I’m delighted to see another very valuable solution coming out from a very small startup team.
Otengo is "Email for the broadband age". Their premise is that as internet pipes have grown, so have websites evolved from basic text pages to rich video streaming sites. Yet email today is still in the same old format: text and basic images sent over clunky unreliable spam-ridden servers.
They have reinvented email by adding some very interesting features, including:
- Unlimited Sized Attachments – thats right, send that 5GB raw footage of SI events to each other, Otengo doesnt mind
- Attach Folders and a directory hierarchy – No more zipping up multiple files and sending them off – just drag and drop a folder and the whole folder-tree becomes visible to the receiver just like windows explorer
- Completely Secure – They can never find out what you’re sending back and forth
- Faster (usually) and more reliable than traditional email delivery – At the backend, they use Bit-torrent like P2P protocols to break down every message and send them over hundreds of routes in parallel. This means files get sent and received very quickly.
- Works at Idle Time – The desktop app gives you a small progress window in each email download, but does not choke your normal processing or internet bandwidth.
- Automatically resumes – Wateen users, your internet bliss is right here, because despite net disconnections it will keep resuming and sending this automatically and transparently in the background.
- Complements your existing email service – You dont have to give up your existing email setup for this – it only uses your email address but basically the Otengo inbox and your email inbox remain separate in all other ways. Only messages from other Otengo users come in the otengo inbox.
When I saw Otengo, my thoughts were that there is an immediate need and application of this within creative services firms. Usually when working on outsourced projects, creative teams are often faced with the need to transfer 500MB+ files to clients, and the only traditional way of doing this is FTP. FTP as most of us will agree is a pain that many would be happy to avoid.
Otengo offers a much better alternative here, because you can simply attach the files and send them off and forget about them – they will be sent overnight using available bandwidth and your clients will be notified when they’ve fully downloaded the files. They are still in alpha mode though, so there are bugs here and there, but I liked the Otengo team’s support to us during usage.
I am really happy to endorse Otengo because recently it saved us in a similar problem – we were trying to transfer about 400Mb to someone in the US using FTP but with – wait for it – a Wateen connection. After literally two months of struggling with this we finally used Otengo and the files were through in about 3 days – despite very very regular net disconnections.
Otengo is the brainchild of one of the most charming and credible people I’ve met, M. Yar Hiraj. He returned from the States after working at Morgan Stanley, is currently an MPA in Punjab, but a thorough gentleman and hollywood buff. It’s inspiring to meet people who are actually out there taking incredibly bold steps to change the world – both virtually (with software) and actually (with politics) – and staying down to earth while they’re at it.