Cloud Storage Service Pogoplug Goes After Business Users With Launch Of “Pogoplug Team”

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Cloud storage service and device maker Pogoplug is expanding beyond the consumer space today, to focus on the more potentially profitable business market. With a new offering dubbed “Pogoplug Team,” the company is introducing a service that will turn a file server or spare PC into a private cloud for storing data onsite. The idea, like most of what Pogoplug offers, is to provide a DIY cloud storage alternative to third parties like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.net.

The company, known best for its hardware devices that plug into your router to instantly create your personal cloud, has been rolling out hardware-free options like desktop applications and mobile apps to funnel users into the Pogoplug Cloud without the need for extra equipment.

To use the new “Teams” service, a business installs Pogoplug Team software onto any machine running Windows, Mac or Linux, and then assigns various folders on the computer to the employees needing access. Upping the storage is a DIY process, too – you just add another hard drive to your computer or server.

Pricing for the Teams offering is competitive with third-parties – actually, it’s even lower (unless, of course, you have to go out and buy a server to get started!). For example, a shared cloud with 4 TB of storage and access by 10 people (400 GB/person) would be $150/year on Pogoplug Team, but $2,400/year on GDrive ($20 / month * 10 employees = $200 / month), $1447/year on Dropbox Teams ($795 / year + $125/year * 5 additional employees)  –  200GB / user – 400GB requires more money), $1,800/year on Box ($15 / month * 10 employees – only 100GB per employee – for 400GB requires a custom plan and more money) and $539.88/year on Egnyte  ($44.99 / month – 100GB / user – no visible plan for 400GB / user).

For 2TB and 5 people, the cost is $75/year. On GDrive, that’s $600/year, Dropbox Teams is $795/year, Box is $900/year, Egntye is $539.88/year.

Also, because it’s locally-hosted, there aren’t file size limits, and onsite transfers will move at LAN speeds, not cloud speeds. Remote access lets users view and download from any PC, web, or mobile/tablet device. The user interface can also be customized and branded to better match the organization’s other online services. And, again because it’s on an onsite computer, the Pogoplug server can be backed up as usual via whatever backup system is already in place at the office.

There’s a bit of geekiness to a DIY cloud solution in the era of everything-as-a-service, but geekiness still has a place in many small groups and teams, which often need an under-the-radar solution that doesn’t require a big line item expense approval from the powers-that-be. Pogoplug, which says it specifically that it’s “not focused on enterprise,” could easily be that quick fix solution for budget-conscious users. More info will be available here (at noon ET).