NimbusBase: Enhancing The Value Of Personal Clouds

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NimbusBase makes information created by users in apps available to the users on their personal clouds. Founder and CEO Ray Wang states, “We believe the assets an individual creates should be controlled by them and owned by them. This should be true for data created in apps.” For example, he points out that a note created in Evernote should be owned by the user rather than the app owner.

NimbusBase is not a personal cloud company and does not do hosting. It is a software enabler, seamlessly residing between the device(s) and one’s personal cloud.

The ability to draw data out of apps where user input has been lodged and transport it into a personal cloud of the user’s choice appears to be a fairly obvious and desirable goal. A recent academic paper on the subject of personal data clouds observed: “For the moment, most of the personal data is governed by the provider of the service that produces the data and the data is stored in the cloud of the provider. The person who essentially owns the data has limited privileges only in each service domain….” (A Survey on Personal Data Cloud

The company had previously released a version of its software on HTML5 for web apps. But NimbusBase plunged into the mobile cloud arena in mid-2014 with the beta of its new iOS SDK and Wang states that its focus is now on native mobile. It has under development a version of its software for Android devices, which it hopes to release in Q4 2014.

Currently the users can choose to store data in personal clouds maintained on Dropbox, Google Drive or Box. The data can then be accessed from any device of the user’s choice. It is strategically easy to identify future NimbusBase potential product extensions.

Post fourth quarter 2014, NimbusBase will have created SDKs for Android, iOS and HTML5, thereby laying a foundation for a generic platform for any carrier, service provider or Android device maker to include in their customer activation process.

NimbusBase is attempting to attack two primary market areas. The first is apps developers and the second is mobile carriers and personal cloud companies. Both areas present marketing and business development challenges.

With respect to developers, Wang notes that NimbusBase reached out to them when they announced their iOS beta and found that the developers had at least one specific requirement – for handling data migration – that caused the company to have to add capability to its software program. The migration issue is extremely common and arises when a developer adds a field to an existing app. Since it will have considerable data already stored in personal clouds, it’s necessary to deal with the change in data structure.

The company has explored possible business with a select number of apps developers and states that they have a demo with an app with 40,000 test users.

While there are a vast number of potential app developer customers, Wang points out that they tend to be very small compared to, for example, the business that might be derived from any large carrier customer.

The carriers, however, present obvious marketing hurdles to any early stage tech company (which we have commented about several times) in terms of difficulty of gaining any traction, length of evaluation process, and the like. Wang told us that NimbusBase has an NDA with one carrier at this time.

With respect to vertical markets, Wang says that the games area is a very promising one, because players always want their latest progress in a game to be available across any of the devices that they might resume playing the game on. He is not optimistic about the health records area, stating that while users might like to have all of their health data available across all devices, currently, “there are not many popular medical records apps.”

Also he regards “productivity” types of functions, such as notes, as promising market drivers for the company.

The company, which has raised some early seed capital, has been impressive in marshalling a small, but very productive, staff of programmers to deal with thorny issues related to expanding the value of personal clouds.

Visit their website:

Photo by Blake Patterson via Flickr
Podcast Narration by Gene Guerrero
Podcast Music “On the Ground” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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