September 21, 2010
Founded nearly five years ago, ShareFile is (yet another) service that offers SMBs the ability to share files across a business and outside of he business. ShareFile’s genesis came while seeing the number of businesses using FTP as a sharing method, despite the unfriendliness and constraints of FTP servers. ShareFile was thus created to provide what they all a “deep and narrow small business service”.
ShareFile today announced that it’s product is used by 1.5 million users worldwide, across 11000 corporate customers in 120 countries.
This space is very busy – from box.net to CentralDesktop, from Syncplicity to Mainsoft, everyone it seems is trying to provide a file sharing service. These services tend to split between two distinct strategic directions:
- Those with a visionary bent who ant to replace traditional tools (Outlook/SharePoint) and give users a purely web-based experience
- Those who try to augment the experience of users with standard tools – via plugins or Outlook and SharePoint for example
Interestingly, ShareFile’s approach is to target both of these directions. It provides a fully customizable web file system that a company can brand to mimic the look of their own website – this can then form the portal for internal and external parties to access files in a controlled and secure method.
ShareFile, wanting to hedge its bets, also provides a plugin for Outlook that can be set to automatically upload a file into ShareFile rather than send as an attachment if it is over a certain size, it also has some Adobe Air applications to make interfacing with the web application feel more “desktop like”.
All in all I like what ShareFile is doing – in particular their white label approach that gives customer the ability to get a fully branded portal, will be attractive to enterprises.