As a part of TMC (News - Alert) Video News’ continuing series of interviews with today’s Silicon Valley-based innovators, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani recently sat down for a talk with Mihir Nanavati, senior director of Product Management of online file sharing company YouSendIt.
YouSendIt, of course, is known for enabling the sharing of content that is too large for e-mail, but Nanavati says that’s not only what the company does.
“We’re now extending our suite of services into other collaboration services like signature, sharing and syncing files across multitudes of devices,” said Nanavati. “We have a ‘freemium’ model, which means a lot of these services are free forever. Then we have a couple of premium subscription plans at $10 or $15 a month that give unlimited storage and unlimited signature capabilities as well as sending files too large for e-mail.”
But as collaborative file sharing, of course, isn’t limited to the desktop inside four company walls, YouSendIt has branched out into mobile apps to meet the way most people work today, and branched into plug-ins for other popular solutions.
“We believe our services are very close to the tools people use in their everyday lives,” said Nanavati. “These are changing in terms of people being mobile and global. We have three new sets of apps to start with. We have a Web application. We have a mobile application on iOS platform for now, and we’ll be extending that to the Android (News - Alert) platform in a few months. We have a desktop application that syncs files on your Windows computers natively to the file system. We’ll be extending that to e-mail and Outlook as well. In addition, our standard services have plug-ins to popular offering tools like Photoshop and Office.”
Tehrani noted that he is a user of many YouSendIt product features, and that he finds it incredibly convenient for signatures and approvals, which can be accomplished in about a minute. “I like being able to insert a signature and mark something approved, put a date on it and just be able to signify to people within my organization that I’m approving – and signing – signing something,” he said.
Nanavati noted that the signature feature is popular. “Signature is an exciting new service that we added to our portfolio,” he said. “We acquired a company called Zosh at the end of last year and we’ve taken their technology and incorporated it into our product line. Essentially, we believe that traditional tools such as fax machines and scanners are not scaling up. Who uses a fax machine nowadays? We believe it’s simple to take an attachment like an NDA, use your fingers to insert a signature and send it back to the sender in under a minute. That’s what our technology allows you to do.”
(See more on TMCnet for more information about YouSendIt’s acquisitions of Zosh and collaboration service Attassa.)
It’s hard to write...or talk...about a cutting edge enterprise communication application without mentioning the cloud and, of course, some of YouSendIt’s strongest features involve collaboration and storage, which leads right into the cloud.
Said Nanavati, “You can save all these documents in your cloud folders and access them if you’re on the road, and you can share these with other collaborators in a work flow environment.”
So is YouSendIt evolving into a cloud-based storage company, like so many others? Not exactly, said Nanavati.
“We see cloud collaboration services offered by a lot of different vendors. More than storage, we offer a lot of other adjacent services like signature, like sending files, like sharing,” said Nanavati. “All of those combined together form what we call a cloud collaboration suite. We offer a suite of these services under one umbrella, in one product. There are a lot of point products out there. We believe knowledge workers in an enterprise don’t need a lot of these point products: they’re looking for one company that can support all of these services together. So it IS about the cloud. It IS about efficiency, but it’s not just about storage. Storage is a limitation. We make it unlimited. But the ability to add value such as signature, annotation, reviews and approvals are powerful for our users.”
It certainly seems to be. The company has seen 30 million unique users of the service in the last 12 months alone.
And with the addition of the new apps – with more platforms to come in the future – the company has nowhere to grow but up and out.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell