Writing last week about the London launch of the RICS report on cloud computing and commercial property, I mentioned secure offsite file storage provider Vaultium, and – surely no coincidence – I have since been emailed about another UK-based “vault” vendor: BackUpVault.
Neither cloud-based business specifically targets the construction collaboration sector, though Vaultium does offer “file sharing, collaboration and large file handling” which may appeal to some businesses in the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and property or facilities management sectors (and the website does show a man in a site hard-hat). However, in my view, this is not the kind of tool to be used routinely for project delivery (a folders-based system, it lacks the functionality finesse of drawing mark-up and commenting tools or AEC process management), but for post-project archives it may be relevant.
Vaultium certainly takes its security very seriously, talking about encryption and military grade security with its servers located in “Europe’s most secure data centre”, ‘The Bunker’, which is apparently capable of withstanding a nuclear bomb! Its customers include several large government departments, local authorities and professional service businesses, though it does have an SME offer (for £15 per month, up to three users can share 3GB of secure space in ‘The Bunker’).
BackUpVault does what it says: provides back-up services – secure, automatic, off-site back-up, on a software-as-a-service basis, and mainly targets SMEs (of which, of course, there are many in the AEC market). “There are no setup costs, no hardware to buy and the service is completely scalable should your storage requirements increase,” it says. For a few GB, its starter online backup pricing is similar to Vaultium’s.
More pertinently perhaps, for legal jurisdiction reasons, both vendors operate in the UK (ie: within the EU). The RICS report advises potential cloud computing users to be careful of operators hosting in the US where different data protection standards apply. Other back-up services are available – I’ve blogged about box.net (post) and drop.io (post), for example – but as these are US-based businesses, there may be UK customer hesitation about where their data may be hosted.