At the recent Momentum at EMC World event in Las Vegas, EMC announced the acquisition of Syncplicity, a privately held company based in Menlo Park, California that offers a cloud-based synchronization and share file management solution. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Syncplicity solution allows users to interact with one another and share content using the device of their choice, while at the same time enabling IT to apply the required security and governance. It allows organizations to protect data on the personal devices that employees are increasingly bringing into the workplace, and that can pose a huge security risk if not managed properly.
This was an acquisition EMC needed to make to gain market share in the share file market to allow it to compete against growing companies such as Box.com that are established in this area, and at the same time to introduce EMC products, in particular its cloud solutions, to a new audience.
Organizations must allow personal devices in workplace
This is an important acquisition for EMC because it helps to secure content, regardless of the device it resides on. Organizations should consider this type of product if they are planning a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy. The reality is that employees are going to bring their own devices into the workplace whether or not the organization allows it. This poses a huge risk if the devices are used without authorization…
It is therefore preferable for organizations to allow employees to use their own devices but manage the corporate content on them. This can include controlling what the user can do with the content, and preventing anyone finding such a device from accessing any corporate content. Security is an important element of Syncplicity, and all content uploaded and stored on devices is encrypted.
In addition, it includes information rights management (IRM), which allows organizations to tightly control what users are able to do with individual items of content. It also includes a remote deletion facility that enables organizations to wipe content from remote devices when the device is lost or an employee leaves the organization.
Syncplicity allows users to access files across multiple devices. It supports PCs, Macs, mobile devices (iPads, iPhones, and Android), file servers, and cloud-based business applications. Data retention policies are enforced, with files and folders automatically deleted from users’ devices when required. This means it will enhance EMC’s records management products. It works inside or outside of the firewall, allowing users to access files without having to go via a VPN, and integrates with SharePoint, SalesForce, Google Apps, and Google Docs.
Ovum believes that the security features built into Syncplicity should alleviate many of the concerns that organizations have when considering allowing employees to use their own devices in the work environment. EMC will integrate Syncplicity with its enterprise content management (ECM) platform Documentum, information governance solutions, and cloud storage.
EMC needs to cover this market
[An] area of concern that many organizations have is sharing information with parties outside of the firewall. One way of achieving this is to allow external collaborators to access specific applications or information inside the firewall, with the security implications associated with allowing external access to systems.
One of the advantages of Syncplicity is that third parties do not need to be provided with access to internal systems, but can access content via the cloud, following a web link, using login credentials provided by the organization that owns the content. Users are able to share files and folders with each other and can work online or offline. The organization can maintain granular control via permissions and access rights. Users can be notified of file or folder changes via their device of choice.
An advantage of the product is that files that would exceed attachment sizes if they were emailed to a recipient can be easily sent via Syncplicity. Because it handles multiple versions of documents and performs conflict resolution, more than one person is able to edit a document.
Electronic-based collaboration is becoming more important as global enterprises increasingly collaborate remotely due to the high cost of travel and the kudos they can gain by claiming to be “green”. Syncplicity should simplify the process of sending content to collaborators, and this is an area where EMC can strengthen its collaboration portfolio, offering organizations a compelling reason to buy its products.
Sue Clarke is lead analyst for enterprise content management at Ovum. For more information, visit www.ovum.com/