Egnyte has been, for the last decade, one of the huge number of companies competing in the enterprise file sharing and synchronization (EFSS) space. Made popular by consumer products like Dropbox, and taken to the enterprise by companies such as Box, the broader EFSS is an incredibly busy space with seemingly a different vendor for every day of the month.

Egnyte has made a name for itself, and created a degree of differentiation, by being focused on the hybrid opportunity – whereas Dropbox and Box are “all in” on the public cloud, Egnyte wants to give customers the option to store files wherever they want – as such they can be thought of as less of a file sharing product, and more of a file sharing and collaboration fabric which can be laid over different infrastructures.

But even this isn’t sufficient to give Egnyte comfort in the competitive vertical it works within, which is why the company announced last year that it would be moving into the content governance space. Egnyte Protect was seen as a way of offering customers analysis over all the content within their organization and actionable insights based on that analysis to prevent data breaches and the like.

The company is today announcing that Egnyte Protect will henceforth be generally available – under various subscription models to suit different customers’ situations. And the company is pushing this as being content-agnostic and therefore, analogous to how Egnyte’s EFSS product is a fabric to be layered on top of storage assets, applicable to any content in any environment – cloud or on-premises.

The company seems to be articulating the value of Protect as separate from the EFSS product:

“As organizations are transforming their digital workplace and rapidly growing their content, we identified an urgent need for a governance solution that could provide protection across a wide range of apps and repositories,” said Vineet Jain, CEO at Egnyte. “With Egnyte Protect we took a new approach, building a cloud-based solution that can be easily deployed and create value for organizations within minutes, versus the traditional approach which typically involved deploying additional hardware and incurring professional services costs. Egnyte Protect is changing the way people think about governance as we are now able to quickly and easily deliver the highest level of content protection to businesses of all shapes and sizes without impeding productivity and diversity of apps.”

The enterprise security context

Of course, there is a good reason, beyond competitive differentiation, that Egnyte introduced this product. Data breaches are an increasingly regular occurrence and as I travel around different events and talk with CIOs, a common refrain that I hear from them is concern over the security of their critical and valuable information. And as organizations’ digital footprints rapidly expand, this task is a big one (and getting bigger.)

And initial customers seem to be bullish:

“At Buzzfeed, our teams are working on a wide range of content at a fast pace, much of which includes information that is timely and sensitive in nature,” says Jason Reich, director of global security at Buzzfeed. “It is our top priority to protect that content, its sources, and our team without interrupting their workflow. We chose to deploy Egnyte Protect because it actively monitors our content from the inside out, checking for potential issues twenty-four seven, and allowing us to rest assured knowing our content is properly protected at all times while our employees work freely.”

MyPOV

Egnyte has masterfully managed to keep attention and momentum in an increasingly noisy environment. in recent years, there has been a degree of consolidation and rationalization in the space and Egnyte is well positions as one of the survivors. it will be interesting to see whether an IPO or a trade sale is in this company’s future.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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