Migrate to NC from Shared Folders on a File Server

I would like some advice on how to organize Nextcloud in a small company.

We are a small workgroup (5 people) who normally work using Shared Folders on a Linux server, associated with “network disks” on Win10Pro PCs.
This way of working is simple for us. Each has their own personal folder and one or more folders shared with other users, for example by project.
Depending on the permissions, we may or may not be able to see the contents of a folder and modify its contents.

Having to replace the server I would like to propose TrueNAS with NextCloud, but I fear that this complicates our way of working rather than simplifying it.
Some of us already have experience with Dropbox, but it’s different to occasionally share files and share them constantly.

On the other hand, each of us works outside, most of the time using only a smartphone with which we take photos or take simple notes which we then move to our PC in the office.
Also, someone would like to work from home with their laptop, but without a VPN they can’t.

Finally, TrueNAS manages shared folders and NC separately. How can I merge them without creating duplicates? Or do we not configure the shared folders and only use NC?

Please help me understand how to set up a test NAS before making a decision.
First, would you suggest TrueNAS Core or SCALE?

First Nextcloud uses Web, Nextcloud Desktop/Mobile Apps and WebDAV and not CIFS/SMB. This is very important at first and has not only advantages. Look into whether your workflows can do without CIFS/SMB.

Then i think Group folders are very important for you. Also you can use in your Nextcloud External storage e.g. to access your NAS.

I think first i would get a Managed Nextcloud in the internet (only small storage but possibility to install all apps (e.g. Group Folders). There you can test all functions (using Web, Apps and WebDAV) and create an (empty) test structure for working. Only you will not be able to mount the old NAS there. If all works fine you can install Nextcloud on-prem. I think you can get the test Managed Nextcloud for 5 or 10 euro a month. Invest this money for testing or install a test server with Nextcloud.

Maybe you can make a soft migration to Nextcloud. In the beginnging maybe you can combine your NAS (CIFS/SMB) with Nextcloud (Web, Apps, WebDAV).

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