Soonr brings cloud computing to the iPhone
Mobile cloud services provider Soonr has launched of the first iPhone application that uses cloud computing to keep business people in touch with their documents anywhere they are.
A free version is available from the Apple App Store with expanded versions offered through leading carriers and SaaS providers. Just as today's mobile phones let you send and receive emails while on the go, Soonr now makes the documents on your Mac or PC accessible via mobile devices.
"The marketing strategy is to get the free version of the Soonr application used as widely as possible," said Ginger Holt, vice president of marketing for Soonr, Campbell, CA. "As white label providers, this will help our partners accomplish their goal of offering these users expanded services under their own brand.
"The target demographic for this app is mobile professionals and workgroups within small and medium-sized businesses," she said.
That vendors are targeting enterprise and business professionals with iPhone apps is another sign that Apple has moved beyond its initial consumer base.
Cloud computing is Internet-based development and use of computer technology. The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet, based on how it is depicted in computer network diagrams.
Cloud computing is a general concept that incorporates software as a service (SaaS), Web 2.0 and other recent technology trends, in which the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users.
Whenever consumers' computer is online, Soonr automatically backs up their files in their "personal cloud," making them always available.
iPhone users can view of all their documents, whether they are Word files, Excel, PowerPoint or virtually any other file type.
The can also collaborate with colleagues, share files and print to a remote printer using their iPhone.
Unlike ther applications that require you to remember to upload your files every time you change them, Soonr automatically maintains the latest versions of key documents in the cloud.
Soonr's rendering software works across a wide range of document formats, so mobile workers don't have to download specific programs to view their documents.
Document pages can instantly be previewed as thumbnails. And since the document resides in the cloud and not on the iPhone, accessing and viewing is fast, according to Soonr.
All of Soonr's capabilities are available to consumers, even when host computers are sleeping or powered off.
Since Soonr backs up consumers' documents to their personal cloud, they are easily restored in case of computer failure or loss.
Sharing documents via Soonr can be done in several ways.
Consumers can send a document from their iPhone to anyone by entering the person's mobile phone number or email address.
Fellow Soonr users can create workgroups and share, view and comment on without using email.
They can also share printers.
When sharing files, consumers also have the option of notifying a recipient of a share via SMS or email.
Soonr provided the following example of the iPhone app in action:
"Imagine waiting for your vacation flight, and your boss calls needing your Q1 budget spreadsheet now. You don't have your computer, no one else has a copy, and everyone's waiting.
"With a few taps on your iPhone, you find the latest version of your budget, add a note of explanation and forward it through Soonr to your boss.
"You can print a copy directly to the CEO's printer from your iPhone. Everything is handled in minutes, and you are now free to enjoy your vacation."
In addition to the free version offered on the App Store, the new Soonr iPhone application is available as a white label service through carriers and SaaS providers.
TeliaSonera Denmark launched their version of Soonr's iPhone application called Sky Files in November.
Soonr claims that within days it was ranked the fourth-most-downloaded business application in the Apple App Store in Denmark.
Additional partners in the United States and Europe are expected to offer the Soonr service in early 2009.
Soonr technology makes computer files available through the iPhone or any mobile phone or Internet connected device.
The service also features new ways for workgroups to collaborate from anywhere.
Soonr offers carriers and SaaS providers a platform of integrated white label mobile cloud services and a revenue model.
Soonr is supported by investors such as Cisco, Intel and Clearstone Venture Partners.
"Our partners -- telecom operators and SaaS providers -- are offering their own expanded version of Soonr as a white label service," Ms. Holt said. "They will market the service in the way which best meets their own marketing goals.
"Given their business models, this is often a subscription based value-add service," she said.
Soonr is getting the word out about this mobile app using various channels.
"We are using both traditional public relations outreach, as well as social media tactics," Ms. Holt said. "We created a demonstration video and posted it on YouTube.
"We are using Twitter, Facebook and other services to publicize it," she said. "Of course, the Apple App Store is a wonderful awareness and trial engine in and of itself!
"One of our founder's just happened to write about this on his blog at http://soonrs.com/blog."