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Acronis Aims To Beat Dropbox, Box With Acronis Access 7

By - Source: Toms IT Pro
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Acronis, known for its backup and recovery software, launched a new version of Acronis Access, a mobile content management (MCM) and file sync and share solution similar to Dropbox and Box. Now in its seventh version, Acronis Access comes in two editions -- one designed for small to midsize businesses (SMBs), and the other, Acronis Access Advanced, for larger enterprises.  

The main differences between the SMB and the advanced versions center on scalability, granularity of policy controls, and price. The SMB product is available for 100 users or less and includes three content repositories, while the Advanced version is unlimited, Anders Lofgren, VP of Project Management at Acronis told Tom's in an interview.

Additionally, the enterprise edition integrates with MDM vendors that Acronis partners with, including MobileIron, Good Technology and Citrix. It also has more sophisticated policy controls, allowing for better granularity of enterprise policies, according to Lofgren. As for pricing, here’s how the two editions compare:

Acronis Access 7Acronis Access Advanced 7
$59.80 per user (up to 25 users)$187.00 per user (unlimited users)
$49.90 per user (up to 50 users)
$39.95 per user (up to 100 users)

The prices listed above are one-time perpetual license fees; there is an additional 20 percent annual maintenance fee per user. Organizations can upgrade to the advanced edition at any time.  

From an IT management perspective, Lofgren said the software is easy to set up and use. The basic install process takes about five to six minutes, Lofgren told Tom's, while policies and rules will take additional time.

Like Dropbox and Box, Acronis Access enables users to access and edit company documents from multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Designed for mobile use and BYOD (bring your own device) environments, the product allows users to access and share company documents both internally, within the company, and externally, with customers and partners. The data itself is stored on the company's existing infrastructure, be it a file server, NAS, SharePoint or other data repositories.

That's one of the main differentiators between Acronis Access and cloud-based offerings like Box and Dropbox for Business. Acronis is a 100 percent on-premises solution, allowing organizations to utilize their current hardware resources, said Lofgren. "There's no need to migrate your content to the cloud," he added.

These days it may seem like businesses of all sizes are in a rush to move to the cloud. The reality is many organizations still don't consider the cloud a feasible option for a variety of reasons, mostly having to do with data security. When it comes to MCM and mobile file sync and share options, on-premises solutions are popular in both SMBs and large enterprises, Lofgren said. Highly regulated industries, financial, healthcare, and government as well as many SMBs, including doctor offices, insurance agencies, and businesses that keep sensitive data will likely opt for an on-premises solution.

"Acronis Access 7 balances the needs of employees and IT by enabling easy content access, sync and share while ensuring security, control and compliance," said Serguei Beloussov, Acronis CEO.

Acronis Access 7 is available today; the company offers a 21 day free trial at acronis.com.

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