10 Reasons why SharePoint is not a File Server

sharepoint file server

Many companies are migrating to Office 365.   SharePoint Online is included with most subscriptions for free. Often, IT professionals are asked to evaluate moving their company file servers to SharePoint Online.  While SharePoint is great for collaborating on documents with teams inside or outside of the company, can it completely replace an on-premise file server for larger firms?

Here’s the list of the top 10 reasons we compiled on why SharePoint might not be a good fit to replace your file servers:

  1. Speed – Nothing can beat the speed of local network file server access. While Internet speeds are measured in Megabits, local network speeds are measured in Megabytes.  A local network connection is at least 10 times faster than any Internet connection.  For example, a fast 100 Mbp/s home Internet connection only equates to 12.2 MB/S.   In the office, networks are typically 1GB – a whopping 125 MB/s!!  For large files access, nothing beats a local area network connection.

 

  1. Simplicity – Users are trained to easily grab their files from a mapped drive. With SharePoint, files are stored in libraries that are accessed using a web-based interface. The interface looks nothing like Windows File Explorer.  Alternatively user can access file using the OneDrive for Business client which requires user training and  intervention to sync and to locate the shares they need.

 

  1. Storage Capacities – Even the smallest companies have easily terabytes of data. SharePoint Online has a 1TB limit on each library, a  5000 item display limit, a 15GB file size limit and a maximum 100,000 file sync limit.   Even if you did store this much data, or files this large, accessing them over the Internet may be unworkable (see Reason #1).

 

  1. Migration – Migrating to SharePoint from legacy file shares takes careful planning. All permissions must be manually recreated on the SharePoint sites along with equivalent folder structures.  File names on local shares allow special characters that are not allowed in SharePoint (#%&) that must all be renamed before migrating them.

 

  1. Backups and Disaster Recovery – With traditional file shares, they can easily be replicated to multiple sites, backed up and archived for compliance going back many years. With SharePoint, restoring old data involves multiple databases and entire SharePoint farms that may be no longer supported.   SharePoint Online only keeps the lastest 90 days of deleted files – backups requires additional 3rd party subscription services that charge for ongoing backups and retrieval.

 

  1. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Sharing files using traditional file shares can be deployed to users in minutes or made available using VPN or SSL VPN products like MyWorkDrive.com with a simple File Explorer-type web page. With SharePoint Online deployments are complex, data is scattered across libraries and scripting tools and services come with high price tags.  Users must also be trained on how to share and access data.  This all leads to additional IT support and training costs.

 

  1. Ownership of Data – Many firms have compliance regulations preventing them from moving files to the Cloud or legal concerns as to who has access to their company data. Moving data to Sharepoint Online requires careful compliance and legal review.

 

  1. Fragility – SharePoint systems are complicated and fragile.  Any Windows update can take down the entire SharePoint farm.  File Servers and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are dead simple to manage, patch and restore in an emergency.  Even with Sharepoint Online, syncing issues on a single PC can corrupt or remove data across multiple users.

 

  1. File Locking – Databases, Engineering CAD files and Accounting applications are designed to run locally at Gigabit speeds and have the ability to lock files in a multi-user network environment. These types of files cannot be stored or accessed using SharePoint.

 

  1. Archiving – Traditional file shares can be easily encrypted and stored offsite indefinitely, then easily restored at any time in the future regardless of any technology changes. With SharePoint, entire systems must be restored, or with SharePoint Online additional archiving services must be purchased and paid for perpetually which store SharePoint into long-term archives leading to additional support and subscription costs.

 

Bottom line – SharePoint is not a file server, it’s a collaboration portal.  Microsoft has a great support article here on this topic and they recently released File Share Syncing to Azure at the 2017 Ignite Conference (see our earlier blog article here) which makes it clear Microsoft will be supporting File Servers for many years into the future.

Microsoft Azure File Share Sync – seamlessly extend file services across servers and cloud storage

Microsoft announced the public preview of Azure File Share Sync at it’s 2017 Ignite Conference.  This technology extends file services from on-premise to Cloud Storage on Azure File Shares and across windows servers in multi locations.   Microsoft engineers interviewed customers and confirmed that Windows File Shares are still in use for a multitude of reasons.    The customer pain points identified include speed of access, control of data and large storage capacities.   Azure File Share Sync addresses these concerns.

