What, exactly, are the key differences between consumer-grade file sync services such as Dropbox Basic and business-grade file sync solutions like ours?
While it may prove somewhat helpful, a spec sheet isn’t enough to comprehensively compare a file sync service designed for home use with another one designed specifically with the needs of businesses in mind. Features are just one part of the conversation — another important aspect to consider are the real-world use cases enabled by business-grade file sync.
To clarify why we fundamentally believe organizations of all sizes need a business-grade file sync solution, here are five aspects of a file sync service that make it business-grade:
- Compliant with industry regulations and other compliance requirements
Popular consumer-grade file sync services work well at home — say, when someone wants to share photos between her smartphone and laptop without having to deal with the hassles of cables. But as convenient as these services are for personal use, they are simply a non-option for businesses with sensitive corporate data, such as medical practitioners or those in the legal field. That’s because organizations in sensitive verticals need to ensure the technology they adopt complies with important regulations and requirements, such as HIPAA and GLBA.
Business-grade file sync solutions, such as ours, are up to the task. We made sure our solution is suitable for companies of all kinds. For that reason, our business-grade file sync solution is fully compliant with HIPAA, SOX, PCI, and GLBA. As a result, organizations in any vertical — including those who have sensitive security requirements — can confidently use our product knowing their information is secure and compliant with important standards.
- Offers complete control over file revisions, backup, and data retention
As companies move more paperwork onto digital devices, they need to ensure their files and folders are securely retained and that previous versions of those files are preserved. Among their other shortcomings, consumer-grade file sync services lack control over these important aspects of file storage and retention. For instance, free services such as Dropbox Basic keep limited previous versions of files and folders and do not offer a backup capability for files stored outside of Dropbox.
One of the most important aspects of business-grade file sync is ensuring that administrators and users have complete control over where and how their data is kept, including previous versions of their files. Our solution, for example, keeps an unlimited amount of previous file versions stored, ensuring that users can go back in time and restore a previous version of an important document. We also offer real-time file-level backup for directories stored outside of a user’s synced folder — an invaluable feature for road warriors, who may not otherwise back up their data regularly. Business-grade file sync solutions let you rest assured that the retention of your users’ critical files is never an issue.
- Compliant with existing client infrastructure
“I love changing my entire workflow!” said no business owner ever. Yet this is precisely the behavior most cloud file sync services expect of users. Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and other file sync services encourage a “rip-and-replace” model when it comes to infrastructure such as physical file servers, telling users to migrate all their data to the cloud. But businesses may not consider moving everything to the cloud a palatable option; bandwidth and security concerns are two issues. Another issue is simply the fact that many organizations may not want to change the way they work.
Business-grade file sync solutions comply with your existing infrastructure and don’t force teams to move all of their data to the cloud. A key feature of our solution, File Server Enablement, lets us cloud-enable your file server(s). With File Server Enablement, the directories on a file server are mapped to Team Shares. This helps remote employees, who normally would have to use a VPN to access the file server, to access important files that are kept in sync with the file server. File Server Enablement thus ensures that organizations can continue to use the hardware they’ve already invested in, even while enabling new capabilities for employees working remotely.
- Offers advanced sharing and collaborative features
File sync is about so much more than replacing flash drives and email for simple file transfers. Businesses that adopt a file sync solution have every right to expect greater advances in productivity and security when it comes to file sharing. Unfortunately, the lack of secure sharing options or collaborative capabilities in services such as consumer-grade Dropbox make such services sorely inadequate for many organizations.
Fortunately, organizations that use business-grade file sync gain a robust set of security- and productivity-oriented sharing features. For example, companies using our business-grade file sync solution can protect shared links with expiration dates and download limits, so files don’t fall into the wrong hands. Additionally, when it comes to collaboration, business-grade file sync solutions like ours are no slouch. Teamwork is made easy through Team Shares — collaborative folders in which a common set of files can be stored and accessed by multiple people. With business-grade file sync, advanced sharing and collaborating capabilities are easily accessible.
- Provides IT with visibility and control
We know you don’t want to deal with technical issues. That’s why we offer a secure, fully managed file sync solution with rich administrative control and visibility, so that if something goes wrong, we can come to the rescue. For example, if a critical file or set of files goes missing, it is easy for us to determine what happened and who was responsible. Additionally, if one of your employees loses his or her laptop or gets terminated, we can initiate a remote wipe to make sure security is not compromised. The advanced visibility and control afforded by a business-grade file sync solution can prove invaluable.
In short, the term “business-grade” is really a catch-all term for all of the features and capabilities provided by a robust, business-friendly file sync solution. Interested in learning more? Contact us now.