Another cloud startup is making enhancements to improve the performance and functionality of its services. This one is squarely for enterprises and comes from Huddle, which today is announcing Huddle Sync, a service that promises “intelligent” synchronization of enterprise work files to serve users what they need, when they need it.
Huddle is banking on the idea that services like Dropbox will have limited appeal to enterprise users who have to access masses of data; and that IT managers and CIOs will want to exert control on how users access files, and that users will find managing everything themselves a headache. And that companies like Microsoft or IBM will not beat it to the punch in offering this functionality directly.
“Everyone does cloud synchronization today,” says Andy McLoughlin, co-founder and EVP of Strategy. “That’s fine with 50 gigabytes of personal content, but when you have 50 terabytes, there is no way to know what is relevant. Dropbox is a terrific tool for small teams, but it’s not suitable for the enterprise.”
That is an issue that will only grow in the years ahead. In figures provided by Huddle, IDC in 2011 estimated that the amount of information created and replicated will surpass 1.8 zetabytes this year, with enterprises accounting for 80 percent of information “in the digital universe” at some point in its digital life.
The service — available today for Windows desktop and as an iPhone app, with further platforms like Mac coming soon — works like this: enterprise users have access to sections of files that their IT managers enable them to use. Then over time, Huddle says that its algorithms learn what a user is accessing, and starts to offer relevant files to them, which they can use online or offline. IT folks get full audit reports of what gets accessed and when.
London and SF-based Huddle says that from today 100 of its customers will be going live on the platform, with it becoming available to its full user base soon. That base, currently, numbers 100,000 businesses, including 70 percent of UK’s central government and 80 percent of companies in the Fortune 500, such as HTC, Kia Motors and Procter & Gamble, says McLoughlin.
While we have heard many stories of remotely-controlled cloud services going down and causing problems for both enterprises and consumers, Huddle is fairly bullish on its ability to remain robust as it serves its current customers and continues to grow. McLoughlin says the company, so far, has not had to pay back on a single service-level agreement in its years of operation.
Hopefully McLoughlin hasn’t spoken too soon. Meanwhile, the company’s CEO and other co-founder, Alastair Mitchell, says that Huddle expects for its business to triple in size in the next two years — with options to potentially sell services like Sync on to third parties to offer on to other businesses or even consumers: after all, recommendation and personalization services are a hot area today.
The company, he notes, is already profitable and has not raised any more money since raising nearly $15 million several years ago, but he said it expects to announce another funding round soon “to help it grow even faster.”