Today I had the honor and privilege to interview the Director of Communications at SugarSync, Robb Henshaw. With a few jokes and a great conversation from a down to earth guy, I was able to gather some information about the hottest Cloud service available. If you aren’t sure about Cloud services now, hopefully this interview will help change your mind.
Doug Puccetti: What is SugarSync all about and how did it all get started?
Robb Henshaw: SugarSync is about having a cloud service that gives you the ability to upload, sync and share media across many devices. Most people have multiple devices like a PC, Laptop, Tablet and Smartphone ,or sometimes 2 smartphones, or any combination of those. With that, SugarSync allows you to keep track of all your Music, Photos, Documents and Movies. So no matter what device you’re carrying, you will always have access to the things you need. SugarSync also allows you to make changes in one place and be able to see them somewhere else.
Doug: Myself, being one of those users who has more than one smartphone, tablet, computer, etc; I can relate. Do you feel this is what makes Cloud services so important?
Robb: Oh, Absolutely. How you’re accessing all of your information now, is completely different than how it was before. Being able to open and edit a document no matter where you are is crucial now-a-days. You don’t have to tell someone “Oh that’s on my PC. Ill have to show it to you later”. With Cloud services you can upload whatever is saved on your phone, tablet or PC, and load it on whichever one you have with you at the time.
Doug: How does SugarSync compare to other cloud services like Dropbox?
Robb: Im glad you brought this up, The primary differentiator is that SugarSync provides multi-folder sync, as opposed to services like Dropbox that only give you one folder which you have to then drag and drop everything into. With SugarSync’s multi-folder sync, you can select as many of your existing folders as you want, allowing you to continue to work the way you already work. Also, in terms of pricing, Dropbox only has 2 consumer plans currently. $10/month for 50GB of storage, and $20/month for 100GB of storage. Where SugarSync offers more affordable plans for the average user. Our plans start at $5/month for 30GB, $10/month for 60GB and $15/month for 100GB (and we have plans that go all the way up to 1TB). Another thing that keeps us above the competition is the use of folders. When you create your SugarSync account you will automatically have folders available for you to organize your information and pictures. Dropbox refers to itself as the ‘USB Stick in the sky’, and well, we all know how USB sticks are used – you put a little bit of stuff on them, then you delete it when you need more space. But because of SugarSync’s ability to let you chose your existing folders – and not requiring you to drag and drop stuff to a “USB Stick in the sky” — This is why we have a higher conversion rate than any other Cloud Service.
Doug: SugarSync just signed a partnership with Lenovo which adds it to the list of many partnerships already. What partnerships is SugarSync looking forward to working with? Are there any in the works?
Robb: Yes we did just sign a partnership with Lenovo, but this isn’t the first one. We’ve signed partnerships with Samsung, and at CES they showed how SugarSync is being included on all of their Smart TVs, giving people access to their photos, videos, music, etc. from the SugarSync Cloud straight to their TVs. Also, we have a partnership with SoftBank Mobile where they are pre-loading SugarSync on the Panasonic Lumix and Sharp Aquos smartphones. This is allowing users to log into SugarSync and have all their important documents and pictures available where ever, whenever. And by working with high-end camera phones like the Panasonic Lumix and Sharp Aquos lines, users are able to use SugarSync so that when you snap a photo with the native camera app, the photo gets uploaded automatically to SugarSync for easy access anywhere, on any device. As for working with other companies all I can say is there are plenty of other companies that we would like to work with and some might be in the works, but I can’t say much more than that.
Doug: What makes SugarSync so secure?
Robb: First of all, we encrypt every bit of users’ data using AES-128 bit encryption, meaning everything is encrypted in transmission to our servers as well as while it is on our servers. We also have our own datacenters, with 3 datacenter locations throughout the world. This allows us to keep your data stored in multiple locations. So if something were to happen to one data location, your data is backed up elsewhere. Also your data, pictures, and documents are all getting synced to our server every time you upload or download something from your SugarSync account. This creates ease of use, makes cloud storage feel like second nature and creates a higher level of security.
Doug: With Windows 8 around the corner, does SugarSync have any plans of creating a metro style application for easy sharing throughout the windows 8 eco system?
Robb: Yes that is something that we are planning on doing, but it isn’t a sure thing yet. As for all new operating systems, we strive to create an application or program that will work and that doesn’t limit users to only one platform. It’s on the road map for sure, but nothing is set in stone.
Doug: And lastly, Why do you feel SugarSync has a bright future?
Robb: If you look around and ask industry experts or read head to head reviews of our product compared to other cloud services, we always come out on top. Also, by us working with companies like Lenovo, we are allowing users who purchase these products to have SugarSync feel like its second nature. It’s easy to do that by building partnerships with these companies. We want our cloud service to become second nature to users, and I feel we are heading in the right direction.