Watch the Microsoft Ignite Session Herecloud storage

Some of the key features and include:

  • Bi-Directional Sync – from Windows Server to Azure Cloud Storage with write back capabilities
  • Multi-Site Sync – Sync a share across multiple Windows Servers through Azure File Shares to Cloud Storage with the ability to cache and edit data in real time at each site.
  • Backup of Azure File Shares to Azure Backup
  • Tiering of data – set the maximum data storage capacities for each Windows server and only replicate the most recent data to each server with the balance stored in Azure File Shares in the cloud.

The MyWorkDrive team is very excited about this announcement as it will give our customers the ability to setup a MyWorkDrive server in Azure, sync files to it and use it access file shares remotely or during a disaster.   Using MyWorkdrive, windows file shares can be accessed from any location worldwide over https (Azure File Sharing  only supports access over smb port 445 which is typically blocked from most remote locations).

This technology also provides a seamless way for MyWorkDrive customers to migrate their servers completely to Azure Cloud Storage and remove them from on-premise entirely utilizing MyWorkDrive to map drives or access them using our Web File Manager.

 

Harden IIS SSL for Compliance and Security

IIS SSL by default leaves older versions of SSL2, SSL3 and TLS enabled for compatibility.  MyWorkDrive has been engineered to support TLS 1.2.  Disabling insecure and weak ciphers is necessary to comply with security best practices including PCI, HIPAA, FINRA and GDPR.

 

While registry entries can be set manually, a great free tool exists for this called IIS Crypto by Nartac Software.

 

To lock down your Server’s IIS SSL ciphers, download the tool and apply one of the templates – at a minimum we suggest the “Best Practices Template”.

IIS SSL

 

The PCI Template 3.1 provides the most complete protection however some software may still require TLS 1.0 communication (MyWorkDrive does not).   One option is to apply the template settings to the Server only by unchecking “Set Client Side Protocols”.  This ensures only the “Server” portions are locked down and any client software ( e.g. Backup Software) continues to run.

After you have run the IIS Crypto tool and applied a minimum of the best practice template and restarted your server, you may wish to verify that your server responds on only the more secure IIS SSL cyphers.

 

There is great free SSL scanning tool at  https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/  that’s also built into the Nartac IIS Cryptol software that gives you a rating on how secure your SSL connections are.   Simply input your https web address and run the test.

You should get a Summary like this:

SSL Scanner

MyWorkDrive Recognized by Microsoft as an Industry Leader

What does it take to be a Microsoft Partner that leads the way in digital transformation solutions for business?

Secure File Access

It takes innovation, forward thinking, and a willingness to be just a little bit disruptive in a space that can at times be very traditional. The tech industry calls it, “digital transformation.”

What is “digital transformation?”

Digital transformation takes place when companies adopt a technology that changes the course of their workflow – making their workflow better, easier, or more efficient. This use of information technology to “transform” how businesses work is now one of the main focuses of Microsoft and its partners.

Intivix leaders, Rob Schenk and Dan Gordon, were pleased to have had MyWorkDrive mentioned during a session at an industry conference hosted by Microsoft called Inspire. At Inspire, Microsoft gathers its partners and resellers from around the globe to update them on the latest Microsoft offerings and industry trends. It is a great opportunity for technology providers to network and to interact with those who are innovating within the industry. According to Microsoft, Inspire is where “the world meets to transform business.”

Like many industry-specific conferences, Inspire is made up of many sessions and workshops.

At a special workshop called, “US14p The Art of the Possible: Digital Transformation for US Partners”, the Intivix team received commendation from Microsoft speaker, Sri Ganapathy for their work in developing MyWorkDrive.

Sri Ganapathy is a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft. It is Sri’s job to advise and encourage those that sell Microsoft’s products and services to follow the example of industry leaders. At this significant workshop, Sri Ganapathy made the point that technology providers should be moving their concentration from services that they want to offer to their clients to developing solutions to their client’s challenges that they can then promote across that particular industry vertical.

Some solutions that have been developed – such as MyWorkDrive – address business challenges across multiple industry verticals.

MyWorkDrive is an application developed by Intivix that allows companies to leverage their existing storage infrastructure while providing cloud availability features to that storage – allowing companies to move to the cloud at their own pace.

