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2B+ personal clouds: year in review & ahead (Funambulletin e-newsletter)

If personal clouds wafted casually by your radar in 2014, here’s what happened this year and is in store for 2015.

Personal clouds are services such as iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive, that store files, rich media and other data, sync them across devices and simplify sharing. Personal clouds also include services provided by several Funambol mobile operator customers.

In 2014, 1B+ people used Facebook, and hundreds of millions used other social networks and online media services such as Twitter, Instagram and Flickr. Although personal clouds may not be as renown, their adoption in 2014 exceeded all of these other services put together, with an estimated 2B+ users. Yet, despite this hyper growth, few people are aware of this – what is the significance?

From a user viewpoint, this growth is due to several factors: increased mobile use, deeper integration of personal clouds into devices and apps, familiarity, trust, lower cost and convenience. From an industry standpoint, growth is the result of companies realizing the strategic importance of personal clouds towards customer retention and acting to ensure use of their cloud. In 2014, personal clouds evolved from ‘nice’ to ‘must-have’, for many users and service providers.

Beyond rapid user adoption, what were the top personal cloud stories in 2014? These included more storage at lower cost, advancements in capabilities and user experience, and localized deployments to satisfy privacy regulations.

What’s ahead in 2015? Several key developments are likely, including:

* rapid march towards 3B users

* surge in capabilities e.g. for families and connected devices

* extension of personal clouds to include more external content

* continued boom in operator clouds, as they provide better value and openness

* more intuitive and seamless use, in part due to integrated mobile analytics

2014 was also a big year for Funambol. Mass deployment of our personal cloud solution at mobile operators worldwide increased dramatically, as did the number of users of our software. A major new release of our solution, OneMediaHub v14.5, just became generally available. We announced a partnership with Oberthur and a new customer, Cable & Wireless, with several other major customer announcements coming in 2015. We also introduced a white-label cloud file sync & share solution for enterprises.

In sum, personal clouds entered the mainstream in 2014 with adoption reaching a tipping point. To learn how Funambol can help your organization launch a successful personal cloud service, contact us.

Everyone at Funambol wishes you a happy and prosperous holiday season and beyond.

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