OffiSync, the Microsoft Office plugin that allows users to sync their documents easily with Google Docs, has launched a new release today that will make it even more appealing to businesses: support for Google Sites. Google Sites is the search giant’s answer to Microsoft SharePoint, so this will give business users an alternative solution they can use to manage their documents in a shared workspace. Today’s release also marks the launch of OffiSync’s first premium offering.
We’ve been tracking OffiSync’s progress for a while now: last May the startup launched support for Google Docs, and released an improved version over the summer that integrated Google Image Search. But until now they haven’t had a premium option that was tailored for business.
Founder Oudi Antebi, who was a Product Manager at Microsoft for both Office and SharePoint, says that up until now using Office with Google sites has been a clumsy process that required users to manually upload their modified documents from their desktops (conversely, SharePoint syncs the documents automatically). He says that ever since OffiSync launched, the company has been working toward bringing the product to the enterprise market, in the hopes of helping turn Google Sites into a more viable alternative to SharePoint.
Antebi also says that using OffiSync with Google Sites actually has a few advantages over SharePoint. For one, he says that Microsoft requires the use of the latest version of Office if you want to use the most up to date version of SharePoint, while OffiSync lets users work with any version of Office alongside Google Docs and Google Sites. Google has endorsed the product as well, with Sites PM Scott Johnston saying “Offisync makes it significantly easier for Office users to share information with their coworkers using Google Docs and Google Sites”.
OffiSync premium costs businesses $12 per user per year, and will offer a free 30 day trial. The company has over 150,000 users of its free version (that supports Google Docs, but not Sites). OffiSync is still Windows only, but Antebi says that a Mac version will be released eventually.