NetDocuments ndThread Administration

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The NetDocuments ndThread award-winning collaboration technology brings together key activities — conversations, documents, and more — into a unified, topic-based solution.

Discover how ndThread technology drives productivity and enhances the workflow of teams.

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Introduction to NetDocuments ndThread

ndThread secures and brings together conversations, documents, and messaging directly within the NetDocuments cloud platform. ndThread dramatically reduces reliance on email for internal collaboration. It captures and incorporates relevant conversations, document comments, and internal messaging, ndThread improves an organization’s information governance, creates a complete electronic topic-based file and incorporates discussions into NetDocuments workspaces, and facilitates intuitive, secure mobile messaging.

ndThread delivers the following specific features:

  • Matter-based, threaded conversations
  • Ad-hoc, real-time discussions among colleagues
  • Global and contextual document comments
  • Push notifications to any device
  • Direct messages between employees

For additional questions regarding ndThread, please contact your account representative.

System Requirements for ndThread

ndThread is available in the browser, as a desktop application, and through native mobile apps. ndThread supports the following platforms:

  • Browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, IE
  • Operating System: Windows 7, 8, & 10; Mac OS X
  • Devices: iOS and Android

ndThread in the Browser

Access ndThread in the browser:

Alternatively, on the NetDocuments corporate website (https://www.netdocuments.com/en-us/), select the Sign In option from the menu, select ndThread, and then select the host service.

 

ndThread for Desktop (Download links)

 

ndThread for Mobile

ndThread Repository Configuration Setup

After you purchase ndThread, a NetDocuments account representative enables ndThread for your repository. To set up and configure ndThread successfully, you must meet all the following administration setup requirements. 

First, select a cabinet for storing direct messages:

  1. Log in to NetDocuments and select the Edit name, logo and billing information.
  2. In a Direct message storage cabinet drop-down, select a cabinet for storing user items, such as email message, documents, attachments, and so forth:
    field.pngThere are two other settings you can choose to configure:
    ndthread_other.PNG
    1. "Display ndThread features in NetDocuments UI" (unchecked by default).  Currently, this will display a "Threads" tab in every workspace in the repository, with access to the threads for each workspace.
    2. "Allow external access to ndThread" (checked by default).  Whether external users can access ndThread.  Note that external users will still need to be invited to your repository and cabinets to get access.  If there is no external access to your repository, then external users will not be able to access threads and direct messages.
  3. Select a cabinet that your internal NetDocuments users can access, no matter if it uses workspaces. Additional configuration requirements for the cabinet:
    • The default Internal Users group must have access to this cabinet.
    • Do not hide the membership of the Internal Users group. However, you can hide the group in user group display lists.
    • If you allocate a cabinet for sending and receiving direct messages, ensure that it continues to exist for this purpose. If you inadvertently change the direct message cabinet, then existing direct messages will no longer be available to your users. Therefore, make such cabinet changes with caution. Ensure not to make unnecessary changes to the cabinet as it might make direct messages unavailable to users. 

Second, create a separate and permanent Service Account for ndThread:

  • Certain backend ndThread processes utilize a service account. ndThread requires a permanent account not associated with an existing Administrator user, because if that administrator were to leave, ndThread would stop functioning. NetDocuments recommends creating a new service account solely for ndThread; do not use the same service account for other add-ins, like NetDocuments OCR.
  • NetDocuments recommends that you name the service account NetDocuments ndThread or similar.
  • Ensure that the service account is a Cabinet Administrator
    • in every workspace-based cabinet in the repository to ensure access to all the content in those cabinets.
    • in the direct-message cabinet identified above if the cabinet that stores direct messages is not also a workspace-based cabinet.

Third, after you create this service account and grant appropriate permissions, authenticate the service account to ndThread, by following these steps.

After licensing ndThread, you will separately receive a customer email with the password to access the NetDocuments Service Account Login document. That document will contain a special URL for your host location.  Copy that URL into a browser, which will show a typical NetDocuments login page, and enter the ndThread service account credentials:

 url.png

Make sure to login as the service account and not as yourself.  The best way to do this is to paste the URL into a browser that you never use for NetDocuments or into the Chrome browser in incognito mode, where your existing credentials will not be cached. 

The configuration of ndThread for your repository is now ready.

