Services for file sharing and storage often will include collaboration features.
Smith Micro Software has a new cloud-based service called SendStuffNow that has at its core one major purpose. It is designed to send files. It is not for storing files and collaborating. It is for sending files in a secure manner. That's it.
For Smith Micro, it makes sense to focus narrowly on sending files in a secure manner. The company started in 1982 by selling fax modem software. That helped Smith Micro sell its software to fax machine companies. Those companies could tell their customers that documents could be shared in a fast, efficient and relatively secure manner.
Smith Micro later extended that business by moving into wireless communications, providing data connection services for the carriers.
In the 1990s, the company acquired Aladdin, a compression software for the Macintosh. Stuffit became a standard service for sharing .zip files via email.
SendStuffNow is the next generation of Stuffit. The service itself is pretty simple. You upload a file to the service and then send an invitation to the recipient. The user gets a link to the file that they then download.
It includes IT admin controls that allow files to be offloaded files from the email or corporate server. It can also be used to monitor employee activity. Controls are in place so IT may monitor and control the large documents as they flow out of the enterprise. File are all encrypted. The service can be used for free. Different pricing tiers are available, starting at $120 per year.
Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox and a host of others could be considered competitors to SendStuffNow.
Smith Micro maintains its distinction is in a singular focus on file transfer and security. The company's roots are in these realms. Does it make sense for the company to add collaboration features?
You could argue that's what APIs are for. Smith Micro will release an API and SDK later this year. Mobile apps are on the way. SendStuffNow could also conceivably become part of an app environment like Google Apps Marketplace and could integrate with its collaboration technologies.
SendStuffNow could be one of those niche products that does not do much. But what it does do, it handles very well.