Environmental consulting firm Earth Systems pretty much embodies the idea of distributed workforces.
Its scientists, researchers and other field personnel are scattered across five continents, where they are responsible for recording geological assessments -- and sharing their findings with each other. The challenge is that these files can be massive, filed with images and complex scientific information.
Turning to the cloud was a logical solution for sharing things, but the company also needed a way to access files locally, without always having to rely on an Internet connection or bogging down its network. That's where a hybrid file storage and sharing service from Egnyte comes in.
Earth Systems used Egnyte to set up a file sharing system across its branch offices, using commodity NAS devices for items that could be stored and accessed locally. Egnyte's service helps the company back up files to the cloud securely, without requiring the installation of virtual private networks. Certain local data synchronizes into the cloud behind the scenes, so it's available to other locations as necessary.
"We are finding companies are getting smarter about how to use the cloud. They will use it for certain use cases, but are managing certain sensitive information in different ways. That's why local support is important," said Rajesh Ram, co-founder of Egnyte and vice president of product management.
While Earth Systems bought the NAS devices supporting the local offices separately, the Egnyte cloud storage service is priced on a per employee, per month basis. The company's most popular offering is the Business option that supports between 25 and 100 employees, at a price of $15 per employee, per month. That includes up a 2 terabytes of cloud storage and maximum file sizes of 5 gigabytes.
Founded in 2007, there are now more than 1 billion files shared daily using the Egnyte service. The company is backed by venture capitalists including Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Floodgate Fund and Polaris Venture Partners.
The company just announced a series of new security measures, including what is calls the "PRISM Prevention Program" for detecting improper internal use of unauthorized cloud storage services. Egnyte also offers a full integration with the DocuSign e-signature service, for businesses that require signatures as part of their business processes.