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File sharing frequently paired with endpoint backup products

Backup vendors increasingly see file sync-and-share as a good fit for their endpoint backup software.

The market for file sync-and-share keeps getting more crowded. File sharing features are commonly showing up in products and services for endpoint devices, often as a complement to backup software.

Backup vendor Intronis recently added an ECHOshare file sync-and-share product that is integrated with its ECHOplatform data protection platform and sold through the channel.

Code42, which sells CrashPlan endpoint backup software, launched SharePlan file sync-and-share software earlier this month, offering unlimited storage on unlimited devices at $10 per user per month. CommVault added file and folder sharing to backup software in August as part of a new Simpana for Endpoint Data Protection package. 

Amazon this summer also extended its cloud services to include Amazon Zocalo (Spanish for "main square"), a storage and sharing service for mobile devices that offers 200GB of capacity with each individual account for $5 a month.

Intronis ECHOshare is designed for SMBs and managed service providers who offer file sharing services for SMBs. The product has central management and billing, team-based sharing, permission-based access to files and folders, version control and the ability to send large files for collaboration.

"We saw an opportunity to come to market with a tool optimized for channel partners because of the user interface, security and the ability to manage accounts from any location," Intronis chief marketing officer Aaron Dun said. "Our partners were saying they saw a proliferation of these consumer tools and they were struggling with that."

Code42 CEO Matthew Dornquast said customers can manage endpoint backup and file sharing together in one dashboard, if they use the vendor's CrashPlan and SharePlan. Code42 will host customers' backups and files on a public cloud that it maintains, but Dornquast said most business customers prefer a private cloud with on-premises storage. A single console lets admins set and manage policies and security in real time for SharePlan and CrashPlan.

"People keep confusing endpoint backup with sync and share, to the detriment of both," Dornquast said. "We have one dashboard instead of two, one vendor instead of two, and one set of APIs to manage data everywhere. Businesses want to go to one place for everything."

Dornquast said he considers Google Drive and file sharing services from Microsoft and Apple as the company's main competitors.

Amazon's Zocalo, which became generally available in August, is offering its service via its AWS Management Console. A free desktop sync application is available for PCs and Macs. Users can access a central hub for documents and files they are working on, reviewing and provide feedback on. Zocalo notifies users about activities on documents and offers versioning capabilities.

The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) to the workplace has led to a flood of file sync-and-share options, but there may be more products than demand.

"Companies point out that there is a huge market for the idea of synching and sharing files," said Mike Matchett, senior analyst at Taneja Group. "They do this as a service and they rely on the social network effect to eventually provide a path to revenue. It's probably not going to be sustainable. I have over 500 LinkedIn connections but I probably would share a Dropbox folder with about 20 of them."

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