file sharing, storage

In a move that highlights the intense competition of among the new breed of online file-sharing services, Silicon Valley startup Egnyte is offering nine months of free file storage to any paying customers that defect from its biggest rival, the omnipresent

Egnyte calls this its “Box Buster Buyout,” and the company has updated its website with a white paperand flashy flowcharts detailing the many ways it beats Box — at least from its perspective.

“They are showing up wherever we show up,” Vineet Jain, Egnyte’s CEO, tells Wired. “They have a huge amount of money to spend. They are at every conference…so clearly they are targeting us. So I turned it around to say: ‘You want to pick a fight with me? Let’s pick a fight on enterprise grounds where I can clobber you.’”

Competition in this burgeoning market is fierce. Terri McClure, an analyst with research outfit Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), says that she and her group are tracking 21 different companies that offer some sort corporate file-sharing tool. “And it’s only going to get more competitive,” she tells Wired. Those 21 companies also include Dropbox, YouSendIt, Nomadisk, ShareFile, SugarSync, and Syncplicity. began life as a free consumer service, but it’s using the so-called freemium model to work into way into business. The idea is to get a company’s employees hooked on a free version of the tool, and then coax the company to pay for a dedicated corporate version.

But Egnyte avoids the freemium model. Jain says that unlike Box, Egnyte is completely focused on paying customers. Plus, he says, his company offers a “hybrid” service, meaning you can store files on your own servers as well as Egnyte’s.

Box declined to comment on Egnyte’s claims, but like Egnyte, the company has made a name for itself by picking fights with competitors.

In December of 2011, McClure’s Enterprise Strategy Group published a study detailed what it considered to be the top eight players in the file-sharing market. Both Box and Egnyte were included, and both scored about the same on the breadth of their enterprise tools.

By Caleb Garling, Wired

April 9, 2012

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