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Summary:

In a bid to build market share, Egynte is offering “paying” Box customers free storage for the rest of the year. Box claims 10 million customers, but it’s unclear how many of them actually pay for their service.

egnyteScreen Shot 2012-04-09 at 9.40.21 AM

The battle for cloud storage customers — well, make that paying cloud storage customers — is fully on. By all accounts millions of people store at least some of their data in the cloud. How many of them are paying for the privilege is what’s under dispute.

As of Monday, Egnyte says it will give paying Box customers free Egnyte storage until the end of the year. This “Box Buster” offer includes help with data migration.

Box and Egnyte — along with Accellion, GroupLogic, SurDoc, Intralinks, YouSendIt (see disclosure below) and other companies are trying to win over businesses to their respective cloud storage and file synchronization services.  Dropbox is the leader in consumer-oriented cloud storage, claiming 50 million users, and Box is trying hard to become the Dropbox of the enterprise, claiming 10 million business customers. But again, the issue is how many of them are paying and Box (nor Dropbox for that matter) isn’t saying.

Most of these cloud storage services rely on a “freemium model” — they offer free storage up to a certain limit, and then try to convert those users to paid subscriptions. Egnyte claims more than 600,000 customers. Till now, it has offered a 30-day trial then the customer either comes aboard or is out. This offer, in effect, extends that free trial to eight months.

Most cloud storage providers will tell you that converting free to paid accounts is difficult. Most put the conversion rate in the 2 percent to 3 percent range. (YouSendIt, which claims 550,000 paid customers,  says it converts 7.5 percent of its freemium users.)

Clearly there is a demand among businesses of all sizes for secure, reliable cloud-based storage. What’s not clear is which company will become the Dropbox equivalent in this hotly contested market. That’s why it won’t be surprising to see more offers of this type cropping up in the next few months.

Disclosure: YouSendIt is backed by Alloy Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media.

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  1. cryptochrome Monday, April 9, 2012

    I always wonder why people (obviously uninformed ones) try to compare box.com to all the other cloud storage solutions. All the others do one thing and one thing only: cloud storage. box.com does so much more. It gives you tools to actually colaborate on stored files. Leave comments/replies, assign tasks and attach them to files are just two of the features that all the others don’t have.

    1. most of these options offer synching and collaboration capabilities as well as storage.

      1. yah, it looks like egnyte offers all those features, and more http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/09/egnyte-box-buster/

  2. The battle will always been on with many players entering the segment. The consumer side has already lost focus because of the importance towards business needs. Being a service provider, we are quite happy with SyncBlaze(the latest similar product) as it focuses mainly on business needs and have features that relate to them. We are not sure whether its the Dropbox of the enterprise, but is surely the Dropbox for SMBs.

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