There was an interesting poll during the “Nonprofits & Cloud Computing” webinar where attendees weighed in on their current file sharing method.
The results panned out like this:
“How are you sharing files?”
File Server – 45%
NAS – 7.5%
Dropbox – 12.2%
Google Apps – 14.6%
Email Attachments – 21.4%
Not to be entirely representative of the nonprofit sector, but it gives us an idea.
Let’s talk about file sharing and collaboration since it hits close to home for many organizations.
Consumer vs. Enterprise
Among the constellation of consumer file sharing choices, you have Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
But one important point mentioned was that many of these popular cloud storage solutions are targeted for consumers where the features are just good enough for simple backup and small team collaboration.
And most times, these solutions work flawlessly.
But what about organizations that have strict access controls, compliance issues, huge userbases, and much more complex IT infrastructure.
What Makes Oxygen Cloud Different?
Oxygen Cloud fills a gap for organizations which already have strict data requirements, yet still need a way to address creeping shadow IT and internal cries for an official BYOD policy.
Note: Techsoup addressed the BYOD strategy for nonprofits in a past post. Looks like they decided to segement their users according to priority.
Here’s Oxygen Cloud in a nutshell:
The Oxygen Open Storage Grid enables mobile access to your files in a whole new way. Users and businesses can plug in nearly any kind of storage into the Grid and then access all their files through any app, tablet or computer. The Open Storage Grid creates authenticated linkage between the storage and devices, and a fully encrypted data container, allowing completely controlled synchronization and sharing.
Here are some of the other benefits that stand out over the consumer cloud choices:
1) You don’t need to upload data to a 3rd party
Even if they offer a free 5GB through Amazon s3, their value proposition is allowing you the choice of where to place your data: plug in your existing storage and keep your core data behind the organization’s firewall. This is done by installing an “Oxygen Storage Connector” on your server (or whatever storage device you have). More on that here.
This looked interesting too: Building a 55 TB Private Storage Cloud
2) E2E (end-to-end) encryption
And that “fully encrypted data container” alludes to E2E (end-to-end) encryption. More about that from their blog.
This is unique to Oxygen because most other services do not encrypt the data that’s been downloaded onto user devices. Oxygen serves as an end point protection and a complete, secure container for all your files saved on our platform. And yes, that means encryption for data on all mobiles devices such as iPhone, iPad and Android as well.
Sounds like a win to me. \o/
Once you have “storage connector” installed, you can sync data securely across all your team’s mobile devices. There’s also a centralized admin panel online where can get granular with permissions and workspaces. Not to mention, their iPad app is beautiful and great for mobile productivity.
If it were up to me?
This isn’t supposed to be an extensive primer on Oxygen Cloud, but it does emerge as a strong contender against the constellation of consumer choices out there.
I’m sure there are other things which make it shine. I’m just passing along the word for now. :)