Paper or digital, documents are an integral part of business operations and processes. But for many businesses, sharing the right documents internally and externally with the right people proposes.
THE PROBLEM WITH DOCUMENT SHARING PLATFORMS
Traditional, document sharing poses a number of issues like the ability to share large files, control who has access to the documents you’ve shared, and ensure that outdated versions are expired and only the most up-to-date information is available.
Most online sharing platforms require the sender and receiver to be a member or have a login to their system to see a document, or are so disconnected from your data that the documents themselves becomes nearly meaningless.
THE PROBLEM WITH DOCUMENT STORING PLATFORMS
Some document storage platforms also allow users to share their documents. For example, Google Drive doesn’t require a login or account in order for a party to view a document. In addition, their collaboration tools allow you to do more than just view a file.
SharePoint, on the other hand, requires authentication and has very intensive security around your documents. Which can be very helpful when it comes to controlling who can access which files.
The downside to these document storage systems is that it can be extremely expensive and/or require a development team to connect them to the data that those documents are realted to, like your CRM system.
STORING DATA AND DOCUMENTS IN ONE PLACE
If you want to have your (document) cake and eat it to, we have some ideas for you.
It is possible to have documents and data in a single location without the use of a third-party integration connecting your CLM to your Document storage platform.
Salesforce and some basic tools that provide a handful of options.
Quick was purchased by Salesforce a while ago and is a great way to have documents and data seamlessly related, however it is cost prohibitive for some organizations.
A similar problem exists with Files Connect, Salesforce’s solution for pulling in documents from Google Drive, Box.com and SharePoint. The integration is costly and it lacks the ability to preview your documents consistently.
If you’re looking for a document sharing option that does not bust the bank, Salesforce provides a way for Files to be shared externally.
Enter: Public Links!
With Salesforce Public Links, you can create a link to a document stored in your Salesforce org and share that with someone who is not a Salesforce user to view and download the file.
Certain features and settings need to be in place to allow public links to be created, such as content deliver networks and activating the use of Salesforce Files in your org. Once you have done that you need to dig through a few menus to create your first public link!
While this solves the first problem— HOW to share, we still need to figure out accessibility. That isnt too difficult but it does require intensive knowledge of Flows and Files architecture. Yet another roadblock, right?
FirmWorks Files can help generate, organize, and distribute public links!
One of FirmWorks Files best features is that is leverages the files that live on Salesforce and the data in your org to give you what you need. Once a file has been uploaded to the system you can use the FileViewer component to generate public links, with custom names, passwords, and set an expiration date. Using the FileViewer Component to create Public Links takes just a few clicks allowing you to get your documents out faster.
FWF also offers a few different ways to generate public links in mass. You can use the FileViewer action button to generate public links for all the files you are viewing in a single component. You can download these links just as easily using the Download Data action— passwords, and all. Alternately, you can utilize Files Flow Action to Create Public Links as part of an automation! Let’s talk a bit about how some industries use this to their advantage.
Use Cases for FirmWorks Files
Retailers Storing Product Docs Online
With public links, you can provide public documentation on a website. For example, A B2B or B2C appliance retailer can include the spec sheets of each otheir appliances on their website. Similarly, a furniture retailer might keep their assembly instructions for each piece of furniture stored on their website for easy customer download. This provides a better customer experience and likely reduces the number of support calls needed. Additionally, if a product spec or other documentation changes, the retailer can simply upload the latest version in Salesforce and expire outdated versions, making sure customers only have access to the most current information.
Version control is an important aspect of document management and being able to do so in a few clicks saves time, headaches, and provides a better experience to your customers.
Sharing Training the Latest Videos and Collateral
You may want to use public links to embed a video or imagery into collateral. If your company does OEM work, a vital piece of your business is providing your resellers with collateral to sell your product or service. Much of that collateral may contain links to videos they can use for demoing, product information, or otherwise educating their clients on your product.
Using a Public Link, you can provide a single link to the reseller while retaining full control. No more issues with the Toledo office using the sales material from 1996, when you can change the source on the fly.
Distributing Secure Information
You can also use public links as a distribution method for secure information. Because public links can be set to expire and password-protected, you can use them to send links to loan or grant applications and other sensitive information.
This gets even more secure if you send the public links in an email and have the passwords provided via a seperate means. Using FirmWorks Files flow action we can create all of those emails for you as part of a flow, so one button click can drive a secure and efficient process for emailing sensitive documents to an external party. Of course this is not mean for HIPPA or PII.
If you are using Salesforce and want to make you documents more accessible externally with out breaking the bank, Firmworks Files is a great way to generate, manage, and control public access to files.
If you are interested in trying out the product for your self to see how public links can help your organization, visit the AppExchange to start a free trial today.
In about as much time as it takes to read this article you can have your files working for you!