As I noted back in August, at BrianMadden.com we paid a lot of attention to enterprise file sync and share around 2011 to 2013. The concept was just starting to get widely known thanks to the consumerization of IT, and there was a lot of activity directly in our space as many desktop virtualization and EMM vendors were launching EFSS products of their own.
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Then from 2014 on, we didn’t write as much: The EFSS space was settling down as leaders emerged, and as the concept itself (especially as a service with cloud storage) began to feel like a standard part of end user computing.
But now, even though there’s nearly universal market acceptance (and thus not quite as many hand-waving articles to write about it), there’s still a lot going on, especially in the large enterprise realm where things are naturally more complicated and slower moving.
Recently I’ve been getting reacquainted with Egnyte. Here are the basics:
- Founded in 2006, they’re independent, and they never had a consumer or freemium product.
- Instead they focus on enterprise features like access controls and permissions; reporting and auditing; and key management.
- They can connect to all sorts of storage, include various types of on-premises file servers, public clouds, and their own cloud service; and they can move data between all these options, including site to site file server syncing.
- In addition to the typical web access, mobile clients, desktop sync, and other app integrations, they also have a drive mapper feature so desktops can connect to any repository as if it were a network drive.
- In June, Egnyte launched a data security and governance product, called Protect. It can do file-level encryption management, access control, and data residency and retention policies.
One major trend they’re seeing is that deployments are getting much bigger and more complicated, often spanning entire large organizations. While EFSS has taken off in small and mid-size organizations and in individual departments, there’s still quite aways to go on the enterprise side.
Microsoft partnership and the marketplace
For customers with on-premises requirements, Egnyte’s main competition is ShareFile; as Box, Dropbox, and Google can’t address these use cases.
Egnyte recently announced a go-to-market partnership with Microsoft, where they will make Azure the “premiere storage option for new Egnyte customers,” and Egnyte will be promoted in the Azure Marketplace. (This is on top of their many Microsoft integrations, which include Azure AD, Storage, and Key Vault; Office 2016, 365, Online, and Mobile; and Sharepoint Online.)
This partnership also makes sense for Microsoft, since OneDrive for Business doesn’t have nearly as much flexibility for on-premises storage. (It’s essentially limited to Sharepoint 2013 and 2016 integrations.) And as Benny Tritsch noted on a recent podcast, Microsoft is displaying a much more partner-friendly attitude these days.
The common knowledge
The common knowledge on Egnyte is that they’re not as well-known as competitors like Box, Dropbox, and Google, but that this is okay because their heavy focus on IT and enterprise features is a crucial differentiator. I agree with the common knowledge, and given it and the Microsoft partnership, I’ll definitely be paying attention to them.