MyWorkDrive gives employees cloud access to their work files without VPN, syncing, or storing data in a public cloud.

This is different than VPN or file sync solutions. VPN and file sync are challenging in that they require employee retraining, are expensive to maintain, present an element of data-loss risk, and do not always conform to compliance standards. MyWorkDrive is the answer to all of these problems.

One of the outstanding features of MyWorkDrive is the solution’s seamless integration with Microsoft Office 365 online. With MyWorkDrive, employees can directly edit their Office documents in Office 365 online and collaboratively edit in real time without moving the files to the cloud. Once they are ready, employees can share Office 365 documents externally using OneDrive without compromising security.

Some of the other significant benefits of MyWorkDrive are:

  • The ability for a company to move to the cloud at its own pace
  • The advantage of leveraging existing infrastructure, Active Directory, and File Permissions
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Mapped Drive from anywhere
  • Mobile App for working away from the office

Because of the business problems that MyWorkDrive solves for companies across multiple verticals, Microsoft chose to highlight the MyWorkDrive solution within their presentation on innovative approaches that are driving business transformation today.

Rob Schenk, one of the partners at Intivix, said, “We were grateful for Microsoft’s recognition of MyWorkDrive. We’ve worked hard on it. We’re especially proud of MyWorkDrive because it combines fresh elements in file sharing that aren’t available in this configuration anywhere else. MyWorkDrive solves the user problems that were inherent in older file sharing technologies, and as a result, provides significant efficiencies for the end user.”

To find out more about MyWorkDrive and what we can do to improve your file access workflow, contact us now at 877-705-4997 or sales@myworkdrive.com

Striking The Right Balance Between Cloud And On-Premise

Cloud or On-Premise

 

Cloud adoption is continuing to pick up speed, with businesses of all sizes moving towards hosted technology solutions. The numerous benefits of making the switch to the cloud appeal to a wide range of industries, and leave many businesses eager to leave their on-premise solutions behind.  However, there have been a few hiccups along the way for a lot of these businesses, especially where their important apps are concerned.

 

The cloud’s versatility and flexibility make it an ideal platform for many of the resources and tools businesses rely on, but the fact of the matter is that no two businesses have the exact same needs or existing infrastructure.  Certain compliance or regulatory guidelines can also limit a business’ ability to leverage the cloud successfully.

 

Requirements that dictate where and how data can be stored – such as restrictions tied to certain government contracts – can make transitioning to the cloud a more difficult process.  But that’s not to say that the cloud isn’t an option.

 

A typical cloud migration sees an infrastructure move from on-premise systems and servers to a cloud platform in stages, offering an incremental upgrade that won’t hinder operations by taking huge chunks of your IT environment offline or leaving your staff to relearn a bevy of basic tasks in a short amount of time.  Businesses that have restrictions placed on certain data or applications can still move other pieces of their operations to the cloud without jeopardizing compliance.

 

Client data may need to be restricted to a secure on-premise server, but internal back-office data and applications such as accounting, human resources, and legal can be moved into the cloud. Your business can still move from legacy systems to software as a service (SaaS) and benefit from the cost savings, mobility, and scalability the cloud has to offer while still meeting your obligations to your clients.

 

This balancing act of sorts between on-premise and the cloud isn’t limited to compliance restrictions. Those providing municipal services such as the Department of Transportation can redistribute resources in a way that makes growth and innovation a smoother process.  Back-office functions can be shifted to the cloud along with other non-critical applications in order to allow mission-critical data and programs to be stored and maintained on secure on-premise servers and systems.  A hybrid on-premise/cloud solution can also be used in this scenario to support better scalability and allow for the adoption of platform as a service or infrastructure as a service down the road.

 

While most cloud providers offer built-in cyber security measures as part of their offerings as well as round-the-clock monitoring and maintenance of your virtual servers to prevent intrusions or data loss, some data can be considered too sensitive to trust to the cloud.  For some businesses, the fact of having to collaborate with an outside provider to manage IT security is something they’re simply not comfortable with. For others, it may be slightly more complicated.  Applications that, for example, control municipal resources such as traffic lights or waste water release require a level of protection from potential hackers that is, for the moment, better provided by an on-premise system.

