FileTrek, a new entrant to the cloud-based collaboration market, is debuting with a file sharing and tracking product that tells an organization the location of a file, who has worked on it, the changes that have been made to it, and how it is related to other files. The Ottawa, Canada-based company, which wants to make it easier for customers to track what happens to the content they send out into the world, has also just received $10 million in Class B funding from a consortium of investors in the United States and Canada led by Anthem Venture Partners, Telesystem and Ontario Emerging Technologies Funds.
"File tracking software is an emerging market driven by the need to fully understand where and how your content is being used," says Alan Weintraub, principal analyst for Forrester Research. "Many regulations, such as FDA 21 CFR Part 11, mandate that the content owner maintains an audit trail of all users that gain access to a piece of content. File tracking software helps meet this regulation. Other organizations use file tracking software to track the movements of high-value intellectual property. This provides them with the one of the tools that creates a management architecture."
According to Forrester, half of U.S. information workers now split their time among the office, home and other remote locations. The company sees three technology "trains" impacting the future of workforce productivity, innovation and advocacy by 2016: enterprise mobility, enterprise social and cloud services for business.
The product keeps track of interactions taking place among applications on a device, says Dale Quayle, FileTrek president and CEO. When two people share information, the product does an audit trail to see who has done what with whom, including whether a person goes on to share the data with someone else, he says. In addition, the company tracks features such as what actions were performed and how much time the user spent, producing logs and reports describing its findings. The software runs on a variety of hardware, including PCs, the Macintosh, iPads and Android-based devices, he says.
The product competes most closely with offerings such as Box and Egnyte, Quayle says. While it resembles content management software such as EMC's Documentum, Filenet, Microsoft's SharePoint, Office 365 and Google Docs, those products require user compliance by needing the user to be online and logged in so they can check documents in and out, says FileTrek. However, that's not how people typically work, the company says, noting that people do things like take files and put them on their laptop and then work on them on a plane.
The product is available now and comes in three versions. The first one is intended for individual users and is free, providing 5 Gbytes of storage and the ability to transmit files of up to 50 Mbytes. The second version, intended for teams, lets users collaborate with each other, with 100 Gbytes of storage per user and files of up to 2 Gbytes, for $20 per user per month. The enterprise version, which includes all back-end reporting and administrative functions, provides 200 Gbytes of storage with file sizes of up to 2 Gbytes, and has a price quoted on a per-user basis.
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