Close the Deal Faster With a Virtual Data Room

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As deals get more complex and the process speeds up, it becomes even more important to have full visibility over your entire deal process. Using a robust virtual data room (VDR) can help you manage, share and collaborate on information faster with both internal and external teams. Using a VDR makes it easy for all parties involved to find the specific information that they need, and it enables the deal manager to organize large volumes of documents, control what information is shared, and what happens to that information after it is shared. Overall, a VDR can help businesses execute deals more securely, more efficiently, and faster.

Managing the Deal Process Using a Robust and Secure VDR

During the deal preparation phase it is important to develop an environment where sensitive information and documents can be stored. A secure Onehub VDR enables a deal manager to organize documents into separate Workspaces for buyers, sellers, and advisers.

As new parties enter the deal and need access to the information that pertains to their part in the deal (for example, non-disclosure, confidentiality, etc.), a Onehub VDR will require the new users to accept an agreement (use a default agreement or customize with your own) before having access granted to the Workspace. Once in, the deal manager can use simple document rights management tools to control the view, print, and download privileges of each document.

When a user does take action, it can be tracked by the deal manager using exportable audit trails. If the user viewed and downloaded a non-disclosure or negotiation contract, the deal manager will know the exact date and time of the event, and can follow up accordingly.

Once marketing gets involved in setting up agreements, memorandums, teasers, and other documents, the files can all be easily distributed to the appropriate people. People who have access can share with others in a controlled way, using secure role-based permissions.

Due diligence can be a very time-intensive process. Buyers can handle due diligence on their own timeline by accessing the documents they need using a Onehub VDR. Negotiation time can typically be reduced, as all parties are able to see the required agreements, make changes in real-time, and leave comments for each other. Tasks can also be set in order to provide a to-do list of documents that they need to be reviewed and/or approved.

Once the deal is done, Onehub’s VDR can hold the history information on the deal’s process and allow for future collaboration during the new partnership.

Conclusion

Multiple parties enter into deals, and having a secure and robust deal space such as a Onehub VDR can provide businesses with a centralized hub to store, share and collaborate on documents. Businesses that engage in transactions such as corporate restructuring, divestitures, capital raises, mergers, and acquisitions should all use Onehub’s secure and robust VDR.

Telecommuting Improved with Enterprise File Sharing

Working remotely from the office is a growing reality for enterprises around the world. Since 2005, the number of people working remotely has grown by nearly 80%, according to Global Workplace Analytics.

The latest telecommuting statistics show that the highest proportions of teleworkers are federal employees (3.3%), private sector not-for-profit employers (2.9%), private sector for-profit employers (2.6%), state government workers (2.4%), and local government workers (1.2%).

With the current labor force composition, 64 million US employees hold a job where they could telecommute at least part-time. Out of that, 79% said they would like to work from home at least part of the time. Altogether, this means that roughly 50 million U.S. workers can and want to telecommute.

Why is telecommuting a growing trend?

What is the potential ROI if more people telecommute in the US? If the 50 million people mentioned above who either want to or are capable of telecommuting start doing it, it could mean a national savings of $700 billion a year. A typical enterprise could save $11,000 per person per year on real estate costs and more. Furthermore, the employee would save anywhere from $2000 to $7000 a year on fuel costs, automotive maintenance, and more according to Global Workplace Analytics.

The challenges of telecommuting

While there are some obvious financial benefits for both enterprises and employees with telecommuting, it is not without a few challenges. Fortunately, enterprise file sharing solutions can reduce some of these challenges.

1. Communication

Many people that have worked in a corporate office and established relationships over the years say that communication and camaraderie are the primary things they miss when they start to telecommute. Their team members are no longer sitting directly beside them. This means that telecommuters need to rely on communication tools like phone, IM, email, and Skype for communicating. This can make it more difficult for telecommuters to communicate properly on shared team projects.

Enterprise file sharing can improve project communication. Not only is there one central hub that holds all of the team files, there are enhanced features like comments and tasks. These features allow team members to communicate with each other about specific projects in one central location. This gives telecommuting employees the same information as the employees that are in the office.

2. Career advancement

Many telecommuters find that they are actually more productive when they are home. However, your team members and managers in the office can’t actually see the physical time and effort that you are putting into your work. This could negatively affect your career advancement. The people that are actually at the office being seen doing the work are more likely to be promoted than telecommuters.