 

Data that needs to be accessed quickly and at a moment’s notice may also be a poor candidate for cloud storage.  Despite the extremely high up-time guarantee offered by most cloud providers, there is always a chance that access could be delayed by a minor service disruption, whereas data stored on-premise would remain accessible.

 

For many businesses that either cannot or are not comfortable with trusting their mission-critical data and applications to a cloud solution, the cloud still offers an invaluable service – data backup and business continuity.

 

Your day-to-day operations might function based entirely on an on-premise infrastructure, but data and applications that are backed up to the cloud provide businesses with the ability to work around disruptions that would otherwise see their operations grind to a halt.  In the event of a fire, flood, or storm that leaves your office inaccessible or damages your on-premise hardware, the cloud allows for offsite disaster recovery.

 

Businesses that are fully open to moving to the cloud may find themselves facing challenges of their own. Adopting a cloud solution based entirely on functionality without considering connectivity or security can lead to major headaches.  It’s important to remember that while there are numerous applications designed to work in the cloud – or designed specifically for the cloud – not every legacy application can integrate with cloud technology seamlessly, or at all.

 

Taking the time to plan out your cloud migration carefully will give you better results, and save you the cost and frustration of having to revert back to on-premise solutions. When done right, most businesses that adopt cloud technology stay with it long-term.  Knowing which applications are best suited to the cloud, which applications need to be moved together to boost performance, and how your team relies on and uses resources will help your cloud migration to be a successful one.

 

The key to benefiting from the cost savings the cloud can offer is being smart about how and when you begin to move away from on-premise solutions. A business that is relying on onsite hardware that is ten years old and in need of constant maintenance will likely see a huge boost in productivity and efficiency along with a reduction in IT costs by moving applications out of their on-premise data center.  A business with relatively new technology powering its infrastructure wouldn’t see as dramatic a change in performance or cost, but could still benefit from the added accessibility and speed cloud-based applications can offer.

 

Something else businesses considering the cloud should keep in mind is their IT department. There is a common misconception that by moving part or all of their infrastructure off-premise, the need for IT personnel decreases.  The reality is that your technology is still there. While the day-to-day maintenance tasks associated with onsite technology may not demand the level of attention they once did, your cloud solutions cannot run or maintain themselves.  There will be new challenges for your IT staff to take on, and new uses for their skills. Your IT staff can now focus on leveraging your technology to increase performance and productivity, staying on top of upgrades and innovations, and helping your team to make better use of the resources available to them.

 

There is no right or wrong way to go about implementing cloud technology that applies to everyone. Each business has its own unique needs and goals.  Figuring out whether the cloud, an on-premise solution, or some combination of both is the right fit for your business requires taking a look at what your business’ requirements are and discussing your options with your IT department or IT provider.

Version 3.1 Released!

Install Server Software

 

 

 

 

 

We are happy to announce the release of MyWorkDrive version 3.1 with numerous new features and improvements including:

  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Public File Sharing link functionality using Office 365 OneDrive integration
  • MyWorkDrive Mapped Drive and Mobile Client updates
  • DUO Two Factor Security in Web, Mobile or Mapped Drive Clients

 

MyWorkDrive is the ONLY Microsoft Office 365 Partner that allows you to collaborate with and edit office documents online in Office 365 while keeping files stored on your own server.

 

Download MyWorkDrive Version 3.1 upgrade or Trial for 30 days now

Download Mapped Drive and Mobile Clients

 

See our Server Setup Guide for more information. The latest release allows you to trial all features including enterprise functions during your trial.   Existing customers may upgrade in-place.

 

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) allows you to prevent downloading and external sharing of files made available in MyWorkDrive.   Details are in the DLP Support Article Here

 

 

Questions? Need a trial extension? Email us at sales@myworkdrive.com or Phone: 877-705-4997

MyWorkDrive Featured In May 2017 Microsoft Azure Newsletter

MyWorkDrive had the honor of being included as a feature in this month’s Microsoft Azure newsletter alongside a series of great articles on the latest Azure news and developments.  This recognition is beyond thrilling for the MyWorkDrive team and something we’re proud to share with our clients.

