YouSendIt got its start as a service for people who had to send large files to one another. It's evolved to become a leading business solution for file transfers, online storage, and other content-collaboration services. Its latest entry, Workstream, launched this week as a document-management and file-sharing tool, custom-tailored to the needs of businesses.
Workstream works on Windows and OS X desktops, Android phones and tablets, iPhones, and iPads.
It integrates deeply with Microsoft products, including SharePoint, Active Directory, and Outlook. The SharePoint integration is particularly interesting, since it allows users to share content across departments without extranet portals--mini-websites that let people share information--and externally without needing to add users to SharePoint. Since IT personnel typically need to create extranet portals for departments requesting them, this feature alone could be a huge money-saver.
As more employees bring work home and use personal devices at work, Workstream addresses document security across multiple platforms and devices. It lets you control read/write permissions on documents, preventing final versions of documents from being overwritten. People downloading files are required to verify their identities, and administrators can see analytics of all file-sharing activity.
Administrators can also centrally manage mobile policies, giving your organization full customization on what users can access on certain devices.
How Workstream Compares With Popular File Storage Services
Workstream gets the jump on Dropbox by offering integration with SharePoint, which lets SharePoint users deploy Workstream across their organization quickly. Workstream also offers administrative and user policies for devices outside of the corporate firewall. DropBox for Business, by contrast, keeps a version record of files, but that's as far as it goes.
There's also the fact that DropBox is its own separate application. While this doesn't seem like a big deal to the tech-savvy, Workstream integrates directly with Outlook and SharePoint so that employees don't need to leave their familiar applications to use it, which eliminates training and implementation time.
Box is a business software and document management platform that businesses may choose if they're trying to avoid SharePoint. Workstream combines the document-management capabilities of Box with SharePoint integration. Box does offer businesses more than Workstream in the customization department, allowing the installation of third-party apps which extend Box's capabilities.
Pricing for Workstream
Workstream's pricing page requires some explanation. If you want secure file transfer alone, you would choose the Secure File Transfer plan. If you want the whole package, the Collaboration Suite includes all of the Secure File Transfer features. The difference between the Professional and Enterprise levels is in the feature set, rather than the size of the business. The Enterprise pricing for both services is customized for each business and priced at the discount-by-volume model, but it begins at $18 per user. Angela West has wrestled her document and project management demons using various software packages, and has settled on one that she won't advertise here. She's written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.