SugarSync – What is Missing?

I love being a fan of great products – and supporting those products with my finances. I’ve been a long-time fan and premium subscriber to SugarSync, a cloud-based backup, syncing, and web drive product. I like raving about them, and getting into arguments with folks like Steve Weir about whether Dropbox is better (nope!).

That said, I’m also a fan of making a little noise when companies don’t always treat their customers with the utmost respect they deserve. Successful business involves a symbiotic relationship between the business and the consumer, neither side can demand too much nor give too little. SugarSync has a great product, but I’m concerned that they aren’t committing enough resources to shoring up some weak spots in their current offerings, instead focusing more on new client acquisitions and business partnerships (which, again, are all well and good, but there has to be a balance).

So, here are my *beefs* with SugarSync and what I’d *really* like to see implemented in the near-term future.

The Critical Missing Components.

Image representing SugarSync as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Currently SugarSync doesn’t utilize Microsoft‘s Volume Shadow Service (VSS) and I can’t for the life of me understand why – it is built directly into Windows and is utilized by most backup software providers. Why? Because it offers numerous huge advantages with easy implementation. Including the ability to backup files while they are in-use. This means you don’t have to close out of Outlook, an accounting application, or anything else that is actively using a file before it can be backed up.

The other big no-no SugarSync engages in (that I can think of no practical reason to exist, and which should be a very simple config file change to implement) is finite versioning of files. SugarSync currently keeps a limited number of previous versions of a file – which becomes an issue if it is a transactional file (e.g. a database – including Microsoft Outlook or any email client, rss reader, etc.). These files change all the time – in a single day they may change hundreds or thousands of times! SugarSync needs to keep these versions for as long as the user desires them to be kept – not arbitrarily deleting them!

This is Important…

  • Ability to Pause/Resume Backups/Syncs – While everything in an ideal world would place nice with one another, the fact of the matter is that software oftentimes interfere with each other. It’d be great to have a way to pause backups/syncs by SugarSync. Again, I don’t run into any problems with this regularly – but it would still be a nice feature.

It’d Be Cool If…

I’m not particularly concerned about these features, but it would be cool if…

  • SugarSync integrated with Google Docs, backing up all Google Docs into SugarSync and vice versa (or a subset as so desired). This would also allow mobile editing of documents (of many types) via Google Docs without needing to download the documents from SugarSync (as one must do now before editing).
  • Backing Up Gmail is another useful feature. I’m not as concerned about this as the integration with Google Docs, but still, a nice freebie. – A Swift Scheduling Application / One Feature Missing.

Image representing
Image via CrunchBase

[Service no longer exists] is a swift calendaring application which reduces the complexity of setting up meetings. It allows you to define times of availability when someone can request a meeting with you. Individuals can then request meetings without needing to call, etc. and you have the opportunity to confirm or deny these meetings. You don’t have to constantly explain when you are available – and your clients don’t continuously have to struggle to figure out when you have some available time. It is a pretty slick, web-based (and mobile) application that integrates into existing calendaring (like Microsoft Outlook).

It is missing one feature (IMHO). For me, I have certain availability ranges. For example, I may be available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – and I might be available to do these between 7-9 a.m., 11 a.m. -2 p.m., and so on – but I can only realistically do one of these for each segment. If I have a lunch from 11-12 on Tuesday I cannot also have a lunch from 12-1 or 1-2. It’d be nice if Tungle allowed me to specify within a range of time how much of that time can be utilized for meetings.

I imagine I am not the only one for whom this would be useful. In my particular instance I am employed full-time and I would use Tungle to handle meetings associated with my position as elder / youth minister at my local church. I have some flexibility in when I take a break, but can’t take that break for extended periods of time – since I have other responsibilities. It would also seem handy for counselors – who optimally should schedule only a certain number of clients each day even if they have additional time slots open – this way ensuring that they have time for paperwork and case review.