Enterprise grade online sharing, storage and file management company Hightail will build its Asia Pacific headquarters in Australia, reflecting the country's unique strength as Hightail's third-largest market.
According to new APAC region leader Kevin Mackin, the decision to set up in Australia was straightforward – the company has more than 600,000 users here already and those users shared 27 million files last year.
Hightail, formally known as YouSendIt, already has a local office in Melbourne with five staff but its headcount will swell to about 20 as it expands with new roles in partner management, sales and pre sales and customer support.
The company said it would be the only world-class file services company with a base in Australia, and the local office will act as one of the key jump off points for an aggressive expansion plan to leverage the large footprint the company has already built outside of its home market.
Of the 45 million professionals currently using Hightail for secure, online file sharing and storage, 60 percent are based outside the US and the firm believes APAC is primed for significant growth.
Locally Hightail also has more than 125 corporate clients which include Tennis Australia, City of Melbourne, Tourism Australia, Hydro Tasmania and Woods Bagot. According to Mackin, “As individuals, businesses and governments continue to create massive volumes of data online, there is the need to securely share and manage this information – even though it may reside on multiple platforms and multiple devices."
He said that while many technology companies want to lock you into their proprietary data systems, "The CIOs we work with want to maintain secure control over their workflows and ecosystems – we help them achieve this.”
The company is one of several global players jockeying for leadership on the cloud storage and file management space. Whereas companies like Dropbox aim for ubiquity, Hightail provides CIOs with enterprise grade service levels around issues such as governance, audit and reliability.
Often companies can discover they have a large pool of Hightail users, all buying the product of work credit cards, and one of the advantages of enterprise licensing is simply that it is cheaper, a point Mackin's colleague and Hightail chief product officer Matte Scheinker made to CRN.
According to Scheinker, "A tremendous amount of our business comes from employees who have chosen to use Hightail to get the job done. It will eventually work its way up the food chain. We go to companies and where there are a tremendous number of individual users and we switch them onto the enterprise license which is often cheaper for them."
It is also a question of best fit say Scheinker. "Not all data is created equal. Sure, go crazy and use whatever consumer grade product you want, but most data will need the right auditing and the right controls around it."
Hightail said its key benefits for customers include easy insights and tracking of file access, along with a focus on data protection and control. The product also integrates with widely used business applications, including Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint and Salesforce.
All Hightail subscribers get unlimited storage making it possible to securely access and share all their files from anywhere in the world using Hightails iPhone, iPad and Android apps. In fact, Australians are the world’s second highest users of Hightail’s Android app.