Trouble in Cloud Paradise – OwnCloud shuts down and Egnyte Pivots (again!)

We have reported in the past on an  increasing dead pool of consumer file sharing services and now it seems hosted Enterprise File Sharing Services are having a similar issue.

OwnCloud Inc recently announced that, after 5 years,  it was shutting down its operations. Given the press and announcements coming out of OwnCloud in recent months this seemed a strange turn of events and one surmises that at some level revenues and sales must have played a part. OwnCloud had some stellar partnerships, including Redhat, in the Open Source space, which already seem to have been taken over but other incumbents capitalising on their demise. Storage Made Easy, a commercial not open source vendor, yesterday announced their own partnership with RedHat at a storage level, with a primary focus on Ceph and OpenStack.

Whilst not entirely in a similar vein, but perhaps with a similar ethos, another enterprise file sharing vendor has announced a pivot. Engine announce that they were now focusing on protecting documents rather than Enterprise File Share and Sync which they believe to be commoditised. Engine’s issue is that the hosted Enterprise File Share and Sync is indeed saturated unlike the self hosted space which seems to be much more in demand from the enterprise. Although Egnyte purports a hybrid capability they really are a service provider in which data goes back through their back end eco-system which, since they took Google venture money, is Google’s storage infrastructure.

The Egnyte announcement comes off the back of a previous pivot in which Egnyte announced they were focused on analytics and the adaptive enterprise. Maybe one of these will eventually stick ! Egnyte is not entirely going to have this space to themselves with other incumbents such as Accellion (who had/ have their own issue given the recently reported FaceBook breach), Watchdox ( a BlackBerry company since 2015) and Storage Made Easy all providing audit and governance features across a wide range of storage endpoints and , at least some of those vendors, do provide secure on-site behind the firewall self-hosting.

Expect to see more companies falling by the wayside, even maybe some unicorns in this space, as it commoditises and VC backed vendors come under pressure to prove out revenue models.