Enterprise file sharing solutions like Onehub have audit trails that can be a great solution to this problem. Audit trails enable all team members to see who has opened and worked on a particular file and when. Now your manager will be able to see just how on top of your tasks you really are.

3. Version Control

Many corporate businesses use email for file sharing. During a project, files go through multiple iterations with different versions getting distributed to different team members. Even with filename updating, versions can get confusing. Imagine an employee spending hours updating the file only to find out it was the wrong version.

With enterprise file sharing, there is a single location for all of your project files. Version control is handled by the system and file sharing features, like Onehub’s “versions”, enables team members to see version tracking history to ensure that they are always working on the right version.

Conclusion

Enterprise file sharing can improve the experience of telecommuting for employees and companies. We make it easy for telecommuters to collaborate from home, a coffee shop, or anywhere.

Online File Sharing Provides True Security

Do you have confidential business files stored on your work computer? Maybe it’s a spreadsheet for a report that must be delivered to management tomorrow. If you don’t work on it from home, you’ll be at the office all night. As a trusted member of your company, you are authorized to view this type of data. The question is, once you put the data on your laptop and take it home, how secure is it?

Lost and Stolen Equipment

The Ponemon Institute conducted a survey of 329 organizations that had 86,000 laptops lost or stolen over a one-year period. While physically replacing a laptop is certainly expensive, Ponemon explained that the value of the lost hardware represented only a small portion of the estimated cost. Much more expensive was the value of intellectual property on these laptops and the fees associated with data breaches and statutory notification requirements. The average cost to replace the data on the laptop was $49,246.

Spyware

After working in the IT industry for a number of years, I’ve heard many examples of spyware. Many times, this is a result of, “I let my child use my laptop for a little while and now it’s infected.”

This problem frequently occurs when someone borrows your laptop and accidentally goes to a compromised site that is infected with spyware or maybe a virus. As a result, the laptop can become unstable and has to be rebuilt. According to BrandonGaille.com, 53% of all computer users have had some kind of experience with malware infection. Important files should not become a victim of this catastrophe.

Is Encryption The Answer?

Some businesses see encryption as a way to store confidential business data and protect files. This secures data so that only the people with the proper software and decryption key can access the information. While this may sound like a great solution, encryption can be difficult to work with in a collaborative professional environment.

Proper decryption tools must be installed on computers in order to decrypt and access the data. Additionally, it becomes very difficult to share files externally, as even after the encrypted data has been transmitted; the remote company must have the appropriate decryption tools in order to access the file. This can take time and ultimately slow down your file sharing process.

Online File Sharing – Secure & Accessible Data

Online file sharing is a great option for protecting cloud-based files. Since files can only be accessed with a secure login, approved users are the only ones that can access them. Since the files are stored in the cloud, any viruses that affect your hard drive do not affect your securely stored files.

Online file sharing can provide secure data that is independent of hardware failures, loss, spyware, or other mishaps that can happen to business users on a daily basis. Online file sharing can allow your company to easily share your data between employees while providing the security you need to protect your company’s most important asset; it’s data.

Secure File Sharing for Your Business

Securing your company’s files is every employee’s responsibility. In this blog post, we’ll cover a variety of traditional methods for sharing files, pros and cons for each method, and how Onehub can help you share more securely.

Email

For many people, email can be both a blessing and a curse. While it’s truly wonderful to be able to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, this freedom can make things dangerous when it comes to sharing files. If someone attaches a file to an email (i.e. your company’s client list), you have no control over or insight into what happens to it after they hit the send button.

Many times this type of security breach goes unnoticed. With Onehub, you can control who has access to the files and if they are allowed to download files. You can make files view-only if needed so people only have the level of access you want.

Stolen Devices and Data

Stolen devices can lead to stolen data if you keep files on your local hard drive or mobile device. With Onehub, your files are stored in the cloud and if a device is stolen, the thief cannot access them without the appropriate password. The device can be replaced and work can continue as usual.

File Servers

It wasn’t that many years ago when file servers were the primary location of most company files. While they are still popular, there are many things to consider if you’re going to share files over the Internet. You have to make sure that your server is fully protected and that all of your security patches are up-to-date. Specifically, you must maintain a firewall with the proper settings and monitor it to make sure you’re not having any breaches in security. Some companies are great at making sure this is done properly, but for many companies service management can be an undertaking.

With the Onehub public cloud file sharing solution, all of this is done for you. Onehub handles the firewalls and makes sure they are set up properly. We stay up-to-date with security patches and make sure that only the appropriate people have rights to your files. Additionally, users outside of your company will not have to install complex FTP software in order to access your files.

Data Encryption

While you may need to encrypt data when sending it via email or even storing it on your local hard drive, Onehub users don’t need to encrypt data when sharing files. Data encryption can be very cumbersome, as it requires that everyone have the proper decryption software along with the security keys to decrypt files. In Onehub, files are encrypted as they are uploaded and then stay encrypted while stored. When you share a file with someone, a copy of that file is de-encrypted as it is requested by the individual accessing the file.

So, as you can see we’ve worked really hard to make secure online file sharing easy. Rest assured that we’ll continue to innovate and develop ways to protect to your data in every situation.

A Year in Review – 2013 at Onehub

We’ve had a busy year developing features to make Onehub even easier and more efficient. Here is a glance at some of the most interesting things that happened at Onehub in 2013:

Google Drive Integration
In April, we integrated Google Drive with Onehub. This means you can give your entire team (and customers) access to edit documents directly within Onehub. This new feature helps our users save time, work more efficiently and collaborate easier with colleagues.

Workflow Tasks
We also added the collaboration feature of Workflow Tasks in April. This feature allows you to ask people to review or approve files within your Workspace. You can write a comment in the task to give and receive feedback throughout the entire edit / review process.

Simplified Pricing and Unlimited Storage
In May, we launched simplified pricing and unlimited storage. The simplified pricing plans make it easier for new Onehub users to pick the right plan. Also, you asked for more storage and we listened. The Team Edition now includes 1TB of storage, and the Business Edition has unlimited storage.

Saving Mobile Files to Onehub from Your iPhone and iPad
In July, we brought cloud mobility to the iPhone and iPad. Now you can upload files from your mobile device directly into the Onehub app, from anywhere anytime.

24/7 Phone Support
In October, we went 24/7 with all day phone support. Now, when you’re up late working on a project and have a question about Onehub you can reach a live person by phone who can help answer your problems and get back on track.

Favorites Were Added to Make Navigation Easier
In December, we added another feature that is destined to save Onehub users lots of time. The new Favorites function allows you to select specific Workspaces and make them Favorites. A new card view will appear at the top of the screen for easy access and a quick view of Workspace users and activity. This allows you to quickly access your Favorites instead of scrolling through a huge list of Workspaces and files.

We Published More Case Studies

  • Moss Warner talked about why they love Onehub as a client portal.
  • White Wolf Capital discussed how they wanted a secure and easy data management system.
  • Hilco Industrial shared with us how they needed secure control over their files.
  • Birch Capital talked about how they use Onehub’s advanced customization and user permissions.
  • PRG told us how they improved efficiency and collaboration with Onehub.

 
You Met Some of Our Staff
This year we showcased the following Onehub gurus:

  • Matthew – Onehub’s design lead and avid video game player
  • Brian Moran – Onehub’s CTO, co-founder and outrageous cyclist
  • W. Andrew Loe III – Onehub’s lead developer and sailing fanatic
  • Brian Warren – Onehub’s designer and typography enthusiast

 
We hope you’ve enjoyed our recap of 2013. We are SO excited for 2014 and will continue to make Onehub better. Happy New Year!

Onehub Adds New Favorites Feature to Make Workspaces Easier to Find

Many of our users have multiple Workspaces because they often create one for each customer and/or project. If you’re a power user, this can lead to a long list of Workspaces that need to be searched through in order to find the one that you’re looking for at any given moment.

At Onehub, we are always looking for ways to make our software work better for you. This time we’ve created a new favorites feature that makes finding your favorite, most commonly used Workspaces, much easier.

Introducing Onehub Favorites

All your Workspaces, folders, and files in Onehub can now be marked as a favorite by clicking the new star icon. The star icon appears to the right of the name when hovering over any item in the Onehub Home. When you click the star, that Workspace, folder, or file will be turned in to a favorite card at the very top of Onehub Home. Each item you favorite will also be added to a new menu in the Onehub bar, giving you instant access to your favorites.

