Last year Citrix bought cloud file sharing service ShareFile, taking on YouSendIt, Box, and Dropbox. Now Citrix will turn that service into a product you can also install as enterprise software.
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Last year Citrix bought the cloud file sharing service ShareFile, positioning itself to compete with the likes of YouSendIt, Box, and Dropbox. For its next trick, Citrix will turn that service into a software product you can also install as enterprise software.
As a feature of a forthcoming ShareFile enterprise edition, Storage Zones will allow network administrators to create local file shares that provide the same user experience as the ShareFile cloud service. The only difference is that the network storage is on a piece of equipment the organization controls, but that's an important distinction for some enterprises.
"Since being acquired by Citrix, we're getting opportunities with much larger enterprises than we ever did as a startup," said Jesse Lipson, former CEO of ShareFile. "Many of them really need at least part of their data stored on premises, or in a private cloud." Whether that desire is justified or "just psychological" doesn't really matter--it's what they want, and Citrix is going to give it to them, according to Lipson, who is now vice president and general manager of Citrix Data Sharing.
Moreover, Citrix wants to offer more options for file sharing than anyone else. "You can mix and match, or you can have it all on-premises or all in the cloud," Lipson said.
Organizations that opt to use the cloud can define where data should be stored for specific users, choosing from seven cloud data centers around the world. That's important to some enterprises for compliance reasons, Lipson explained, such as making sure sensitive documents aren't stored outside the legal jurisdiction in which they were generated. In other cases, it makes sense from a performance standpoint to ensure that documents are retrieved from the closest data center to a given corporate office.
"It is a crowded space, but we try to be very strategic with how we position ourselves and our features," Lipson said. "On the enterprise side, I believe we're well positioned to be the number-one player in market."
ShareFile "kind of flew under the radar" as a private company, and never had a consumer product or a freemium product to attract the kind of publicity Box and Dropbox have enjoyed, Lipson said. Now things are different. "We're the only ones with a mature product and a globally trusted brand, with a mature company, a multibillion-dollar marketing company, being able to stand behind it."
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