Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Primadesk Aims to Manage ‘Cloud Chaos’

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Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, SugarCRM and on it goes. The growth of cloud services has spread an increasing amount of user’s content across the Web. And while it’s easy to get at the content in each of these services, searching and managing all that information in a comprehensive way is at best elusive and time-consuming.

“We talk about the cloud, but it’s not one cloud, it’s many clouds from a user’s perspective,” Srinivasa “Venky” Venkataraman, founder and CEO of Primadesk, told “When you use them it’s like dealing with individual applications that don’t talk to each other.”

Primadesk, launching today, is a free service designed to to corral the cloud chaos by offering a kind of consumer management console where users can search and manage all their accounts from one starting point with a single sign-on to their favorite Web services and email. Currently in beta, Primadesk claims to be the only service of its kind that lets users drag and drop content (documents, emails, photos, etc.) from one service provider to another.

In a demo for, Venkataraman showed how Primadesk lets you easily search for content by topic or date range across different Web services. From the list of results users can open the files they want to view — emails, photos, etc. – or simply click a check box of specific files and, with another click, forward it via email to someone else or copy and store it locally.

Free online backup of up to 5 GB is also included. The email manager lets users view, send, reply to and search across different email providers, including Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail, from the main Primadesk page.

Primadesk said it plans to add Facebook and Twitter messages soon and also plans to eventually support Microsoft Outlook and Exchange mail services.

The company already offers another beta service called Fotolink that’s attracted 65,000 users. Fotolink gives a consolidated view and management of images. So, for example, you could retrieve all the images tagged with your name and easily select and email or store the ones you’ve retrieved locally on your PC.

In the next few months Primadesk plans to incorporate Fotolink’s ability to find and manage images, giving users the ability to drag and drop pictures between online photo services and sites such as Picasa, Flickr, SmugMug and Facebook.

Venkataraman said he eventually plans to offer paid, premium services, such as additional online storage under the so-called Freemium model where a basic level of functionality is free.

“What we are trying to do is make things easier for users,” said Venkataraman. “The way we see it, Primadesk becomes the jump off point for all your accounts, it becomes a handy companion rather some new thing that replaces what you’re already using.”

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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