Take a good look at the leaders in Gartner’s quadrant for Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) and you’ll see some big differentiators. Box, for example, is a purely a public cloud play. Accellion’s kiteworks, at least up until now, has insisted that private cloud or on premise is the best way to go if you want to keep your information secure.
But things change.
This morning Accellion announced content connectors for Google Drive for Work and for Microsoft’s One Drive for Business. “It shouldn’t matter where you store your content, IT can track and manage it from anywhere,” said Paula Skokowski, Accellion’s Chief Marketing Officer.
While we might have seen this as an “about face” or even somewhat sacrilegious a few months ago, Skokowski insists that it has been in the works for some time. “It’s an important next chapter for us,” she explains. With connectors to Google Drive and OneDrive, kiteworks can provide EFSS capabilities outside of the firewall. “Users need access to content regardless of where it is stored,” she added.
Where's the Content?
As of today, Accellion’s kiteworks customers can access content stored in SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013, SharePoint Online, Windows File Shares and Distributed File Systems, Documentum, OpenText, Google Drive for Work and Microsoft OneDrive for Business.
“Information can be stored in 10 to 20 places,” said Skokowski, “A couple here. And a couple there. We enable you to get all of your content in one place.”
And users can see it all through “a single pane of glass” without needing to open new applications.
It’s not just access that kiteworks provides, it also inherits and honors security and compliance rules and enforces user privileges in the process.
So, putting Accellion’s on-prem/private cloud capabilities aside, how does Accellion differentiate itself from the competition?
“We’re not trying to be the cloud,” said Skokowski, though it is worth noting that it does provide unlimited storage. (It is not a big part of their business.)
At the end of the day, Accellion is, as it describes itself, a mobile content platform that provides ubiquitous access to content stored in enterprise content management systems and cloud storage.
It provides a secure, “single pane of glass” through which user content can be accessed via mobile device, while maintaining ‘document of record’ in the source system without content duplication. It also provides full control and visibility of enterprise content sharing for compliance with government and industry regulations such as HIPAA.
Change of Strategy
It’s interesting to note that, in the last few months, Accellion has changed its kiteworks play just a bit. In mid-July it introduced “kiteworks for teams”, a mobile content solution that can be downloaded for free on a 30 day free trial.