OpenText acquires Hightail (formerly, YouSendIt)

ECM vendor OpenText has acquired Hightail. Hightail, formerly called YouSendIt, offers a file-sharing and sync service.

OpenText now has at least four file-sharing and sync services. In addition to Hightail, they have OpenText Core and OpenText Tempo Box. Documentum acquisition also gave them EMC Leap, which has some overlaps with cloud-based file-sharing and collaboration services.

OpenText has a history of acquiring multiple overlapping products and services. So nothing new or surprising there.

Here’s a quick summary of how these products differ though.

Overlapping products but there are some differences

Hightail is offered as a public cloud-based SaaS service. It focusses on two major aspects:

  1. Sending large files, using an email like interface. In fact, it’s rather simple file sharing interface mimics how users send an email.
  2. Targets creative teams.

Both of these make it suitable for multi-media use cases. In fact, it has a separate product called “Creative Collaboration” that provides collaborative features for creative teams.

OpenText Core is also a public cloud-based SaaS service. It integrates with both Documentum and Content Suite (OpenText’s two ECM offerings), meaning you can access it from within Content Server’s or Documentum’s user interfaces. So if you want to share content stored in your say on-premise Content Server with external users, you can do it via OpenText Core.

You can of course use Core as a stand-alone file sharing service without using Content Server.

Finally, OpenText Tempo Box provides similar file sharing capabilities but is based on OpenText Content Suite platform. You can deploy it on-premise or in a cloud-hosted environment. You can use it with an existing Content Server repository too. You can also take advantage of all the sophisticated ECM features provided by the underlying Content Server. The key point to remember is that it is based-on and needs OpenText’s Content Suite. As a result, it is probably an overkill for relatively simpler file-sharing use cases.


Figure: User interfaces of OpenText Core and Hightail. Source: OpenText and Hightail

If you are evaluating OpenText’s file-sharing, sync and collaboration offerings, you will find many overlapping products and services. However, not all file sharing services are same and there are differences in the use cases they target, functionality they offer as well as other aspects such as their deployment model and so on. Also remember that you have several other options as well for file-sharing and sync services. If you’d like help navigating the ECM, Document Management or Enterprise File-sharing marketplaces, please feel free to email me.


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