RealTime IT News

ShareDrive Syncs With SaaS

While software as a service  (SaaS) offers great flexibility for accessing applications and files, there's always the issue of what to do when the network goes down or is inaccessible.

ShareMethods' solution is ShareDrive OnDemand, an expansion of the company's document-management system that lets users work on files offline and have them automatically synced or updated once they reconnect to the network.

The ShareDrive OnDemand interface lets users drag and drop files from the desktop into its secure on-demand repository. Documents in the repository can be backed up locally to a server, laptop or desktop computer at the click of a mouse or at scheduled times.

Basic desktop integration functionality can be accessed for free via ShareMethod's ShareDrive Lite. The ShareMethods document-management system is $25 per user per month and an additional $5 per user monthly for ShareDrive OnDemand.

The interface is designed to work on just a Windows desktop whether you are dragging and dropping documents to a local server or to the on-demand repository. "The desktop integration does a backup of all your documents in the cloud," Eric Hoffert, CEO of ShareMethods, told internetnews.com. "This is something IT departments have been asking for."

The system offers batch uploads and downloads so multiple documents can be moved in the background. Documents can be edited and saved to "the cloud" (ShareMethods on-demand repository) at the click of a mouse. Hoffert said this is much simpler than other online systems that require users to manually upload content to a browser.

Users can also see thumbnail previews of rich media content on the desktop of all their on-demand documents.

ShareMethods customer Lightscape sees a lot of potential for ShareDrive, which it's just started experimenting with. "I like to travel with everything with me and ShareDrive opens that up as a realistic value proposition," Andy Barbour, senior director of channel sales at LiteScape Technologies, a unified communications IP application developer, told internetnews.com.

Barbour said Lightscape started using ShareMethods because it was looking to overhaul its internal and customer portal without using a lot of internal resources. "We work with competing vendors and channel partners, and we need to give selective access to materials," he said. ShareMethods lets me offer documents selectively in a secure manner."

ShareMethods also offers a ShareNow for AppExchange service.

Dennis Pombriant, analyst and managing director of Beagle Research, said ShareMethods package of applications and storage could disrupt the conventional approach to managing documents in companies of all sizes.

"I expect that the first markets to take advantage of this solution might include emerging companies everywhere," Pombriant told internetnews.com via email. "But especially companies overseas where the cost of storage relative to available resources might still be high."