The cloud was supposed to solve the file access problem. The trouble is that when you work for a big company, some of your files may live in the cloud and others on-prem. How do you access all of those files regardless of where they live? Egnyte hopes to settle all of that with the launch of Egnyte Connect for the desktop today.
Egnyte has always tried to separate itself from Box and Dropbox by being the hybrid storage alternative to the competition’s fully cloud approach. If you have files on-prem that’s fine with Egnyte. They will help manage them too — and Egnyte Connect plays directly into that strategy.
Egnyte already has a Connect mobile app for viewing files, but with today’s desktop app announcement, it’s trying to enable corporate business users, who typically carry laptops to view and edit files inside or outside the office without having to worry about where the file is stored or syncing when they’re done.
Connect takes care of all that for the user behind the scenes. All they have to do is choose a file. If they are in the office and the file lives both in the cloud and on-prem, typically Connect will choose the local file because it’s faster, but the user never knows where the file came from because Connect is managing all of that for them.
“The new release of Egnyte Connect decouples ‘content location’ from ‘user experience’ by automatically providing users the fastest route to their content and allowing IT to modernize the content infrastructure without users ever noticing,” company CEO Vineet Jain explained in a statement.
The application works by integrating directly into the Windows or Mac OS filing system. There are a couple of key features worth pointing out. First of all, if your files are stored on-prem, you can mark them for offline use. This could be handy, for instance, if you’re a salesperson, and you want to mark a contract and pricing sheet to take to your client site.
Ideally, the cloud does this for you, but if these files are stored in SharePoint or other repository on prem, you need to take this step. The other big feature is universal file locking, which locks a file against use in any setting if another user has marked it for use (such as offline). It’s worth noting if you need to collaborate on a document with multiple users, the collaboration features will always override the lock, allowing multiple users concurrent access.
Egnyte has been around since 2007. It has over 300 employees with over 14,000 businesses using its products. It has raised over $62 million since inception, but hasn’t taken any new money since a $29.5 million round way back in 2013. The company became cash-flow positive as of Q4, 2016 and some key clients include Red Bull, Nasdaq, Warby Parker and Fender.