It is getting out-of-hand. Users are treating email as a file-transfer medium. Even if the other person is sitting 3 desks down. Rather than saving their files to the network, they "feel" it’s easier to just attach it, and send it to the other person’s mailbox.
It’s getting worse. Nowadays, Marketing files are getting overwhelmingly (is that a word?) large. We are now using email to transfer Marketing campaigns, video’s, and Magazine layout files. Where did we go wrong? And don’t get me started on the oversized 5MB photos of someone’s mom’s birthday with those 7 megapixel cameras.
I’m guessing it’s because everyone is so used to using email, it just became second nature. Now, of course I’ve implemented the size-restriction policy. Most of the medium/large-sized business have. BUT, you also can’t stop business processes either. If they gotta have it, they gotta have it.
If Company A has a critical financial spreadsheet that Company B must have, and it is 25MB in size, do you just tell them they are out of luck? Unless you want to lose your job, you temporarily give them access.
Of course, you have the other alternative, which is setup an FTP server. That way, you can give your user’s access to their own "folder", and drop files in there for the "outside" user’s. But, what if an outside user shouldn’t see another outside user’s data, from the same internal user’s folder?
Now, you are back to heavy administration. You’ve alleviated the database size problem from email, and moved over to an administrative overhead of maintaining user accounts and permissions.
Really, the best option is to setup a web-enabled file transfer application. This type of application allows end-users to "upload" the files they want to transmit, and type in the recipient’s email address. An email is then submitted, on the user’s behalf, with a link to download the file. Now, you’ve moved from a push (synchronous) technology, to a pull (asynchronous) technology. AND, if the user doesn’t want it, you are not forced to use up the bandwidth.
A perfect solution. I haven’t found many products to do what I want, though. Either, they are too expensive, or they don’t do what I want. So, I’m half-way thinking just making our own web application. Jeez, it can’t be that hard?
Anyone have any suggestions on products they use, to alleviate using email to transfer files, but still use email to notify users of the files?
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