February 21, 2012
Content collaboration is an area of rapid development and organizations seek to manage the complexities of agile project approaches, distributed teams, a deluge of information and ever increasing complexity. One of the key drivers and challenges of this is the move to a more mobile work force with employees needing to have visibility to their data across multiple devices and form factors.
As the amount of data available increases however, there is a need to intelligently manage what data is available on different devices to ensure security, but more importantly appropriate fidelity for the context of the particular employee.
This is where a new development from content collaboration vendor Huddle comes in. Huddle Sync is being dubbed an “intelligent file synchronization tool”. Essentially it utilizes aggregate data from employee usage patterns to determine which files are most relevant to users and these files are fully synchronized between devices – the idea is to save bandwidth and precious storage on mobile devices and also to offer users a faster collaboration experience.
In making this move Huddle is shooting over the bows of two distinct groups;
- Other business collaboration tools like SharePoint and Box.net whom it seeks to differentiate from with a smarter system that is tailored to individual use
- Consumer synch tools like iCloud and others that don’t have the security and flexibility that enterprises demand
In a nod to the demands of enterprises, Huddle provides IT with full transparency of where data is stored, who has synced what files and full audit trails, it also has a remote wipe capability, so that should a device be lost or stolen, or an individual leave the company, data can be remotely deleted from the endpoint.
Huddle has some IP locked up in the intelligent sync offering – they weren’t prepared to go into too much detail but did tell me that;
the engine works uniquely for each user and will consider who you are and your permissions, the files you access and how often, who you collaborate with and how often you access their shared files, and much, much more in order to measure relevance. Then relevant files are automatically delivered to your Huddle-enabled devices so that you never have to manually locate and download them. And as time goes on, the engine learns from your workflow and becomes more accurate at delivering the most important content. Of course, if Huddle Sync didn’t anticipate the need for a file, you always have the ability to manually download it.
Even more interestingly, the tool has the ability to go beyond a users own files and be exposed to data that they didn’t even know existed. The example Huddle gave me went as follows;
if you’re working on a cancer research project and there is useful (but siloed) research data spread across branches of your organization, Huddle Sync locates those relevant files (which you may not even know existed) and delivers them to you
That’s a pretty compelling proposition, and it will be interesting to see how much traction the new feature gets once it comes into general availability.