Last Updated Jan 12, 2010 5:14 PM EST
Anil Sabharwal, Product Manager, Google Docs (enterprise), told me: "This is great indication about how Google feels about the cloud. Google firmly believes in the cloud and making it faster easier and safer for our users. Now they can have access to all of their files, regardless of format, and also access to Google Search across all of those docs at the same time."
Sabharwal stated that any type of file -- Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat PDF, JPEG, ZIP archives, CAD, RAW photos, etc. -- can now be uploaded.
In a coordinated development, Google's partnership with startup Syncplicity, also unveiled today, means that any of these files can now synchronized across devices like laptops, desktops and smartphones.
"This helps solve a major pain point for individuals and organizations," Syncplicity CEO Leonard Chung told me. "Now they can pull any new 'islands' of information and integrate them into their existing systems of files and formats and store them in the cloud."
Syncplicity, one of three new Google partners mentioned in today's announcements, essentially provides a centralized file management system featuring automated backup, instant synchronization, sharing capacity, integration with web apps, and an "infinite" version control all as one integrated solution for its customers.
Chung says his company currently has 80,000 users and manages more than 300 terabytes of data, which is up 20 percent from when I first profiled the company two months ago.
"We've been working with Google for the past six months on this," said Chung. "We found we had over 5000 joint customers and that we were already synchronizing nearly 1 million documents on a daily basis at Google. So this pushed us toward a more integrated solution."
The free version of this service allows up to two GB of storage with Syncplicity and one GB with Google, with premium upgrades available above those levels. (Google offers additional storage at a cost of $0.25 per GB per year.)
The only shortcoming of the Syncplicity system at present is it only works for PCs, although Chung says a version for Macs is coming later this year.
Google's other two partners as announced today are Memeo and Manymoon. The former offers Memeo Connect for Google Apps, which is a desktop app for accessing and synchronizing files to Google Docs across multiple computers, both PCs and Macs. Manymoon is an online project management platform that for organizing and sharing tasks and documents, including uploading files to Google Docs.
Google's Sabharwal strongly indicated that today's developments will be followed by others. "Watch this space for further developments about new functionalities that allow sharing and collaboration," he said. "This is just the first incarnation. Now we will listen closely to feedback from our users and continue to innovate."
Related BNET link:
Syncplicity Aims to Help Businesses Manage Their Data in the Cloud