 

Here is the write-up as featured in the May 2017 Azure Newsletter:

 

MyWorkDrive.com relies on Azure to provide the infrastructure for its cloud-based file access as a service offering. MyWorkDrive provides enterprise cloud file sharing services for Windows networks. Businesses use MyWorkDrive to access, share, and collaborate on work files using their lightning-fast web file manager, mapped drive client, or mobile devices. Leveraging MyWorkDrive’s Azure infrastructure, companies can securely edit and share documents in real-time using Office Online while keeping their files stored on Windows file servers on premises or in their own Azure subscription. MyWorkDrive’s service on Azure is growing fast, and is being adopted by an increasing number of enterprises.

 

You can see the original write-up here, along with the rest of the newsletter’s exciting content.

Want to find out more about MyWorkDrive? Contact us at sales@myworkdrive.com  call 877-705-4997.

Resolve Business Challenges Quickly with MyWorkDrive

In today’s working world, whether your business is large or small, you require remote access to your files. You may rely on a Virtual Private Network (VPN), with syncing to do this. Regardless of the solution type, you just need to access your files from any location in a secure, reliable, cost-effective way. This is the genesis of MyWorkDrive. It allows you to work from anywhere, and access your files without the need for a VPN, or syncing files.

 

 

Why MyWorkDrive?

You need reliable, fast and secure access to your files from anywhere, without the worries about:

  • Ransomware, like Cryptolocker, that can access your network via VPN.
  • Costly sync/share solutions that expose you to data vulnerabilities if a laptop is stolen.
  • Cloud solutions with bandwidth constraints and support issues.
  • Putting all of your data in the cloud—You may just want an incremental move due to regulatory issues, or just because you’re not comfortable with this.

With MyWorkDrive, you have fast, easy and secure remote access to your organization’s files using YOUR server storage: 

  • No more privacy worries about data being stored in the cloud, or not syncing to your remote computers.
  • No more downloading and syncing all your data to access files. (This doesn’t work if you maintain a lot of data.)
  • All your files remain on your local server when large files or data sets are needed, and available at Gigabit network speeds though the same mapped drives you already use.

MyWorkDrive provides a Lightning-Fast Web Browser, Mapped Drive and Mobile Access to your work files without all the administration hassles and time wasted waiting for connections. Plus, it offers native or Office 365 integration without the need to download files to your system.

 

How MyWorkDrive Works

 

  • You simply log in to MyWorkDrive with your network credentials. Or you can opt for Single Sign On (SSO) ADFS with Two-Factor Authentication Security.

 

  • Permissions can be set for each user to designate what access they have to files. Plus, you’ll have a log of all file access for security and control.

 

  • All files remain on YOUR server, and under YOUR control.

 

  • Documents can be edited directly from MyWorkDrive without downloading them, and then saved securely.

 

  • Your employees can co-edit documents in Office 365 in real time. And when one person needs to work on a file, it will be locked until they have completed and saved their work, notifying others if they try to work on it at the same time.

 

  • Users can find files easily with an Integrated Search function and shortcuts to folders

 

  • Take advantage of Drag & Drop for file and folder uploads.

 

  • Enjoy Mobile Support for iOS & Droid with File Upload/Download and Viewing capabilities

 

  • MyWorkDrive provides Multi-Language support.

 

Both large and small organizations have benefited from increased security, productivity and efficiency with MyWorkDrive. They enjoy private and simple file access from any device. 

MyWorkDrive integration adds local server document editing in Office Online

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Latest MyWorkDrive Innovation Allows for Co-Authoring Integration for Office Online!

MyWorkDrive is thrilled to announce certification in Microsoft Cloud Storage Partner Program.

MyWorkDrive allows users to edit and co-edit documents in a Microsoft Online browser window, and save their documents back to the companies local file server.  MyWorkDrive is the only on premise remote access solution that enables enterprises to remotely edit and collaborate on documents within a browser window, using Office Online and keep files stored on their local server.  This allows MyWorkDrive users to take advantage of more efficient opportunities to collaborate and get work done, from anywhere in the world while saving on costly Office 365 E3 Licensing by utilizing Office 365 E1 Licenses for users who do not need full Office on their local PC’s.

