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Start-ups offer cool tools to ease IT's pain

Sandra Gittlen | Feb. 16, 2011
If you want to know what IT tools and technologies you'll be using in a few years, it pays to keep an eye on enterprise technology start-ups.

Backupify is SaaS that backs up data from Basecamp, Facebook, Gmail, Google Docs, Twitter and other online applications to Amazon's S3 storage cloud network. "IT struggles because users are creating data in all these silos around the Web, and that data is exposed to hacking and viruses. It's also prone to loss from human error," says Backupify CEO Rob May. By centralizing user data on Amazon's environment, IT managers can apply security and deduplication policies for compliance without building out their own storage infrastructure, he says.

With Google Apps backup, IT registers the accounts to store in Backupify and receives e-mails confirming each completed backup, as well as access to archives and downloads. The social media backup module works similarly; IT can register each service and user it wants backed up.

Backupify is appealing to companies beholden to data-retention standards, such as those in financial services and healthcare, because it enables them to have the benefits of social media and Web-based applications without increased risk, May says.

Mobile device management: Klomptek

One of the most immediate needs IT managers have today is controlling mobile devices in the enterprise. Tracking and securing lost and stolen mobile devices has been difficult for IT, but with many of these smartphones and tablets having access to corporate data, the ability to locate them, lock them down and erase them if they go missing is critical.

"Getting a handle on mobile device management is becoming an increasing priority for many organizations, particularly if they have access to sensitive data or functionality," says Scott Crawford, managing director of security and risk management for Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a consultancy in Boulder, Colo.

At a glance

Company: Klomptek

Enterprise product: Track and Protect

Pricing: Free to download the application. Prepaid packages are available -- for instance, 10 commands cost $5.99, and 45 commands cost $19.99, depending on geographic region.

Funded by: Privately funded by founders.

Klomptek developed Track and Protect to secure IT's investment in mobile devices and the data stored on them, says founder and CEO Robert Harmsen. An online service, Track and Protect can be managed centrally by IT or individually by users.

Once a device is registered with Track and Protect, IT or a user can go to a personal, secure Web page to take steps to control and locate it if it has been lost or stolen. From that page, which can also be accessed via mobile phone browsers, a user can send SMS-based commands to lock their phone, silence it so it doesn't attract attention, use GPS (if available) to locate it, or have the phone call another number and amplify the microphone so the user can hear the surroundings. For instance, the user might recognize a train station or children playing in a park.


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