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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    I am having a horrible time getting my head around this, it doesn't feel intuitive at all, the FAQs are pretty poor and even watching countless YouTube videos doesn't help much.

    Part of the problem is I am picturing it as an online file server so what works and makes sense on Windows Server for example doesn't translate to Google Drive at all.

    Currently a firm I am taking over support for uses Google Drive but they have shared accounts, so a department such as Finance has a single account that multiple users log on to. The problem with that is accountability, some files were leaked but as the account is shared the owner can't tell who is responsible. So I have been brought in to remove all existing accounts, set up individual accounts, and then configure the permissions.

    There are quite a few problems with this:
    • With Google Drive a file/folder created by a user is private until they choose to share it with a particular user/group - This means I can't login as admin, see all files and take ownership of them before deleting a users account. Instead I have to manually specify a source and target user and transfer ownership. I initiated one such transfer about 30 mins ago and there is nothing to tell me how far into the transfer it is or how long it will take. I have to repeat this for numerous users.
    • Although they are called folders, they are actually labels. In one respect this is helpful as a single file can appear to exist in two places, but the same file is accessed from either location. But if you share a 'folder' with edit access with a group, anyone in that group can move the 'folder', if they move it to a location which is not shared then the other users lose access, it simply disappears (unless they are the owner in which case they have to search for it).
    • Once you share a folder with a user or group it doesn't automatically appear in their drive, they have to move it from the shared section to the Drive. Not much of a problem if you are using the online version but they use the Desktop version so they have to go online to drag the folders. Some of these users aren't great on computers so anything like this will cause problems. I would suggest they just use it online but apparently the desktop version is far better.


    If anyone has experience with this and doesn't mind me sending them a few messages I would appreciate it. As for anyone who hasn't used it I will try to log my experience here to help others (or put them off using Google!!).


  2. #2
    DF PwNagE Mobileman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    bloody shite, personally used it and removed it after few days, also a company i do some work for moved over to google apps, docs and drives etc and have since reverted back as it just want slick enough and was causing more issues than it was worth to terms of ms licence saving, I suspect for similar reasons above

    Thanks to Mobileman

    evilsatan (30th January 2015) 


  3. #3
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    I have spoken to Google support a few times and they are useless, they stall for time or give out incorrect info. I can see me recommending they leave Google at this rate.

    Thanks to evilsatan

    Mobileman (30th January 2015) 


  4. #4
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    Well I successfully transferred the ownership on a few of the accounts, lo and behold all the transferred files are moved into folders called "Transferred from username" so now I have a load of folders which contain files which are now unsorted, whereas before they were in a folder structure. There are even dupe folders with different files in. It is ridiculous that it functions in this way, the point of labels is a file can exist in two places so what should have happened is the files keep their labels and get labelled in the transferred from folder too. That way you can see what has been transferred without it being taken out of the structure and then simply remove the transferred tags.

    Losing the will to live on this...


  5. #5
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    I don't even think Google support have faith in the system, I just spoke to the most helpful person yet but he told me that there is no way to get the file structure back unless I manually sort it all using the other user accounts as directory trees, but even then hundreds if not more files have been orphaned. Apparently the other support personnel should have warned me about this before they suggested I transfer ownership. Great.


  6. #6
    DF PwNagE Mobileman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    select file, ctrl A, delete all then giggle and blame google LOL

  7. #7
    DF PiMP Fon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    Are you actually using the official google account for business (paid for)

    as opposed to several member's just signing up to google and using the free service?

    Fon

  8. #8
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    It is Google Apps for Business, it wouldn't be so bad if it was easier to understand what was going on. I am in the process of searching for the folders that should be at the root and then moving them there, problem is there are a lot of orphaned files left behind and at the moment I have no idea how many there are or how long it is likely to take me.

    The Google support tech recommended some third party tools which make it a better experience but none of them can help me with this, he said it must be done manually.


  9. #9
    DF PiMP Fon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    Sucks!

    I use the free service, and was considering it for the next company I support, but im a little more doubtful now.

    Fon

  10. #10
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    I am absolutely screwed, there is over 40GB of data (documents!!) that has been orphaned. My only hope now is to get on a PC that hasn't been connected to the internet and use the offline copy of Google Drive to manually organise all of these folders.

    The last Google tech I spoke to was very helpful but the bottom line was there is nothing that can be done about this. He even said how he has had a lot of similar calls about the same sort of situation.

    My recommendation to the company is going to be to move to a better provider. Initially I thought I was just thinking about it all the wrong way as I was used to file servers but start to finish this has been a total nightmare and it's not going to end any time soon.

    BTW does anyone know of a utility that will map a file/folder structure? I am visiting the office tomorrow but I don't have access to the office for long enough to copy all of the files. All I can think of is to map the structure in text form or close down Google Drive and work remotely with the machine.


  11. #11
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    According to Google support you can't even merge folders, you must move the files to the same folder then manually delete the files you no longer want. I am trying to get a system working for short term and think I will have to move them to another service because this as a solution is a total joke.


