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Adesso restarts around file synching

Rather than pitch its file replication software to businesses, company bets on consumer apps to fuel sales.

Adesso Systems on Monday released a beta version of its software server, which replicates data and files among different computers, including mobile devices.

Last week, Adesso also launched betas of applications that use the file synchronization software, which company executives have claimed is unique and analogous to Microsoft's WinFS distributed file system--a project Microsoft has had to delay and scale down substantially.

In tandem with the new product launch is a complete overhaul of the company's business model. John Landry, Adesso's CEO and chief technology officer, is ditching his nearly three decades of finely honed enterprise software sales techniques and appealing directly to consumers instead.

Rather than try to sell sophisticated software to corporate customers through a direct sales force, Adesso is counting on consumer usage to fuel sales within corporations, said Landry, formerly of IBM and Lotus.

"Rather than sell this software that can do anything you want, we're giving it to people to use and let them figure out the best applications," Landry explained.

Adesso's radical rethinking of its business operations, which left the company with only one sales person, reflects profound changes in the business software market.

As the largest companies--including Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP--build up their product offerings, smaller companies are having more difficulty selling to corporate customers.

In addition, the technology needs of those businesses have changed, said Landry. "That (enterprise software) market is gone. We've automated everything," he said.

However, Landry said new technologies can make their way into corporations, but the more likely path is through the back door, that is, consumers.

Adesso is betting that once end users discover the benefits of Adesso's software, consumers will find uses for it at work. The company intends to charge commercial customers for licenses to use its software.

With Adesso AppsNow, the company is offering free, prebuilt applications for sharing and managing files, including media files as well as Adobe PDF and Excel files.

The applications allow someone to view and access files stored in multiple locations, such as media files stored on different computers. The company will offer the applications for free for noncommercial use and provide customers with a tiered pricing method for storage and bandwidth, Landry said.

Underlying these applications is AdessoNow OE/S (Operating Environment Service), Windows-based software that ensures that files can be replicated among different machines over wire-line and wireless networks. It can synchronize files and data with PDF and Excel documents, and XML document formats, or schema.

The AdessoNow OE/S software also includes a designer tool, which allows people without extensive programmer training to create applications.

"Users should have the freedom and ability to create applications that suit their needs, both professionally and recreationally, and easily synchronize those applications across all of their devices," Landry said, in a release.