Found In: Tools
The world has definitely moved away from the legacy ideas of companies selling software which customers download to their computer, enter their license code and begin to use it. That model is very outdated and highly inefficient because the client cannot only use the software on that computer, and even if the customer can load it onto more than one computer, he must always travel with his data file to continue working from another install location. The Internet, and more particularly the broadband Internet has give rise to the newer much more efficient model of “software as a service” where clients gain access to a cloud computing resource where the software is installed on servers accessed online, and when the customer completes their work or otherwise takes a break, the work in progress is saved in the cloud server infrastructure where it can be easily accessed at any time later from any other computer also connected to broadband Internet.
This not only makes it more convenient for the customer to always have ready access to the work for further amendments, it means that the software vendor only needs to maintain one site for the software tools meaning that all customers always have access to the latest function version of it. EverNote is one such company that has gone to this “software as a service” business model where people create their account online to access the suite of software tools and their work gets saved online for access from any other computer. The whole point of EverNote is to provide the tools best suited for people to save their ideas and creative work in such a way that others can collaborate on the shared idea. It’s a suite of productivity tools designed to avoid great creative ideas from being forgotten.
EverNote’s Hand Writing Recognition and OCR Functions Give it an Edge
The company to this day is still independent and it has the support of several venture capitalists and angel investors, this would indicate that the company clearly plans to do an Initial Public Offering at some stage in the future, simply because it is rare for venture capitalists to want to retain their seed capital investments longer than three to five years of development.
And as the name implies, it is about the web site interface being use to store any type of note idea which can be in the form of an ink hand written note through to a voice recording to prompt memories later through to any other type of documentary content. These notes can include attachments, and they can be sorted and stored into folders, edited, annotated, tagged or assigned comments searched on and exported as needs dictate. Most operating systems are supported including smart phone technologies so that customers out on the road or commuting are able to avail themselves of creative notes being saved to the service. And synchronization of files stored has also been built into the service so that they can be saved to multiple locations.
Only launched in June 2008, its customer base quickly swelled to eleven million users within the following three years to July 2011. But this rapid growth has come at a serious financial commitment with one hundred and forty million dollars invested so far. Essentially there are currently two versions of the service available; either a restricted advertising supported level of membership or a premium paid for service which enables the full suite of software tools to be used. As a variation to the normal “software as a service” model EverNote does save user’s work to the local computer, and with the paid for service notes are saved and synchronized on the EverNote cloud server infrastructure. The plan behind this is that users can work on and edit their work when an internet connection is not available, with it all being synchronized when it is. With Internet access being so ubiquitous these days, it remains to be seen if there is any wisdom to this split business model approach.
A Hybrid Model of Desktop Software and Software as a Service
Certainly the EverNote software can be used as “stand-alone” software after it has been downloaded and without using the online portion of your EverNote account. But logically this work cannot be uploaded until a registered account has been set up and logged into. Image and Image-PDF document storage and recognition are reserved for paid premium account holders.
One particularly clever aspect of the EverNote service is its hand writing and optical character recognition systems. This means that people can use tablets and digital image capture devices to have text recognized and convert to text form. And “web-clipping” plugins are available so that users can quickly capture and upload parts of web pages with a minimum of fuss. And all of this content can be uploaded by email with special filters being applied to the process and is also integrated with Twitter for saving and tweeting notes in or out of the account. And finally, when suitable hardware is used like smart phones with GPS capability, notes can automatically be geo-tagged with their source location.
The system is built around usage quotas, with the free account setup allowing for sixty megabytes of files. Paid accounts start as low as only five dollars a month or forty five dollars a year to have a quota of one gigabyte. Only Unix users will be disappointed, as there are no plans to support Linux or other flavors of the Unix operating system. Indeed, users of Windows get the best of the service offering with more of the large range of features and character recognition functions being supported that for example of Mac systems.
There certainly are a large number of competitors popping up to capture and fight for the market potential. But for now EverNote seems to have the edge and is very well resourced financially and technically with its hand writing recognition tools. It is an interest business where many business people are finding great value from the services, which are very reasonably priced for the corporate market.