In an effort to save a dollar, something an entrepreneur needs to become acquainted with (even when funded), we’ve tried many cloud based services. As our company is a cloud service provider, we’ve come to know very well what to expect from the various services. It’s been 2.5 years since my last post and a lot has changed. First, let me address the issue of cloud storage providers.
We switched to Box (from SugarSync) back in April of 2012. We ran with that service for quite some time, but as the team grew, the service just really couldn’t keep up. As mentioned in my previous post, the service was fairly slow, and I was stuck on technical support (which was decent to their credit) much too often. In a nutshell, the product performance sucked. Where should I start? Well, the syncing failed all the time and we’d end up with these odd “folders/files” that were essentially duplicates of existing folders/files. Which one of these duplicates was the most recent? Not sure. Fail #1. Now my files are no longer up-to-date. Next, the syncing also was super slow. We have very fast fiber based internet with really good upload speed, but when we’d add a file, the other users sharing the folder wouldn’t see the file for something like 30 minutes. We ended up resorting to email. So much for collaborative storage. Fail #2. The reason we went with Box over Dropbox’s “business” offering was two-fold. 1) The price was a bit cheaper per user, and there were no user minimums. 2) They seemed to have more granular control over user roles which was appealing. 3) They offered way more storage for very cheap. Fast forward a year, and we switched back to Dropbox (our original provider back in 2009). Here’s the thing about Dropbox. Their shit just works. They didn’t have the fancy user roles (other than the basics). They didn’t have the “collaboration”. They had file syncing. And it works beautifully. It’s fast too. I save something to a folder and *poof*, it’s updated everywhere almost immediately. I’ve never even had to contact their support. It’s so nice when shit just works. This is very hard to do, by the way, even with the simplest of products. I speak from experience. And it turns out the pricing is really almost the same now. Even the storage capacity has been bumped up to equal Box’s. In the end, we never should have switched around. But we chased the shiny penny and I made the decision to save some cash. It turns out, though, that the cash we saved wasn’t worth the headache.