In perusing the Geekwire 200, I recently noticed a company in the 157 slot that I had not noticed before. Still small, Onehub boasts 664 Twitter followers, 2K Facebook followers, under 50 employees and 1K external links. Compare this to the first entry on the list, BigFish, with twenty times the external links and 150K times the Facebook attraction and it seems like Onehub has a ways to go before they really get noticed. Upon closer inspection though, Onehub has developed an interesting cloud application with a simple proposition of holistic business focused document management that seems to address some significant pain points for many different businesses looking to collaborate seamlessly in the cloud.
At the top of its homepage, Onehub boasts “Simple, secure sharing with unlimited storage and sharing for all of your business files. Share, manage, and access from anywhere”. Onehub goes onto say that users can:
- Share files with confidence: Role-based permissions give you easy, granular control over what users have access to in your Workspace
- Access your content anywhere: Mobile and desktop applications allow you to access, organize, and share your content from multiple devices.
- Make it your own: Upload your logo and use custom colors to create a truly branded experience.
Onehub’s target focus is on businesses who need formalized document sharing and collaboration internally and externally. Through role based permissions, a business manager can set up document sharing for an internal project team to collaborate and edit seamlessly and in real-time using Google Documents editing system. Onehub extends its solution beyond internal walls by giving a business manager the ability to rebrand the customer facing portal using branding uploads and custom coloring. Onehub then overlays secure access on your desktop and mobile using password based permissions and secure links.
My initial reaction was that Onehub would be targeted at smaller businesses for internal collaboration and could function as an external document sharing hack with customers for bigger businesses with full-time IT departments. The solution feels like a slightly more sophisticated Dropbox with Google Doc’s word processing features but as I dug deeper, it seems that the company has built deeper security than it would initially convey. As a result, they have attracted larger partners like Aflac, Whole Foods, AARP, and the NHL to their service, providing convincing evidence that even larger firms can utilize the collaboration, storage, and customer facing tools without concern for scaling and security. This is surprising because I would have expected internal IT departments for larger companies to be using tools like Microsoft Sharepoint or internal homegrown collaboration tools but my expectation is that there are certain user focused tools, such as real-time editing, that are lacking in these enterprise focused solutions and drive end users to hack their way towards effectiveness using collaborative but unsecure tools like Google Docs and Dropbox. As a result, some enterprise IT functions might be seeking out secure external solutions like Onehub to build the collaborative tools that their users crave while maximizing their control on security and minimizing their budgetary spend.
I suspect Onehub had this all in mind when they designed their initial solution as the concept focus for both small and large companies quickly comes through on their website. What an effective approach for an up and coming firm!
– John Downey