The favorites card(s) that appear at the top of your homepage will look like this:

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As you can see, it includes the title of the Workspace in large, bold letters. This is followed by the size of the Workspace and the date of last access. Next you’ll see the faces of the people that have access to the item. Hovering over any face will reveal their profile information.

Have you ever wondered how often Workspaces are being updated? For example, which day of the week generates the most activity? The last visual feature of the favorites card is the activity sparkline. Sparklines update daily and graph all activity for a given favorite for the last 30 days.

We hope this new feature improves your Onehub experience and makes you more efficient. If you have any questions on how to use favorites, please feel free to call our support team anytime day or night at 877-644-7774.

 

 

Time Saving Tips for Your Workday

Like most companies, at Onehub we’re focused on improving productivity and saving time. We hope this actionable list will help you get more out of each day.

Post It Priorities
Every morning, write down your top 2 to 3 highest priority tasks that must get done today. Put them on a sticky note and post it in plain sight (on your desk, monitor, etc.). These notes will help you focus on what is important.

Productive Times
We all have times throughout the day when we are more focused and alert than others. Keep these times in mind and make sure you use them to focus on your high priority tasks.

Block Off Time
Schedule a block of time. Turn off (or ignore) your email, shut down Facebook and Twitter, and let your phone go to voicemail. This is your allotted time to be productive and get things done.

Communicate Clearly During Collaboration
When collaborating with team members on projects it is critical to be clear and communicate well. This will reduce back and forth time and enable team members to take action immediately on your comments and tasks.

Filter Your Email!
Create folders (or tags) for different types of business emails and then create filters that assign new emails to folders. You’ll be amazed how much time it will save when you can read lower priority emails at low productivity times instead of when it arrives.

We hope you find our time saving tips useful.

Onehub Integrates with Dropbox

We are thrilled to announce a new adventure for Onehub and businesses that use Dropbox. We have built an integration using the Dropbox API that connects Onehub with your Dropbox files. This integration gives businesses that use Dropbox powerful new features like advanced permission controls, custom branding, and advanced collaboration tools. Onehub is proud to be the first enterprise file sharing app to integrate with the Dropbox Platform.

“Adding a new layer of sharing and collaboration with Onehub makes Dropbox a complete enterprise file sharing service for businesses that currently use Dropbox,” said Charles Mount, founder and CEO of Onehub. “Onehub is already in use across more than 50,000 businesses and our integration with Dropbox will extend the Onehub secure sharing and collaboration features to all businesses who rely on Dropbox.”

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What this means for Businesses that use Dropbox

Sharing Permissions:
Integrating your Dropbox files into Onehub gives your teams and external customers advanced permission controls. Our sharing permission features allow for both folders and files to be shared with more control.

Custom Branding:
After integrating, users will have access to white label and custom domain mapping. This means that when you share a file with customers and colleagues, it will be your brand that they see, not ours. You can place your company’s logo on your file sharing Workspaces. This allows you to grow your brand by showing your employees and customers the logo they know and trust.

Comments and Tasks:
Adding comments and task assignments to files in Onehub improves team collaboration. Comments can be turned off for a folder or file so that administrators can control who can view or write comments. This is a great way to allow geographically dispersed team members to communicate about revisions. Tasks can be created by one person and then assigned to another employee. Tasks and comments can be shared amongst employees to speed up the collaboration process.

This is a very exciting solution for businesses that use Dropbox to have more file sharing features. Give your Dropbox files a promotion by connecting them to Onehub today.

The Value in File Sharing Permissions

Some companies start using a file sharing solution and learn just enough to get the basics going. After that, they release it to the rest of the company so they can get to work. While this may be a common strategy, taking time to learn about best practices for online file sharing permissions can add huge value to your file sharing usage.

In Onehub, our customers typically organize their information by project, department, or client. Our customers, who take advantage of our file sharing permissions, set rules for each folder and file when they share with others. They can give their invited users the ability to read-only, read/write, create, move, and/or delete.

Onehub Sharing Permissions

Roles

Onehub’s file sharing has preset role permissions that allow the owners of each Workspace (A Workspace is like a folder, only more powerful with messages, comments, dashboards and more) to easily select each level of access. These range from “Administrator” with full access to everything including creating, downloading, editing, and printing files to a “Viewer” role, which allows the user to only preview files.

