Warning – only part of this post is a product review, while the rest is a rant against bad PR. But for anyone out there with a fledgling product (or an established product for that matter) the second part of the post is worthwhile reading and thinking about…

There’s a million and one products out there that allow organizations to share files within and outside of the organization. Products from box.net, Dropbox, Syncplicity and many others provide for this functionality. ShareFile, another vendor in this space has just rolled out new functionality that gives users the ability to charge for access to premium files.

An ancillary offering to their secure file transfer and virtual data room solutions, FolderPay allows companies to charge for access to premium files or folders hosted using ShareFile’s service. Through the offering, content owners can charge customers per download or on a subscription basis. It’s a logical use case – there are a bunch of use cases – craft plans, construction drawing and the like where having an integrated billing and file management solution makes sense. FolderPay was a result of customer feedback from one of ShareFile’s customers VCC. I reached out to ShareFile to get some more information about the use case and rationale for the functionality – unfortunately, ShareFile never replied to my multiple emails which gets me onto the second part of this post, a rant about bad PR.

I’m a pretty accessible blogger – I’m always open to having a discussion with a vendor about their product or service. I also realize that for busy vendors sometimes a PR firm is the best way to facilitate these conversations. I have no issue with this and have previously given shout-outs to PR staffers who do a great job of effecting dialog. But I have a real issue with PR companies that send releases to commentators like spam, and then give no follow up to enquiries or questions – it’s rude, it’s bad form and ultimately it’s bad for their clients.

So… ShareFile, I actually like what you’re doing with FolderPay, there’s an obvious use case for it and I hope it proves a successful differentiator for you. But when it comes to PR companies, my suggestion would be to ditch Racepoint Group and find someone who will provide your product and company good service.

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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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