In the file-sharing land grab, the race to capture market share may actually be hindering the adoption of collaborating in the cloud. Too many of today’s file-sharing solutions require recipients of shared files to register as a new user of the service and even download an additional external application before having access to the shared content.
Why so many strings? Perhaps these services believe that having high volumes of registered users increases the proliferation of their solution and will ultimately increase their ongoing user base. But they are missing the impact of user productivity and service loyalty. Forcing users to onboard co-workers, clients, partners and vendors in order to share vital content not only slows productivity but also makes everyone feel just a little uncomfortable.
This idea is similar to sending a birthday gift but asking for the recipient to register their name, rank and serial number before they can open it. A similar example is making a phone call but, before the recipient can answer, forcing the other end to register with your own phone provider.
File sharing should truly be shared — without strings. Rather than require an adopt-my-platform-before-access approach, shared files should be available for recipients regardless of whether they are a registered user of that service or not. This would improve:
- Business productivity — Recipients can access shared information without wading through a cumbersome registration and download process. This is especially important for mobile users who want to access shared content right away when they receive it from their smartphone. With other solutions they can’t because they need to walk through a registration process that can be tedious on a mobile device.
- Manageability — Users don’t have to organize and track multiple file-sharing applications. If you can share content without requiring that the recipient also be a member, you don’t have to adopt yet another file-sharing application so that you can collaborate with them.
- Content access — When sharing content that doesn’t have strings attached, you know that your recipients will have rapid and easy access to the files you are sharing — anywhere, on any device. You don’t need to worry that they may not have the necessary applications or accounts to download the material you share.
- Relationships — When file sharing really is sharing, without the burden of acquiring new customers for your file-sharing service, it improves collaboration and removes the uncomfortable barriers that can get in the way of working efficiently with your team, customers, partners and vendors.
Secure online file-sharing solutions can deliver all of the above advantages, in addition to specific use cases for different industries. While giving users full policy and access controls, advanced security and broad device support — including tablets and phones — the file-sharing service also lets users share any file, with anyone, at any time, without requiring registration for access.
It simply sends a link to the shared file or project, which can be accessed from any device at any time. Users have the ability to update content or revoke access at any point throughout the sharing process. And they can view access details through advanced reporting features. Full control, without the strings, enables true sharing that can convince businesses to take the leap into cloud collaboration.
Sam Liu is the vice president of marketing for Soonr and an expert in mobile, cloud and enterprise technologies. He has over 20 years of marketing and product experience in the startup and enterprise operational space with a technical as well as marketing background. Connect with Sam via Linked