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Latest updates in Patronum for Google Drive Management

By Patronum

January 05, 2024

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As we’ve mentioned, 2023 was a huge year for Patronum with many milestones and feature updates. We have added so many cool & useful features, specifically around Google Drive Management that we wanted to share and deep dive into those to make managing Google Drive a breeze. 🤿 So let’s jump right in.

Copying Folders to Google Shared Drive

Back in 2021, we made setting up project folders super easy with our Folder Copy functionality. This feature, allowed a Google Workspace administrator to take a Folder structure, including files, and copy them from one Shared Drive to another. Ideal for organisations that have to create complex document libraries within Google Workspace when embarking on a new piece of work.

(Watch our YouTube Video to see how it works). We recommend that organisations create a Template Shared Drive that all users have read access to, but cannot modify. This Google Shared Drive can contain all the folder templates including template docs, sheets and presentations, etc.

In 2023 we made this feature a little clearer by improving the user experience with new icons and simpler terminology.

Move Files to Shared Drive

When implementing Google Shared Drives within Google Workspace, one of the most common challenges is how to move shared folders from users’ individual Google Drives into a centrally managed Google Shared Drive. With our new Add functionality, we make that process a little easier.

Simply select the Shared Drive where you want your data to be moved to, select Add, and then select the user and the folder and let Patronum do the rest.

Before performing the move process, Patronum performs a complete review of the files and folders, to make sure that the operation is technically possible. If any items cannot be moved, due to external permissions or ownership, then a shortcut to that item will be created.

Export File Sharing information

Many of our customers find the FILE SHARING section of Patronum extremely useful to identify who has access to the Google Workspace Drive data, and to also take measures to remove internal and external users’ access to potentially sensitive information stored in users’ Google Drives. Based on customer feedback we now have the ability for Google Workspace administrators to export this insightful information so that it can be analysed externally and shared with colleagues for review.

In addition to the File data, Patronum administrator can also export a list of all the users who have access to their data. So if you’re interested in see a total list of all external collaborators simply filter on external and then select Export All Users CSV.

Set Expiration and Access in File Sharing

Another feature that has come exclusively from customer interactions and feedback is the ability for Patronum to change and expire access on specific files.

Maybe you have an external collaborator who has editor access to a lot of files that they worked on previously, but now it’s no longer applicable for them to retain that level of access. Via Patronum you can change the access level of files files to a lesser permission, or expire and remove their access completely. Patronum give you much more control over the internal and external sharing of your Google Drive data.

Improved File Filtering

Patronum now supports filtering for all file types and also File Size, so administrators can locate specific files within a user’s Google Drive a lot quicker.

Support for Google Data Studio

When it comes to offboarding users all information owned by the user must be safely and securely moved to another user or shared location such as a Google Shared Drive. That is why Patronum now supports Google Data Studio data which is typically not stored within Google Drive. This data will be transferred to another user as part of an offboarding policy.

Patronum allows an administrator or help desk member to gain access to user’s Google Drive files so that they can help manage them. However, one thing that Patronum will never allow an administrator to do is view a user’s files without their knowledge, we believe that to be a breach of confidentially and confidence. However, a Patronum administrator could grant themselves access to a file, and then via the Get Link option obtain a link to the file so that they can open it natively, and transparently to the user, via Google Drive.

Transfer Shared Files

Following on from our stance on privacy, transparency and confidentiality, we’ve added support within our file offboarding features to allow for the transfer of only shared files. Many customers have requested this feature as they don’t want to keep all the leaving user’s files, but only the ones that they have been collaborating with others on. We have also given flexibility so that an organisation can decide where to transfer files based on these criteria. So shared files can be transferred to a central Google Shared Drive, and unshared files transferred to a Google Shared Drive that is only accessible to HR etc.

An administrator can also perform these tasks manually via the user profile section.

Request access to external files

One of the most innovative features within our offboarding section is our ability to contact individuals externally to request access to files shared with a leaver.

Let’s say Garry has been working with an external organisation. The external organisation owns the files that Garry has been collaborating on. When Garry leaves our organisation our ability to access those files leaves with him. With Patronum you can automatically add Garry’s manager or designated replacement to now have access to those external files, and if that not possible Patronum will email the owner of the files and request that they add to Garry’s manager or designated replacement as a collaborator. This helps keep the wheels within an organisation moving even with the stops and starts that leavers can bring to a business.

End User File Sharing

Well, we’ve saved the best until last, our End User File Sharing feature allows normal users to see who has access to their Google Drive.

This feature must be activated by a Patronum administrator, but once enabled normal users are given insights into who has access to their data, and who they have been sharing with. They can then take steps to reduce their exposure to over-sharing Google Drive data.

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