How many times each day do you email documents back and forth with your colleagues, making edits and updates, whether it’s a single contract or a regularly updated document? How many times have you had to reference those documents, but always felt uncertain whether you were using the most recent version?
It’s a challenge nearly everyone has to deal with. It’s also part of a larger movement towards more efficient communication and more effective collaboration facilitated by the cloud phenomenon.
The cloud isn’t new – it’s effectively an extension of the hosted model that has played a key role in driving business efficiency for years. Now, however, it has come to dominate the technology world, delivering solutions for nearly every application and resource IT departments are required to manage.
Google (News - Alert) has made a run at solving the problem with its Google Docs service, but the problem most users encounter is limitations in the functionality of its applications. In addition, it handles only a small subset of documents, and those that are created on the platform. Most businesses use many more file formats than .doc and .xls, requiring something much more flexible, and most users are infinitely more comfortable using their on-board applications for creation and editing – because comfort level directly correlates to routines and ease of use.
There are also services like Dropbox, but many users are wary of security issues with it and others.
What businesses need is a secure service that neither compromises application functionality nor requires changes in user behavior, which is the fundamental force behind Oxygen Cloud, a cloud-based storage utility for team environments.
Oxygen Cloud is a simple, yet effective solution for enabling easy content sharing between workgroup members, allowing access anywhere they have Internet access, and providing a place to store and access documents, eliminating the risk of multiple versions being in circulation and reducing in-house storage requirements.
The concept is straightforward – assets are stored in the cloud, where authenticated users can retrieve them, make changes, and replace in the same location. What makes Oxygen Cloud so easy to use is its integration into existing file Windows or Mac file systems. Like any other on-board or network-based folders, Oxygen Cloud storage folders appear in each user’s file directory.
Importantly, all data that is stored with Oxygen Cloud goes through an end-to-end encryption process, from the local cache to transit, and finally in the cloud. Because the local cache is encrypted, once users’ authentication is removed, the data becomes unreadable and documents cannot be accessed.
According to Julia Mak, marketing communications manager at Oxygen Cloud, the idea is to “provide the ease of use that consumer applications provide, while giving IT the ability to control corporate data in a setting that is simple and intuitive for end users and doesn’t require a change in behavior.”
(Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) speaks with Julia Mak from Oxygen Cloud)
In today’s mobile environment, Oxygen Cloud provides as effective a service as any for driving collaboration among colleagues without requiring burdensome management on the part of IT departments. The company also has an iPhone and iPad app already available, with an Android (News - Alert) version in beta.
If you don’t believe how easy it is, try it out. That’s one of the wonders of the cloud – the model makes it very easy to allow trial and free versions. Oxygen Cloud offers a no-cost Basic Team version for up to five users with 7 GB of storage space. It scales up to an enterprise version that includes can accommodate private cloud services as well.
Erik Linask (News - Alert) (News - Alert) is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.