This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
My digital life is a mess, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
I have videos on a few sites, and photos on a few others. I’ve got numerous hard disks with photos, and I am not 100 percent sure they are all synced with the online vendor I use – actually, I am pretty sure they aren’t synced.
I am currently not backing up to the cloud but selectively back up important folders and documents. Then there are important websites and voicemails, which I would love to keep an eye on for all eternity – but where to store them? Should I put links in a WORD file? Excel? Then what happens if I lose that?
And then how do I search for the WORD file? Does it live in the cloud? On a netbook? A tablet?
Enter Gogobeans – a company whose mission it is to manage your digital life in a simplified way. A cloud-based vendor, the company also has core competence in the IP communications space with execs who once worked at Clarus Systems (News - Alert) and Quintum.
The company provides a free service to everyone who wants to organize their data – as they say, forever. Users receive their own locker and can choose how they share information – if at all.
Each asset – which can be a photo, web page, voicemail or just about anything else – becomes what the company calls a BEAN, which stands for business-enabled authorized network services. But all users need to know is that each item can have searchable metatags (for instance, “Brian’s wedding”) applied to them and can be marked private; friends; members, for anyone who has a Gogobeans (News - Alert) account; or public.
The company actively is trying to get people to understand that if you share information with a social network site you are likely relinquishing your rights to content, meaning you may never be able to fully delete it. It says, however, that if you were to first upload your content to Gogobeans and then share it on Facebook (News - Alert), you could always mark it as private later and it will not be accessible. Of course someone could make a copy, but you get the idea.
The service is in the process of getting many new features allowing you to import your address book from virtually any popular source, drag-and-drop files, IM and more.
One of the pricing models is to charge users for uploading large files and/or more storage. They hope to partner with VoIP vendors to white label the service to their customers. This is a logical idea, as if you look at what Cbeyond has done. They went from providing broadband and VoIP to backup and marketing services.
As one of TMC’s (News - Alert) editors Paula Bernier recently wrote, offering, and more actively promoting, the ability to store data in the cloud seems, is a great opportunity for both newer companies and others, like facility-based operators, which are looking at new ways to grow revenue. As she mentioned, she and her family keep investing in new storage devices as their media library grows. And her husband got an ION Audio PROFILE LP Vinyl-archiving USB turntable for Christmas, which will create an even great need for storage now for all the music from her family’s record collection.
Businesses and other organizations also have snowballing storage requirements in light of new regulations and even technology innovation, as Paula mentioned. For example, she said that Dr. O’Neal Smitherman from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology recently noted that lower costs to do human genome sequencing are driving vastly larger data storage and networking needs for the non-profit organization. And that’s just one example of how the storage needs of organizations are growing and creating new demand for both broadband connectivity and storage solutions.
Rich Tehrani is CEO of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO (News - Alert)). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi