Mar 6, 2013

Customer Spotlight: YouSendIt talks cloud, mobile, performance and team leadership

Ansley Kilgore

YouSendIt is a leading cloud file collaboration service that gives users anytime, anywhere access to content via web, mobile and desktop applications. In this customer spotlight, Sumeet Rohatgi, Sr. Director of Engineering at YouSendIt, shares his vision on current technology trends, cloud security, performance and building a successful team. To stay successful and meet the demand for comprehensive content collaboration in the cloud, YouSendIt relies on Internap’s Managed Hosting services, scalable storage solution and global Performance IP connectivity.

Q. What are the biggest technology trends that will affect your business in the near future?

A. The current phase of technology is marked with a rapid expansion of mobile computing capabilities and applications, which are increasingly dependent on the cloud to provide rich content and functionality. Along with the rise of these productivity applications, users’ content is getting fractured and spread over multiple cloud repositories (sometimes referred to as the ‘personal cloud’).

YouSendIt provides cloud content collaboration governance tools for enterprise IT, such as remote wipe, centralized policy management, compliance reporting and encryption. To help end-users search, use and control content spread across their personal cloud, YouSendIt is rapidly incorporating cloudnostic search technology gained from a recent acquisition, Found. Cloudnostic is the idea that anyone can access their content no matter where it is hosted.

Q. How do the growing concerns about online privacy and internet security affect your business strategy?

A. The astonishing influx of new mobile devices in the market brings new capabilities and applications that pose security threats. To secure IP, especially as it relates to enterprise content, some CIOs resort to draconian measures, and limit content collaboration capabilities like MDM (Mobile Device Management), MCM (Mobile Content Management), and even block access to entire sites within their internal organization networks. However, these devices can and often do connect to multiple networks, and IP (content) easily leaks out.

As a result of these concerns, we offer a toolset to build a secure and safe environment for content collaboration. Our solutions put control of shared content in the hands of professional users with features like password protection and file expiration. Our enterprise offering complements this toolset with a single sign-on for enterprise users, both from within the enterprise network and outside. Additionally, governance features like whitelist/blacklist enterprise domains provide a safe and trusted environment for collaboration. We encrypt all content at rest and perform virus scanning on files before downloading. Our cloud operations are PCI compliant and our processes are SOC 2/3 compliant. All communications to user devices and our cloud are encrypted and secure.

Q. Tell us why performance is important to your business.

A. The ability to access your cloud content anywhere, anytime and the fact that we have over 40 million users puts an enormous performance requirement on our infrastructure. Downtime or inability to access content even for a brief period is an immediate loss of trust, and at times a loss of business. Our applications (web, desktop and mobile) use Internap’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) to ensure content is delivered rapidly. We also have storage servers in multiple locations to help make content transfer faster to our users no matter where they are globally.

Q. Your CEO has discussed the importance of building a great team. What do you think is the most essential ingredient for successful technology teams?

A. Successful technology teams start off by having a set of shared foundational values — namely, respecting and trusting the judgment of every team member. In today’s cloud technology environment, a broad range of skills needs to be present on the team: setting up/maintaining cloud servers, being polyglot in writing platform specific applications and architecting solutions that can scale and be flexible at the same time. To counter a rapidly changing environment, being agile is another necessary ingredient. The team as a whole needs to be able to quickly understand and take advantage of features being added by the platform manufacturers. If you do not have respect and trust in your team, none of the above can happen.

From the rest of the organization, the team demands a high level of support and trust in their decision making. Technology teams should be empowered to make and conversely be held accountable for their decisions. The organization needs to be tolerant of risk and comfortable with the possibility of failure, as this creates a culture of innovation which can lead to subsequent higher returns.

Watch the video to learn more about how YouSendIt controls their IT Infrastructure.

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Ansley Kilgore

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