Get All Access for $5/mo

This Cloud-Based Storage Service Offers Deep Features for Businesses Egnyte's 'HybridCloud' can be a useful tool for companies that require extensive record keeping and more.

By Jonathan Blum

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Cloud-Based Storage ServiceSmall businesses have no shortage of consumer-based options when it comes to online data and file storage. But as compelling as popular services such as Dropbox, Box.net and Google Docs might be, they can present challenges for businesses. Files stored in the cloud can be tricky to sync with content stored locally on personal computers, as access to these files can be complicated to manage and revisions difficult to track.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Egnyte has rolled out significant upgrades to its online document management tool, called HybridCloud, which attempts to address these online storage issues for businesses. Its new tool lets groups store, share and edit documents online, manage access to those documents and sync their online content with files stored on PCs.

Users can choose to access data either from their local computer or in the cloud. This means remote workers can get to files out of the office over the Web, and those in the office can access files on local PCs, so they don't sacrifice speed.

Accounts start at about $25 per month for five users who get access to Egnyte's full suite of services, as well as 100 standard users -- including business partners, clients and others who may be given permission to access and edit specific files and folders. The basic account includes 150 GB of storage.

Related: Three Issues to Consider Before Moving to the Cloud

We had access to a demo of the new HybridCloud. Here's a look at what we found and what it means for business users.

What's worth storing: Egnyte is as easy to use as a basic consumer storage option like Dropbox, but it offers features such as Google Docs integration, built-in software for transferring large files and the ability to read your online Egnyte account as if it were a drive on your PC.

Most impressive is the level of control Egnyte gives business owners. Individuals or groups can set up complex folder and file permissions. Users can manage how many file versions are stored -- from just one to every time someone makes an edit -- or how long deleted documents are kept in a backup trash folder. Audit reports let admins see who has modified what and when. These features make HybridCloud relatively unique among other online document management tools, including Zoho and ThinkFree.

What's not: For our digital content business, we decided that while we liked what Egnyte offers, it was too daunting a prospect to migrate our work flow to the tool. We've been comfortable using Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365. For our purposes, the time needed migrate all our data would probably not be worth the gain in productivity that Egnyte offered. Other companies in similar situations might feel the same way.

Related: How Many Bytes Do You Need for Your Data-Storage Buck?

Bottom line: For new businesses considering a document storage solution, Egnyte is worth a serious look. For firms that require extensive record keeping, such as health care and finance, the tool can also be useful.

But the average business might find Egnyte to be overkill. Potentially lower cost tools including Google Apps can be more than enough.

Jonathan Blum is a freelance writer and the principal of Blumsday LLC, a Web-based content company specializing in technology news.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Branding

ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Business News

Sony Pictures Entertainment Purchases Struggling, Cult-Favorite Movie Theater Chain

Alamo Drafthouse originally emerged from bankruptcy in June 2021.