23 Nov MangoMind Drive
This product provides an internet drive on your computer turning any program into an ASP. The internet drive looks like any other network drive on the computer, but the data is being stored on the Mangosoft secure server. Each user can access the drive from anywhere they have an internet connection. This solution is perfect for those businesses that want the extensive features available with desktop applications while wanting the flexibility of remote access to the data. This could include owners that want to work from home, accountants that want to work from their office or employees as they are traveling. Everyone has instant access to the most current files without the worry of who has the most recent version, overwriting someone else’s work, etc.
The Problem: You and your client want to be able to both work on the data file at the same time, or you provide outsourced bookkeeping services for your client and want them to have real time access to reports. You have explored the various alternatives and, each has some downsides. You could:
Use the back up and restore function, but that means someone should not access the file to make any entries or changes because the restore will overwrite the data
Use the Remote Access function with Premier version 2002 or 2003, but that can be cumbersome and ties up the computer that is being called into.
Use the ASP product from Intuit, but the QuickBooks online edition does not have the features available on the desktop solution.
What you are really looking for is an ASP type model (the data is on the internet and can easily be shared remotely) with the power of the desktop applications.
What is it? The easiest way to describe it is that it creates another drive that can be accessed from the computer (i.e. it just looks like your a: or c: drive) but the difference is that is actually on their secure server (more about security later). Once the drive is set up, you can save and retrieve any type of file, just like you would if the data were stored on your computer. With that same, easy Windows interface you are already using. The software remains on the computer; it is just the data that is stored on the drive. Any type of file can be stored there: QuickBooks, Word, Excel, etc. It works great when everyone wants real time access to the files for review or collaboration issues. Since it is another drive, it is easy to save a copy or back up to another drive on the local computer too.
How secure is it? If you visit their website you can read all of the details about how the technology works to make it secure, but let me offer a first hand story to illustrate the point. For those of you who read our newsletter regularly, you know that I had an unexpected and complete hard drive crash a few weeks ago (What if Your Hard Drive Crashes?). At that point, I mentioned that there were two files that I had not yet been able to “get back.” What you may not know, is what those two files were. One of them was a file stored on a Mangomind drive. When you set up the drive it recognizes your computer as a user with certain access. The advantage to this is that the data is stored in an encrypted state and only a computer that has received an invitiation from the administrator of the drive can access it. This “access” is stored in a very small file that is created when the drive is set up, and is stored, typically, in the my documents folder. When I set up my drive I accepted the default and, unfortunately, that was not one of the folders. To make a long story short, I had one other person with access to the drive while I was testing it, and, the same weekend as my crash, he upgraded to XP and could no longer access the drive. To make a long story short, the data is encrypted on their server and Mangosoft cannot access it. Only the users with that special little file can. I thought it was lost, but I still held out hope. Tech support helped the XP upgrade computer access the drive and we were able to save the file. It let me know first hand that even when you really want them to access your file, they cannot.
What is the cost? There is a free 15 day trial for 5 users and 50 MB of storage. The monthly fee after that is $29.95 per month. We have negotiated a special deal for you of 50% off the first two months. There are additional packages available for more users and/or more storage.
How can I learn more? You can learn more by contacting 888-886-2646 x 1