For small businesses with employees in different locations who need to work together on projects, Soonr, a pioneer in the now-crowded cloud computing storage-backup-file-synchronization market, may be the just-right small business software solution.
Soonr recently upgraded its service, which the company says is already used by 40,000 companies worldwide (it launched in 2005), adding attractive team collaboration features that competitors such as Mozy and SugarSync don’t offer yet.
Soonr does more or less what the other services do. Like Mozy, it automatically backs up designated files and folders on a computer (or computers) to Soonr’s online data center, and does it constantly in the background so you don’t have to remember to run backups.
It also encrypts files -- both while in transmission and while on the company’s servers -- to keep them secure.
Like SugarSync and DropBox, Soonr will also synchronize files on multiple devices, including mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android phones so that the same set of files is available on all. (The company claims the sync feature works on 800 different devices.)
Soonr's dashboard shows team status, backups, syncs, projects and the most recent file changes.
(Click for larger image).
Project Collaboration in the Cloud
Soonr recently enhanced its small business collaboration features. It added the capability to organize files by project and, within projects, you can organize by folder. You can also give designated team members permission to access and edit files for a particular project -- or folder within a project.
DropBox lets you do some of this, but it’s not as easy to manage. Soonr's dashboard, an excellent graphical summary screen, shows the status of team members, backups, synchronizations and projects (including the most recent file changes by team members).
The question is, how much are these additional collaborative software features worth to you, and how appropriate is it for your business to combine them with a backup and file synch solution?
Soonr does not offer as much or as sophisticated collaboration and project management functionality as purpose-built tools such as Onehub or Huddle and, according to our analysis, it’s not the best value in terms of online storage, either.
Soonr Account Options
Like other online backup and file sync services, Soonr offers a free-trial account that lets you set up as many as five projects and work on them with two team members -- the original subscriber, plus one other. You get the same 2GB of online storage that most free services offer.
Soonr Premium, at $7.95 a month (with the first month free) gives you one additional team member, unlimited projects and 10GB of online storage. It also adds file versioning. The service automatically saves multiple versions of the same file, which lets you go back to an earlier version should the need arise.
Soonr Pro ($19.95 a month, with the first month free) gives you five team members (the subscriber plus four others), unlimited projects, file versioning and 40GB of online storage. It also adds custom branding. You can have your company name and logo placed on the account pages in place of the Soonr logo.