The team of cloud storage innovators at San Francisco’s MyWorkDrive are thrilled to be unveiling the latest development to their software. MyWorkDrive has been officially certified with Microsoft’s Cloud Storage Partner Program, meaning MyWorkDrive clients will have access to co-authoring integration when using Microsoft Office Online. This latest development and partnership with Microsoft is a direct move to optimize the software’s capabilities for current users and businesses across the globe who are considering cloud use or migration.

MyWorkDrive is thrilled to be certified as a Microsoft Cloud Storage Provider and are eager to share the benefits of this partnership with their clients. Other cloud access systems use third-party document editors or require additional servers. With MyWorkDrive customers can integrate local files directly into Office Online. Whether a user needs to work on files based in Word, PowerPoint or Excel, efficient editing and collaboration capabilities are now central features of the MyWorkDrive platform.

The modern business world is more dynamic and fast-moving than ever before and the team at MyWorkDrive believes technology should be supportive of this demanding environment and optimize it’s potential. More and more professionals are driving a demand for universal access, storage and the ability to collaborate remotely; businesses in every industry want instant access, from anywhere and all the time. MyWorkDrive is passionate about being the premium solution to satisfy this demand and their partnership with Microsoft is an incredibly valued endeavor.

“Our team has over two decades of experience working in managed IT for business.” MyWorkDrive, Co-Founder Dan Gordon claims. “We’re excited about continually optimizing our software to better support the specific needs of modern business professionals. Our partnership with Microsoft and co-authoring integration is a huge asset to our client base. It allows them to get more done and allows for work to be accessed, edited and stored seamlessly. This is the future of modern commerce and we’re excited to be driving its development for business professionals all over the world.”

For more information on the innovative MyWorkDrive cloud storage solutions and their exciting new certification with the Microsoft Cloud Storage Partnership Program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to their team of experts anytime at (877) 705-4997 or via email at sales@myworkdrive.com

Release of MyWorkDrive 2.0 Brings Competitive Advantages to Modern Business Professionals!

San Francisco Company Thrilled to Announce Latest Version of Groundbreaking Remote Access Solution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – December 12th 2016 – The modern business landscape is fast-moving and evolves rapidly, more often demanding significant adaptability and efficiency from entrepreneurs and business staff. Rob Schenk and Dan Gordon of San Francisco IT support and consultancy firm, Intivix, set out on a mission to help respond to this increasing demand by creating MyWorkDrive. MyWorkDrive is a remote file access solution for business-owners that is poised to replace its expensive and complex competitors.

To help modern business professionals thrive, MyWorkDrive is defined by three centralizing features: ease of access, speed and cost efficiency. Users can easily access the contents of their business server remotely, without concerns about security or complexity. The entire MyWorkDrive team is committed to continually optimizing the product to best suit the evolving demands of the modern business landscape.

In light of this commitment, Schenk and Gordon are incredibly excited to announce the release of MyWorkDrive Version 2! The latest version offers product optimizations and added benefits for users including:
• Expanded localization settings that include: English, Spanish, French & German.
• Windows Server Search service integration
• Capacity to download folders/files as ZIP
• Increased support for installing on a Domain Controller
• Improved setup and integration improvements in Windows Server 2012 R2
• Support for Windows Server 2016

“We’ve had such a great response from users who absolutely love MyWorkDrive and the advantages it offers over traditional remote access solutions.” Gordon claims. “It really means the world to us because helping business owners drive productivity and competitiveness through technology is a huge part of why we started MyWorkDrive. We look forward to making continual improvements to help business owners make the most of their MyWorkDrive use.”

The entire MyWorkDrive team looks forward to continually growing with the business landscape to offer the most user-friendly, comprehensive and cost-effective remote file access solutions for every kind of modern professional. In hopes of driving increased simplicity and security, features planned for future implementation include:
• Windows Mapped Drive Client
• Office Online Editing
• Two Factor Authentication
• Post Setup Configuration Wizard

About MyWorkDrive
Founded by San Francisco IT experts Dan Gordon and Rob Schenk of Intivix, MyWorkDrive seeks to offer cost effective remote file access solutions for business owners, without sacrificing speed or efficiency. MyWorkDrive allows users to remotely and securely access organizational files and data in a way that is designed to maintain productivity and ease of use. MyWorkDrive is rooted in a philosophy of helping modern business-owners harness technology to better support business needs and help realize organizational goals.