The great thing about API’s is that developers can create brand new apps that tap into an ecosystem of web services. This is especially true of data based services (after all if data is the new oil etc etc !). Why store your own proprietary App data when there are so many great data stores out there ? In fact why not make data key to your app proposition ?
Followers of the Enterprise File Share and Sync Market (EFSS) will have noticed a flurry of announcements in the last few weeks. In particular:
SAP and OpenText collaborated with Tempo Box; Egnyte outlined it would leverage Google’s Storage; Box purchased Stream as well as announcing Box Notes (something SME has had for ages) and unlimited storage for business plan customers as well as being able to save files to Box directly from Microsoft Office (again something SME has had for a long time); SalesForce and Microsoft announced interoperability with Office365; Microsoft also announced that certain Office365 subscribers would receive 1TB free of charge; Cloudian announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services; Amazon announced Zocalo their EFSS solution; Zimbra purchased Mezeo;
So why is this flurry activity happening ? There are a few reasons. The first is that the market is on a race to zero from a storage viewpoint. Getting more storage is becoming cheaper and cheaper. OneDrive, Google and now Box, have pushed hard on what the price is for unlimited or pseudo unlimited storage. To quote Aaron Levie from Box, the costs of storing a gigabyte of data has reduced by a factor of 22000 over the past two decades to the point where the cost is now more or less negligible (but not for the companies who have to provide it….).
If you missed it, DropBox recently posted a blog post entitled ‘What is file sync”, obviously highlighting their main feature. It is a great post and I would urge you to read it. Reading their post myself got me thinking that the post was as much about what was missing as it was about anything else.
Don’t get me wrong Sync everywhere is a wonderful feature and DropBox probably implements it better than anyone, but in a team environment and in company’s who have masses of structured data, often stored in different stores, sync alone just does not cut it.