing the use of Office 365’s advanced collaboration features such as co-edition and integrated version management on these files.
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 very significantly improves the ROI of your MS 365 subscription.
Saving huge amount of time to users sharing files in the Cloud:
Using Attach2Cloud is 2 to 3 times faster than any other way of sharing files in OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams.
At large customers with several 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 subscription.
Providing an ideal solution to exchange large and very large files:
Attach2Cloud, by providing Office 365 users with an ideal solution to the needs 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 platforms of Shadow IT) sometimes raises integration or security questions and sometimes has costs. It also requires using specific apps or web sites, breaking the continuity of the Office 365 user environment.
Attach2Cloud, by refocusing large file exchanges to MS 365, cancels integration issues, possible risks and costs, while improving the productivity of Office 365 users.
This is particularly true for all organizations facing low to moderate Office 365’s advanced collaboration features adoption rate and not wishing to invest heavily in user training, as well as for organizations needing to exchange (send but also receive) and share large and very large files internally and externally.
For MS 365 customers with several thousand, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of Office 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!