10 years ago I was in a meeting with many MS executives including Mr. Bill Gates, and as a group we were discussing the confusion of personal storage in the enterprise. Not much has changed over that time… disk drives still dominate the personal storage space… the desktop and servers… until now! The demands have grown, the complexity has grown. Much higher demands for mobile devices that are becoming first class citizens in the enterprise and really the device of choice for meetings. If anything the consumer world has blurred the division between consumer and corporate.
The technology of the day was My Documents redirection. As well, the third party app of choice for Bill was Groove. He loved that app, he’d use it to share documents with his friends and the idea of business documents vs. personal documents was very gray.
He wants what we all want. We want a single place where we can manage our files, sharing, and synchronization between all our devices.
My Documents Redirection brought offline cache, but it was missing the cloud sync options
UNC mapping and mapping a drive to SharePoint never really took off, it was a very sketchy proposition that just wasn’t reliable enough for adoption or as an enterprise strategy
The acquisition of Groove brought sync to the enterprise with primary sync to SharePoint. Peer to peer became less of an emphasis, and lost the most hard core of the groove folks. It gained a new audience of synchronizing files from SharePoint to the desktop, but didn’t go far enough to reach the Macintosh. The first SharePoint workspace for Windows Phone came with the previous launch.
Live Mesh and Skydrive changed the landscape in the consumer space for being able to both synchronize our files from our desktops to online storage now.
In the meantime Dropbox and Box.net started gobbling up the business by selling the idea of bring your own device to the file sync story. It was no longer about the pc, but about the agnostic device story. It’s also a very strong message about making it simple.
Now the consumer space with Skydrive has really nailed it. I do believe I am convinced that Microsoft really has a strategy that I’m ready to get behind with personal storage.
A few of the key features:
Now you can get sync between your Windows pcs and other devices and your macs.
Mobile and Tablet Devices
SkyDrive Pro in my opinion is not finished. I know it’s in beta 2 or public preview, but we haven’t seen the latest for what this will provide. The name SkyDrive Pro really does align the product with the greater strategy of aligning it with the consumer and Office 365 strategy. While there have been a few posts the service is still yet to be fully announced. Much of what have been written are scenarios and not providing the full scope. I see that the consumer SkyDrive is helping drive the strategy. We know Microsoft wants it to be the one place. I’ll share more on this blog as I learn more. Internally we’ll be doing some piloting of the new Office 365 based on SharePoint 2013 as well as SharePoint 2013 on premise My Sites and Sky Drive Pro.
"SkyDrive Pro, a service optimized for business and managed by your company or organization. It’s your hub for work documents: the one place to find, store, and share the files you care about for work."
Introducing SkyDrive Pro – from the SharePoint Team Blog
Here are a few of the things I’ve gathered, but I’m still digging and looking for more answers as it relates to MAC, iPhone, iPad, and more…
The potential is there and I know that the Windows 8 desktop, Windows Phone 8, and Microsoft’s broader strategy to bring office and storage integration to Android and iPhone & iPad as evidenced with the SkyDrive apps provide some real promise. Let’s not dismiss something that can revolutionize our personal storage and file sync and the "One Place" strategies that can make a big difference.
I’ll tell you my storage plans for SharePoint 2013 and how I look at Shredded Storage – differential storage and optimized network transport puts this strategy as one of the big ones that we will make with our SharePoint 2013 upgrade and rollout. I’ll be working very closely with the desktop team and mobile team.
definitely a beta product. the name suggests it functions similar to SkyDrive, but each time I take a skydrive folder and put it in my skydrive pro folder it fails. potential that is so far unrealized.
Joel, are you getting paid for this marketing spiel?
No. I was not paid for this post. I do see a lot of potential in SkyDrive Pro, but it is still lacking some of the key things it needs to compete with Dropbox in the enterprise. I look forward to the roadmap at SPC14.