Are you ready for cloud computing? The cloud is in. The cloud is where your apps and documents belong. The cloud is chic, full of cache, and the future of computing.
The first step is to figure out what it is. The second step is to figure out why you need it. The third step is to start using it, even if you haven’t figured out the first two steps. Let’s start with documents in the cloud.
Use The Cloud Or Else
Haven’t we been using the cloud to buy things online for, oh, I don’t, forever?
When we use Google Docs and Google Mail and all those free backup storage places are we not just using the cloud?
Apparently, we’re not using the cloud to its full potential. Are you storing your Mac’s documents in the cloud? Do you have your office files stored somewhere online where they’re accessible 24/7 (buzzword for, you know, like All. The. Time)?
Access Me, Baby, One More Time
Fresh from a sold out performance on Buzzword City Broadway comes Spot Documents. It’s cloud-based document management. Your files, your documents, all get stored on Amazon’s S3 service, and you pay Spot Documents for the privilege of access.
Access? Oh yes. Access. Use Spot Documents to preview your files without downloading them. Use your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. The Mac app creates your online repository if cloud-based documents—everything from Office files, iWork files, Photoshop files, PDFs, spreadsheets, whatever.
Once the files are stored online they’re viewable from Mac, iPhone, or iPad, yet still fully editable on your Mac. Once cloud storage is set up, uploading files is merely drag and drop or use the management app.
So, Spot Documents is both an app(s) and an online storage service that uses Amazon S3. The app(s) let you view your documents wherever you may be. Files can be emailed from storage to anyone via your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or a web-based interface.
Your Mac can still edit and save documents. Do you need to save all your files at home or in the office? Don’t answer that.
Storage, Management, Versions, For A Price
Spot Documents as a service is buzzword centric. Lots of storage. Store online. Securely send files. Preview files from Apple’s devices. Search files. Pay by the month for what you use.
Wait. There’s more. Spot Documents automatically tracks new versions of your files and can keep all the old versions. Multiple family members or company employees can get to the files. The Mac, as always, is the center of file management (though some files can actually be edited online).
Is there anything not to like?
Because it’s a new way of managing documents, and it’s Mac only, and you pay by the month but only for storage you use, and your whole workflow of document management can be disrupted, moving to the cloud can be a scary proposition.
There are issues with the monthly cost of file management (number of files, size of files, etc.) online vs. storing files and documents on a local server, but Amazon’s S3 storage service has been reliable.
Also, I worry about what happens to your documents and management process should Spot Documents disappear (they’re not exactly Xerox). That said, Spot Documents appears well thought out and organized, but it’s still a new way to do document business.