If your business has more than one location or remote employees, it can be a challenge to manage a shared file system. Traditional servers require hardware plus knowledgeable people to manage it, whether it’s in-house employees or an outsourced service. A virtual file server solution like Egnyte might be a good fit for you, as it was in the case study below on an Egnyte customer.
Restoration SOS is a company that provides resources for property owners with fire and water damage. Since disaster recovery is their business, they have a keen understanding of the need for systems and plans in the event of unexpected events. For the company this meant having a digital data recovery and access solution that would protect business critical data and facilitate collaboration across multiple employees and locations. Further, the fast growing company wanted to maintain focus on their core competency -helping property owners – and not costly IT storage and servers that would require IT management.
Restoration SOS started in Los Angeles but moved their company headquarters to Michigan. They were using a local area network (LAN), where one computer had a shared folder. When the company relocated to Michigan, they tried a Virtual Private Network (VPN) but found it was slow, complicated and lacked the right rules and permissions to access data. Anyone who logged into a shared folder had access to all the information including confidential financial information and employee records.
With two locations and six employees it was critical to have the ability to seamlessly share data across locations without compromising security. The company was sold on online technology but did not want to compromise on key components such as access, control over permissions and rules, and collaborative tools. It was also essential that the system did not require IT expertise to manage.
After searching for the ideal fit, Restoration SOS selected Egnyte for their data management and recovery needs. They went from having one computer with a shared folder to a system installed across its entire employee base. The company was able to consolidate data management and back-up into a single solution. The company now stores customer, marketing, and sales information on the Egnyte server. Automatic backups secure their website, email, QuickBooks, accounting and other digital information.
Restoration President, Leo Nov was reportedly so impressed with the service that he purchased it for his home computer.
We covered Egnyte briefly here back in May. There are other tools that can help you manage shared files, including Office Live, HyperOffice and WebOffice, as well many options for file backup and recovery like HP Upline, Backupmyinfo, Carbonite, and SugarSync. The nice thing about Egnyte is that it combines files sharing, collaboration and continuous backup into one service. It’s also designed to support large files and saves versions of them automatically so nobody can accidentially overwrite a file with the wrong version. The search feature appeals to me as I’ve come to rely frequently on the improved search function in Microsoft Office 2007 and Vista to find files on my desktop.
Pricing starts at $35 for one power user with unlimited storage. “Power users” get all the features including desktop access to your files through My Computer or Finder and continuous backup of files and emails. “Standard users” are uniimited with any plan and still get access to the stored files and collaboration features. You can get a 15 day free trial at www.egnyte.com.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com