Driving open innovation is a core value at Alfresco, one that we encourage among our developers and our eco-system. We love seeing startups targeting new market opportunities and ambitiously setting sights on new heights. Having launched Alfresco only a few years ago, we can relate to the passion that drives a startup’s growth.
Alfresco set out to solve a business and technology issue that has been plaguing the enterprise for decades: can there be a better solution to the painstaking demands placed on enterprise computing? Particularly, can an open source company withstand the rigors necessary to provide a safe and secure entry into the enterprise fortress? After 8 years, 7 million users and over 4 billion documents managed with over a million files uploaded every two hours we’ve been rewarded with an overwhelming affirmative answer to that question.
Considering Alfresco began as a startup to tackle an enterprise computing problem, we began with a thorough understanding and awareness of the enforced regulatory, compliance and security issues that organizations are required to meet. Early on, our executives cut their teeth on enterprise issues. We provide enterprises with more than just a simple file-sharing solution, our strength is delivering enterprise-grade enterprise content management (ECM). You might say that when a company is ready to graduate beyond simple file storage and sharing, you’d consider Alfresco for advanced capabilities such as:
- Metadata / Content Types: Being able to define types of documents (for example contracts, PO’s, invoices, case files, marketing ad copy) and the associated metadata or properties (expiration date, dollar value, case number, and related content, etc.) that allow companies to intelligently and securely manage key business content
- Business Process / Workflow: Most business processes are complex and can’t be managed efficiently through email and simple ad-hoc tasks. ECM systems often include workflow engines that streamline critical business processes and ensure the correct actions are enforced
- Policy Enforcement / Compliance: While most documents don’t require it, the fact is that there are always certain classes of documents (financial reports, contracts, HR files and other legal docs, etc.) where organizations need to enforce access and retention policies (e.g. tax returns need to be retained for 7 years after they have been submitted)
Lately we’ve been amused by stories of consumer technology start-ups trying to cross streams to the lucrative enterprise sector just in time for organization’s to find out they have been the target of malware attacks. While the enterprise remains a rich source of repeatable revenue, clearly not everyone qualifies to compete. The right to compete is earned with seasoned experience and expertise.
We’re focused on providing our customers with the convenience and usability of consumer-grade products, but without the consumer-grade risks. We weren’t the ones to coin, “The Dropbox Problem,” our customers were. While we applaud startup hopefuls like Dropbox and encourage others to keep innovating and bringing greater user experiences to the enterprise, in the meantime, we’ll continue to focus on protecting the assets of our customers and improving our own ease-of-use with seamless, secure access to mission-critical enterprise data and content.