If your company is nervous using Dropbox or other cloud-based file repositories, then you might want to take a closer look at a new service launched by GroupLogic today called ActivEcho. The idea is that you put a client piece of software on various desktops and you can automatically synchronize your files across a wide variety of devices. Today they have clients for Web, Windows, Mac and iOS but they will eventually add others such as Android and Linux later this year.

The company has other products, including MobilEcho, that provides mobile access to file servers that we wrote about last summer here.

The ActivEcho enterprise file sharing solution has been tested in organizations with thousands of users over the past several months, and is a good idea for firms that are regulated or require better security than what the public cloud providers have. (Not to pick on Dropbox, but there have been a number of exploits such as this one reported last year.)The other feature that is attractive is that the software integrates with Active Directory to make easier setup for users and policies. Here is a video showing how it all works:

If you don't have AD you can still manually set things up for your user population. You will need a server component that creates a secure file repository and management features and audit trail that runs on Windows 2003 or 2008 servers to enable the synchronization. ActivEcho will work to synchronize files on machines both inside and outside the corporate firewall.

ActivEcho's pricing is on a per user basis. For 500 users, it will run $55 per user per year, which is about on par with the enterprise plans of the public cloud providers. Competitors include VMware's Project Octopus, which has been announced last year.