SugarSync and Your Virtual Team

sugarsync_500x75File sync and backup service SugarSync (which we’ve blogged about before) just announced new small-business friendly features, including a central admin feature to manage from three to 100 users collaborating and sharing files using the app. The new package also includes flexible group pricing plans starting at $29.99 per month, with no setup fees and free phone support.
While speaking with the CEO of SugarSync, I quickly realized that my post about running a virtual team was missing a critical component: backup. As I listened to the company’s presentation of its product, my mind began working overtime. SugarSync isn’t just about backing up files securely in the cloud. It can also be used for secure file sharing, collaboration and file syncing with cross-platform and mobile device access and compatibility.
How could SugarSync fit into my ever-expanding vision of efficient management of a virtual team? Looking at the diagram below, SugarSync could augment some functionality and replace others as follows:

  1. Add secure backups for critical files. While our team does save important files to our 5pm project management tool, finding them can be a bit challenging. Using a project management tool for backup is also a bit shortsighted.
  2. Replace Google Docs (s goog) as a document collaboration tool. A major drawback of Google Docs is its hiccups when trying to open new Microsoft (s msft) Word or Excel files, and other limitations that make true document collaboration impossible. Google Docs lets you collaborate on content, but SugarSync lets you collaborate on the actual documents without having to email them back and forth.
  3. Replace Dropbox as a large file-sharing archive. You can share password protected folders via SugarSync, without having to use a special app on your desktop.

I’m a little wary of the price of SugarSync for my company. Even though it is geared toward small business, and you can start at about $30 per month for three users and 100 Gigs of space, each additional user is $10 per month extra, which adds up quickly. Since we’d be replacing two free solutions (Google Docs and Dropbox) with a paid solution, this really cuts into our apps budget. Still, my company’s team is going to try SugarSync over the next month using the free 30-day trial. I’ll report back on how it is working for us.
How are you collaborating, sharing and backing up your critical files? Are you using multiple applications or an all-in-one solution?