Little Fish Eats Big - SkyDox acquires Workshare

Last week, UK based provider of cloud-based file sharing and collaboration solutions SkyDox acquired Workshare and also raised £20m in investment.

SkyDox is a rather small company with 22 employees. It offers some nice file sharing and collaboration capabilities including the ability of co-browsing files and presentations. This allows you to simultaneously view and comment on same files along with your colleagues.

Workshare, on the other hand, is US based and is considerably bigger with about 100 employees. It has several products, but bulk of them are for document comparison.

The companies plan to release an integrated version of their products within 90 days, reportedly under Workshare branding.

If you are in the market, evaluating cloud file sharing and collaboration vendors, this does add a bit of uncertainly if SkyDox was on your shortlist. There are a few considerations that you should keep in mind while your are evaluating the marketplace.

Firstly, remember that most of Workshare's products are server based while SkyDox's key offering is a SaaS based tool. History suggests that combining a product that is not architected to be a SaaS/Cloud based from the very outset with another SaaS based tool is very, very difficult. So try and get as much exposure to the combined product as you possibly can, including testing it with your own set of files.

Secondly, the new offering will add (whenever the integration is complete) some sophisticated policy based document comparison capabilities to file sharing and collaboration. This will likely make the product more complex and potentially unsuitable for the simpler scenarios that many other file sharing tools target. Remember, it can be worse to overbuy than underbuy.

Finally, with change in branding, there might be some implications for the roadmap. SkyDox says its existing file sharing and collaboration offering will remain and enhanced but you should make sure you get a good grip on the planned changes and how they might impact you.

We evaluate SkyDox along with several other vendors such as Box, Glasscubes, Huddle, Oxygen Cloud, Syncplicity, YouSendIt, Accellion and others in our forthcoming Cloud File Sharing and Collaboration evaluations.

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