Although Cloud technology is becoming more mainstream, there are a lot more innovations and features waiting to be delivered to the end consumer that will make this borderless, centreless technology truly perfect. Two of these “needs” in particular are: a more unified approach to saving and retrieving documents, regardless where they are – in the cloud or on a local computer; and secondly a better way for people to work together in real time – in other words to collaborate more effectively.
The gurus at Google Docs are aware of this, which is why they have chosen to team up with Silicon Valley’s Egnyte to further improve the Google Docs experience. With Research showing that many companies still want or need to store documents locally rather than on the cloud, Egnyte has created an improved storage and access system that allows for a much more seamless experience, with all of the necessary IT controls, audit trails and oversight built in. As Egnyte Product Manager Sean Puttergill puts it, “we have developed a hybrid cloud solution that gives users the ability to synchronize files between the cloud and on-premise systems, and to use a consistent unified namespace, allowing files, including Google Docs files, AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, images and multimedia, to be easily retrieved, edited and put back, regardless where they are actually stored.
And while the guys and gals in IT take comfort with their heightened levels of control and vigilance over the files being accessed, the people who need to work on those files are given one additional and very intriguing feature: the opportunity to work on the same file simultaneously with others, regardless where they are located: across the table or across the world.
The Egnyte/Google Docs partnership uses the speed advantage of localized storage to physically enable multiple users to edit a document simultaneously, instead of needing to check it in or out, or using the document tracking features of traditional word-processing. Although the concept of seeing words appear or disappear right in front of your eyes might take some getting used to at first, these steps towards real-time multi-person interaction help move us all collectively away from the time-worn attitudes of the typewriter/email era, and fully into the age of interaction that business today is supposed to be all about.
Puttergill points out that there are a two major “hybrids” going on with this release: the files needed for work to get done can now live anywhere on an enterprise both cloud and internal, and similarly, the people who get them done can work on an editing platform this is both static and dynamic, even if they do not use a Gmail account.
Google drive is a free product available through Google, of course, and additional information about the Egnyte app is available at egnyte.com.
By Steve Prentice