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Barriers To Aoption
Cloud security concerns. IT may accept the cloud for secondary storage, but an active file repository is different. File syncing, locking and versioning must be rock-solid; scalability must be enterprise level; and IT must be able to control user and device access. This level of collaboration requires deep trust on the part of both IT and end-users, which must trust that their data is freely available to them when they need it. Most EFC products support behind-the-firewall private clouds for this reason and some operate on private clouds exclusively.
Vendor trustworthiness. The vendors range from start-ups to established companies, some of them giants in the data storage and management fields. Start-ups in a field spur innovation and choice, and they often come to market with newly minted and modern code. Established companies are not going anywhere and may well acquire the start-ups, but they must also deal with integration points between legacy product and collaboration offerings.
Vendors and EFC
We have divided EFC vendors into three categories: Unified Communications (UC) vendors with SaaS conferencing, data protection vendors adding file-sharing products, and pure play file collaboration vendors.
Vendor Segment Definition Vendors Pure Play These startups were founded around core file collaboration technology and have achieved enterprise scalability without being acquired by a larger company. Some of them have also developed data protection offerings as secondary use cases for their flagship product. • Box Enterprise • Egnyte • Huddle • OxygenCloud • SkyDox Data Protection Data protection and storage companies are adding file collaboration capabilities as a natural development of their technology. Some have developed internally and others through acquisitions. • Acronis • CTERA • Druva • EMC Unified Communications Unified Communications (UC) usually refers to real-time communications technology such as video, telephony and chat. Several UC vendors have added file collaboration features to their platforms. Some use it as a value-added offering to the UC offerings, and some as an integrated but independent product. • Citrix • Cisco • IBM
The following vendors are leading exemplars of enterprise file collaboration: Acronis, Citrix, Druva, Egnyte, EMC and OxygenCloud. They come from different backgrounds—unified communications, backup and pure play collaboration—but they all have the Five Factors in common.
Background.Mobile collaboration vendor GroupLogic developed mobilEcho in 2011. Soon after, they developed < ahref=" http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/activecho/">activeEcho, which serves as a highly secure file management and collaboration server that controls client devices including desktops, laptops and mobile. activeEcho became generally available in March 2012, and by September of that same year, Acronis acquired GroupLogic. Acronis has since made wide use of GroupLogic’s Apple OS and mobile technology throughout its portfolio. Under the Acronis banner, activEcho continues to support the enterprise and has made deep inroads into international businesses.
Technology. activEcho secures access, shares data and syncs data across networks and devices. Acronis’s data protection expertise provides comprehensive backup and restore and optimizes storage across cloud, physical and virtual environments. Approved users may access shared files from their desktops and laptops, mobile devices and from a Web browser. User files are synced from their original locations to the activEcho storage repository located on-premise or on S3. When the activEcho server receives a file-sharing request from an approved user, it first checks if the recipient of the sharing operation is also approved and then it grants access to the shared files in the repository.
- Scalability. The majority of activEcho’s customers run their file collaboration on-premise. Acronis activEcho supports Amazon S3 as well, but their financial, healthcare/pharmacy and education customers prefer the security and compliance of using private clouds.
- Security. activEcho encrypts files during transfers and at rest. It also keeps whitelists and blacklists of users, groups and domains. Enterprises value flexibility in their solutions, and they are free to deploy activEcho in a variety of areas including on-premise, virtual machines, private clouds or via VPNs.
- Control. IT can flexibly provide access to the activEcho servers and storage in several ways, including built in HTTPS, VPN or whatever works best in their environment. IT can manage content, purge policy settings and inactive user accounts, and can set group or individual storage quotas to control capacity usage. IT can remotely wipe activEcho data on mobile devices while leaving personal data untouched, and can re-assign content ownership and enable or disable user-level invitations. activEcho integrates with Active Directory for efficient and secure user authentication, service provisioning and access.
- Usability. Users may access files with a successful login and an invitation to view or edit the file depending on permissions. The user who owns the file can pull up activEcho and assign users that can share the file, as well as assigning different permissions to individuals. IT sets system-wide and group or domain-wide access and sharing policies/permission/restrictions to resolve conflicting user permissions.
- Compliance. activEcho maintains audit trails and logs and tracks shared file us-age, access and synchronization for compliance and governance. Easy reports support IT daily de-cisions on file-sharing usage as well as longer term compliance monitoring.
Differentiator. Acronis is developing their solutions based on what their customers want to do with their file data and how they can best do it. The resulting message is information security, availability, accessibility and value across the enterprise data ecosystem.