Manage Protect targets sovereignty concerns with Australia-only cloud storage

Growing market demand for a secure cloud file-sharing service with local support drove Australian managed service provider ManageProtect to dive into the exploding market for cloud-based file storage, the company's director has revealed.

Having offered conventional managed services such as Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint since it was founded in 2008, the company had progressively bulked out its data centre reliability and began exploring the cloud-storage market after increasing demand from hosted Exchange-using customers of its 450 managed service provider (MSP) resellers.

“We used to get asked by customers what we used for storing cloud files outside of Exchange and we would, rather sheepishly, respond 'Dropbox',” director Andrew Johnson told CSO Australia.

“Dropbox is great technology and a pioneer, but it just didn't fit the culture and the business-grade ethic of all of our services. SharePoint is a great solution for certain businesses, but it requires a certain degree of rigour and deployment complexity that's often beyond a lot of these businesses.”

Evaluation of over 20 different cloud-storage products led the Manage Protect team to Soonr, a cloud-storage and collaboration provider to whose platform “we soon started comparing every other product,” Johnson said.

With the decision of platform made, Manage Protect worked to bolster its data-centre capabilities, positioning its rebranded service as the first fully Australian-hosted cloud file sharing and collaboration service.

All of the company's data is stored in redundant data centres in Sydney and Melbourne, with security and mobile file access provided through the Soonr platform. To bolster its enterprise-grade storage credentials, Manage Protect had its environment audited as being compliant with SSAE-16 and ISAE 3402 security standards.

As well as ensuring data remained within Australia, security was a key consideration for customers that have recently been overwhelmed with cloud-storage options, Johnson said, with partners requesting capabilities like the ability to lock files to prevent overwriting of changes, and the ability to control file access using highly granular security policies.

“Security is a concern for our partners, and they respond when you've got encryption of data in transit and at rest as well as the ability to manage customers' use of security with granular security controls.”

“This is all coming very much from the needs of the businesses,” he continues, noting that companies adopting cloud-based storage typically pursue two key use cases: server backup and syncing, and mobile data access.

“Remote access is a key strength for customers that have already got the server,” he says, noting that local support has been a key part of the Manage Protect offering. “We have a product that's very well suited for the market as far as the feature set and what we deliver.”

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