The IT Press Tour: Meet Soonr and CloudByte

Jane McCallion reports from the fourth day of the San Francisco IT Press Tour.

cloud

The IT Press tour is a five-day event taking place this week in San Francisco that seeks to introduce the UK media to tech firms doing some interesting things in Silicon Valley. IT Pro's Jane McCallion has joined the fray and here's her round-up of the fourth day's events...

Day Four: A quick drive from Cupertino to Palo Alto took us back into the cloud for the penultimate day of the 12th IT Press Tour.

Here we met Soonr, a cloud-based enterprise file sync and share service not unlike Box or Huddle. The firm was founded in 2005 and is head quartered in California, with regional offices in Denmark and Slovakia, where a lot of its developers are based. As with Couchbase, Danish CEO Martin Frid-Nielsen, said the comparatively low wages for European programmers is partly why the business has looked across the Atlantic for talent.

According to Frid-Nielsen, Soonr had been working on an offering that focused primarily on connecting people to their data through smartphones. "Then the iPad and Android [tablets] came along and really helped us take off," he said, adding the recession had also boosted the business, as people looked to move from more expensive on-premise systems to SaaS.

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The business has built up a paying customer base of 150,000, most of whom were recruited through its channel partners who include Colt, Cloud Direct and Meltwater Partners.

It would be easy to write Soonr off as yet another Dropbox-for-the-enterprise wannabe, but the company will be announcing integration with Salesforce and Google Apps for analytics and real-time collaboration  respectively, the business is definitely worth keeping an eye on going into 2014.

Nielsen is also not a fan of Dropbox's plans to launch an app that can be used to manage personal and work data simultaneously, while keeping things under control on the back end. He claims it is an inherently unsecure service, with severely curtailed data management if devices are stolen or people leave the company, for example.

CloudByte

Next up was CloudByte, a software-defined storage vendor founded in 2010 that is just starting to go live with its products.

While many a software-defined storage vendor has dreamed of reaching the dizzying heights of Amazon's cloud, according to CloudByte CEO Gregg Goelz, the firm has focused on offering a solution that is better than Amazon's S3 cloud storage. This is to allow its customers to serve up online storage that performs better and more efficiently than the Seattle-based cloud firm's offerings.

It is extremely early days for CloudByte founder and CTO Felix Xavier only moved recently over to America from India where he first started working on the software. But "better than S3" is quite a claim to make. It will be interesting to see if this works out for them, come a year or so.

Tomorrow, Jane will be meeting with Backblaze.

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