U.K.-Based Huddle Launches Cloud-Based Enterprise File-Sync Service

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-02-22

U.K.-based enterprise collaboration provider Huddle, which has established itself in Europe during the last five years with its cloud-based content management service, Feb. 21 launched a private beta program for Huddle Sync, a new file-synchronization tool.

Huddle Sync enables employees inside an enterprise to securely access an entire corporate knowledge store, yet the service intelligently syncs only relevant documents onto their desktop and mobile devices using keywords and personal document-use histories.

You won't find any Facebook-like social networking features here; this is designed for employees collaborating in the use of corporate business data. The cloud service enables enterprise documents to be accessed securely from any device with a browser, and the software will even go and find the docs for you.

"You'll never have to bother with an irrelevant document or Web link when you're working on a project with other colleagues," CEO Alastair Mitchell told eWEEK. "The intelligence algorithms built into Huddle Sync take care of that."

A Bit More Complicated Than Personal File Sync

Cross-enterprise file sync is a very different and more complex use case compared with personal file sync, Mitchell said.

"Enterprises have to sync, not just an individual's data, but that of everyone across the organization and make it securely available offline on multiple devices," Mitchell said.

On average, Mitchell said, a document in Huddle is securely shared with 20 other people, making enterprise sync 20 times more complex than personal sync.

"Consumer sync tools are great for providing access to documents at an individual level, but they lack the security, scalability and intelligence required for the enterprise," Mitchell said. "They're a time bomb of costly data loss waiting to happen. Huddle Sync combines intelligent sync capabilities with enterprise content management to deliver a service that is great for users and CIOs."

Using a tool such as Huddle Sync, CIOs can regain control of data being shared within and across the firewall, thanks to full audit trails and granular permission settings, and users can work on the latest version of their content when offline.

Huddle can be accessed online, on desktops via Microsoft Office applications and via mobile with BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad apps. It is currently available in 15 languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese.

Huddle, founded in 2006, is currently used by more than 100,000 business and government organizations worldwide, including AKQA, HTC and Kia Motors. Companies engage the service to store, share and collaborate on content with people inside and outside their organization.

The beta program started Feb. 21. Huddle established a new U.S. office in San Francisco to roll out its services in the United States.

Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK's Editor for Features and Analysis. Twitter: editingwhiz

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