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by Leslie Schichtel Buchanan | Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, 8:00 AM
Alan Binkley once carried pens, paper and a camera to document his findings while inspecting residence halls during the summer months, only later to spend countless hours in his office organizing and filing each room’s information. Today, the area housing maintenance supervisor at Branscomb Quadrangle has the ability to work from his phone or tablet while walking dorm halls using Vanderbilt’s enterprise version of the popular cloud-based file-sharing and storage service, Box.
“The site has a really easy-to-use interface for non-power users,” Binkley said. “It’s like ‘SharePoint for Dummies.’”
Box was rolled out by Vanderbilt IT in April 2014. It eases the process of collaboration and increases mobility by allowing users to share documents with one another and to access their documents from any device.
The site allows users to create and edit documents within specific folders before choosing which content to share with whom. For Binkley, this means he can take a photograph easily during residence hall inspections and save the image in a document within folders organized by year, hall and room—simply with a couple of keystrokes.
“All I carry now are my keys, phone and tablet, which I would have on me anyway,” he said. “There are no written notes—no pen and paper—and it’s made my job much easier.”
An additional benefit of Box storage is reduced server space and maintenance costs.
“Vanderbilt has provided us with the tools,” Binkley said. “This is the type of thing that if more people knew existed, more people would end up using it.”
As of Aug. 14, the Vanderbilt community has opened nearly 3,000 Box accounts (doubling May’s number of 1,450) and is collectively using approximately 2 TB of storage.
Leslie Schichtel Buchanan,
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