Additional roles include another top-level “Moderator” that has similar access as an Administrator but they cannot modify workspaces. “Collaborator” that can make edits to files, upload new files, and even delete files and folders from workspaces.  “Creator” that can view files shared with them, but only edit and delete files that they own. Finally, “Downloader”, “Printer”, and “Viewer”, who are granted the least amount of options but can view every file that is shared with them.

Selecting the right role for each person that a file is shared with is an important task and Onehub makes it easy to do.

Learn more about Onehub’s role permissions.

Best Practices

Here are some best practices when implementing online file sharing permissions: First, designate a small group to administer your company’s content structure. Once this group has been created, have one of them create your Workspaces and root folders. We recommend creating one Workspace for each department.

Once the Workspaces have been set up, create the appropriate permissions. A good example would be to give the sales department “create/edit” access to the sales Workspace while other departments are set to “view only” or “no access”. Some departments such as human resources and accounting will probably have extremely limited access for the required people only.

Once the Workspace structure has been set up, it will become the administrator’s job to monitor the Workspaces. Don’t be surprised if general maintenance is needed occasionally to reorganize things as your company grows and changes.

Conclusion

Using file sharing permissions can protect your secure content from being shared with the wrong people, and from people changing, moving, or deleting important data. Taking the time to learn about sharing permissions, and setting them up, can ensure that your folders and files are easy to find and properly secured.

Tips for Meeting IT Project Deadlines

Meeting project deadlines can be challenging for any company and IT team. Whether it’s scope creep, poorly estimated timelines, or illnesses within your staff, there are plenty of things that can go wrong with a project. Missing project timelines can be expensive and potentially damaging to the reputation of your company. This is why we put together the following tips to help you meet your project timelines.

What is Expected of You?

The most important first step to ensuring that your team reaches deadline for a project is to clearly define the scope of work and requirements at the beginning stage. Before you can estimate how long a project will take, you need to have a firm understanding of what is expected. Don’t be afraid ask questions and get all of the details. The details can be critical for understanding the volume and depth of the steps that are required to complete the project.

Get it in Writing

Once you have this information, make sure you write it down. This will allow all team members, as well as overseeing managers, a chance to review the scope of work and make changes before the start of the project. It is good to have an agreement where all parties understand exactly what is expected of each team member involved in the project.

Break it Down

Once you have a clear understanding of what is expected, you can then break down the project to its milestones and individual tasks. Once you have the individual tasks, estimate how long each one will take. Tip: make sure you give yourself some extra time and pad each milestone a little. Changes and unforeseen complications are bound to occur, especially in technology development, but IT projects affect other departments and these other departments will need to be told a deadline date so that they can plan their own projects accordingly. By padding each milestone you will increase the likelihood of meeting expectations.

When is it Due?

Once you have identified how long each milestone will take your team, estimate a final due deadline date. This date is important for other departments, who are depending on the completion of the project, a solid timeframe to look forward to.  It will also give your team a goal to work towards and you will be able to communicate on a daily bases if your project is on schedule or running behind.

Focus, Focus, Focus (on the Task)

Once the project work is started, make sure you track each task individually and monitor when it has been completed. This will allow you to know when certain pieces of the project are taking longer than expected. By focusing on individual tasks, you will keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed by the overall complexity of the project.

Communicate

During each milestone of the project, communication is key. You can establish a communication plan at the beginning of your project so that everyone knows when you will be communicating with them. By keeping them in the loop you can greatly increase your chances of success.

Don’t Over Commit Your Resources

Make sure you don’t over commit your resources whether it be employees or outsourced freelancers. In the case of freelancers, keep in mind that many work for other companies and will need some flexibility in their scheduling. Keep this in mind when you are developing the overall timeframe of the projects deliverable deadline.

Overtime – As a Last Resort

If for some reason your project misses a, deadline because of poor planning or other factors out of your control, it may be necessary to for participants to work overtime. This could lead to additional costs, and even burnout of team members which can then lead to mistakes in development…which means more work overall and the risk of not making the final deliverable deadline.

Conclusion

Staying on timeline during a project is critical. IT project deadlines affect other departments and the company as a whole. Most of the time, missing deadlines can be avoided with the tips listed above. It is important to properly document projects so that you can learn which tasks took longer than expected, and what type of unforeseen obstacles occurred. This way you can plan the next project better and increase efficiency within the IT department.