Steps to Rollout ndThread

 

Step 1: Consider Creating a Tagline

We recommend using a memorable tagline when rolling out ndThread so that your users are able to quickly understand the benefits that ndThread provides. A good example is Join the Conversation, which lets your users understand that ndThread is more than just storing and retrieving documents. In addition, this helps your users understand that even though they already are the members of a workspace in NetDocuments, ndThread gives them more opportunities. For example, they are able to join the conversation about a topic or matter.

Step 2: Identify Key Use Cases and How-To Training

Your ndThread users need guidance, not just on how to use ndThread, but when to use it. Identify common uses cases that benefit most from the enhanced collaboration and interaction that ndThread fosters and share those with your users. When aware of the list of use cases over time, share with your ndThread users.

Provide brief appropriate training to your users. One engaging method is to provide your users with a test script to allow them to acquaint themselves with the key features of ndThread. You might want to use a test workspace for this purpose.

Below is a sample script of actions for your users to try:

  • Join a workspace (search for it and join it)
  • Post a comment in the Team thread for that workspace
  • @mention colleagues who joined the workspace conversation
  • Add a reference to an existing document in the Team thread
  • Upload a new document to the Team thread
  • View an uploaded document and comment on any sentence
  • Create a private thread in the workspace that only one of your users and another colleague can access
  • Create and send a direct message to one of your colleague who is using ndThread too

Step 3: Resources for Your Users

In addition to providing how-to training, share these best practices with your users:

Join Workspaces and Configure Notifications

If conversations are taking place but a user is not aware of them, they have no value to your users. Therefore, every user should make sure to join ndThread workspaces that correspond to the NetDocuments workspaces, in which they are actively involved. A user who is already a member of the ndThread workspace is able to invite another user, to ensure the participation of the entire team.

Encourage your users to sign up to receive notifications. By default, every user receives a desktop, mobile, and email notifications when someone sends them a direct message or @mentions to them. Best practice for your new users is to receive notifications of all thread activity.

To configure notifications, select the user’s avatar in the lower-left corner of the ndThread page, and then select Preferences

The notifications settings appear in the Preferences dialog box, governing notifications sent to the user’s computer (desktop notifications), mobile app, or email inbox:

Regular notifications are available in different ways.

  1. Web Browser. When a user accesses ndThread from the browser, a message prompts them if they wish to receive notifications. Use the desktop notification settings to govern these notifications.
  2. Desktop Notification Settings. A user can install the desktop app, which then sends desktop notifications. If the user installs the desktop app, they should NOT also enable browser notifications on the same machine, because those notifications are duplicative, as both appear on the same computer. The desktop app provides an overall better experience than the web browser and is preference.
  3. Mobile App. A user can install the mobile app and in that case, the mobile app sends notifications to their device. A user is able to choose the way those notifications appear.
  4. Email. If a user has chosen to receive desktop notifications and has also installed the mobile app, then we do not recommend that the user chooses to receive email notifications. A user may find that email notifications simply compounds the problem ndThread is trying to mitigate: too many emails. Email notifications should likely be limited to new users who are learning the system and users who do not want to receive desktop or mobile notifications.

Install ndThread Mobile App and Desktop App

We strongly recommend you have your users install the ndThread mobile app (on either iOS or Android), which allows them to receive notifications, and to send messages or replies when they are out of the office.

Install and use of the desktop app, as it includes additional notification methods, even if desktop notifications are disabled, over accessing ndThread via the browser.

@mention

If you want to call out individual team members in a thread, such as to get an update from a specific person or ask a specific team member to perform a task, use the @mention feature. Simply type “@” in the message body and a list of your available users appears. Alternatively, use the @mention in the drafting area.

Using an @mention triggers an immediate notification to a specific user, if that user receives @mention notifications, and provides other indications to that user.

Introduce User Avatars

Pictures or User Avatars identify specific users within ndThread on messages or on user lists. Encourage your users to use the Profile dialog to upload a picture, either a real picture or avatar. 

If you do not load an avatar, we use the default avatar.

Loading avatars and pictures facilitates collaboration even if colleagues are not at the same location.

Lock a Document Version Before Adding Comments

If your users are adding comments to a document version, we recommend that your users lock that version of the document first, to ensure that any comments added to specific parts of a document continue to point to the same location. If someone later updates or removes the version of the document, the comment might not point to the correct location, as the location might move.

Step 4: Invite and Encourage Feedback

Encourage your users to provide you with feedback on a regular basis using a direct message. Additionally, please send this feedback into the NetDocuments Support system, which the ndThread product team receives to provide continuous improvement, so changes come often and respond directly to your feedback.

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