  12. #12
    DF PwNagE Mobileman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    yep my corporate customer had 50 users over a head office location and said was a worse than useless, i was simply using it for 3 pcs and an external site and found it a joke.

    just to add im currently only using dropbox but do need to revisit so be intresting see what you find mate

  13. #13
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    Will let you know mate. Fortunately there is a small silver lining with the Google system, even though it's next to impossible to migrate the data and administer it well, no matter how many times you move the data it keeps it's permissions and the existing accounts can still find the data (because the data doesn't actually move, you just relabel it). One account seems to have gone wonky somehow so I need to rebuild that account but the rest should function as normal tomorrow so the company can operate just still using shared accounts.

    I will be looking for an alternative provider though and making the migration over a weekend.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    I am going to try and sync the online files to a PC using the desktop app and then merge the folders to see what happens. To test this I created two folders on My Drive both named 'Test Folder' (seems stupid that it allows you to do this...) and inside the first of those folders I made a file called Test File and another called Test File 2. In the second folder I made a file called Test File and Test File 3. So now both folders have one document in common (technically they are different docs with same filename) and each has one file the other doesn't. Once synced to my PC I will merge and see what happens online to the folders.

    EDIT:
    So when it syncs to the PC it renames one folder so I was left with Test Folder and Test Folder (1). I opened Test Folder (1), selected the files, cut, paste into Test Folder and Windows let me merge like usual. Google wanred me that a file had been deleted (the Test File which was discarded). I deleted the dupe folder, logged in and it is now merged. Why oh why couldn't there be such an option online!! I have to sync 120GB of docs down before I can sort those folders out and I'm not sure what will happen with the permissions for other users. Will test on a couple of folders before I do anything.
    Last edited by evilsatan; 1st February 2015 at 03:16 PM.


  15. #15
    DF Jedi Hangman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    Firstly up front I am a Microsoft Licensing Consultant so might be a little biased.

    I see many customers go for Google due to the low price and then regret it down the line. When I speak with the IT guys they hate it but the pay masters only look at the bottom line. Funnily enough the O365 Plan E1 is not much more than Google but is a huge step forward. (Office Web Apps, One Drive for Business, Exchange Online Plan 1, SharePoint Online Plan 1 and Lync Online Plans 1 & 2) all for £5 per user per month or less depending o how the company buys it.

    I would set up a free trial and show them the improvements and how it will improve productivity, the side benefit to this is you then get the migration work too
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Its better to burn out than to fade away...............

    Thanks to Hangman

    evilsatan (1st February 2015) 


  16. #16
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    I am using Onedrive for Business as a cloud backup solution for several clients (I know it's not designed for this but there are only 2 pre-approved providers I can use for that particular work and MS is one of them). Those users don't use the online facility, they work from a local folder which Onedrive syncs to the internet so they have versioning etc. if their computer failed. In that environment the only issue is those who use NAS devices cannot link Onedrive to a network share so the NAS is just used for daily backups, also you can only set one folder to sync to Onedrive rather than select a few but this is because it isn't a cloud backup utility per se. Those with servers are ok though as I install Onedrive to there.

    How are permissions managed in Onedrive? This client already has all of their email with Exchange Online Plan 1 so moving to Microsoft could be the better option so everything is in one place. I don't find the MS admin panel to be too user friendly but once I get used to it I'm sure it will be fine.


  17. #17
    DF Jedi Hangman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    Does the client use active directory? If so they could use ADFS and manage most of the environment that way and also benefit from single sign on etc.

    Using sharepoint online could help, we usually advise clients to use OD for bus as a replacement for personal file storage with the added benefit of the ability to share individual documents and folders and the share point to set up team sites for more generic company data ie, HR site, IT site, Marketing site.
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Its better to burn out than to fade away...............

    Thanks to Hangman

    evilsatan (1st February 2015) 


  18. #18
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    When I get this sorted I will see if they use active directory on their server but only one office has a server, the others seem to be ran on laptops connected to Google Drive. Sharepoint sounds interesting though.


  19. #19
    DF Jedi Hangman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    If they don't use AD then you could suggest Azure AD. The free option would probably be enough for them.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Its better to burn out than to fade away...............

    Thanks to Hangman

    evilsatan (2nd February 2015) 


  20. #20
    DF PlaYa neilcritc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone use Google Drive for Work?

    Like others I run a IT Consultancy firm in the north west. I WARN my clients OFF google drive as I state no-one can confirm WHERE the data is, if you are worried about client data this is a BIG NO NO (father is a solictior and we have talked data protection many times!!!!) I use onedrive for business or sharepoint both are good solutions. I am a Microsoft partner and attend regular meetings and the one drive is getting better inc 365 from when it first started! For once Microsoft do listen when I attend our SBSC North west group
    Special K+ enjoyed as a healthy breakfast!

    Thanks to neilcritc

    evilsatan (2nd February 2015) 


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