Evernote to offer its idea- and note-capture tool for businesses, CEO says

Evernote for business is going to launch within the next couple of months

Evernote will launch a business program in the coming months, allowing administrators to better control security and data, company CEO Phil Libin said on Friday.

Evernote is a popular multiplatform tool for organizing notes and photographs with the aim, the company said, to "remember everything" and allow users to quickly search through their uploaded documents. The company had 20 million users last December and is now close to breaking the 30 million mark, adding about 100,000 users a day, Libin said in an interview during the Next Web conference in Amsterdam.

Until now, Evernote mainly targeted individuals and schools, but that is going to change. "We are launching an official business program," Libin said, adding that about 85 percent of all Evernote users use the tool at work and 75 percent us it both at work and at home. Enterprise use of Evernote is through end users instead of official channels, Libin said. The end user experience for Evernote for business "is going to be exactly the same," he said.

The difference is that Evernote will offer administrator controls. Businesses can purchase group accounts, control security and data ownership settings and control transfer rights, according to Libin. The goal is to adopt the tool for corporate IT systems, although a white label version is out of the question. "Absolutely not, we'll never do it," Libin said, adding that he thinks that offering a white label version is too much of a distraction. Companies will not be able to run an Evernote server behind the corporate firewall. Libin called it a "slippery slope" saying that he refuses to be a consultant that constantly adjusts its product for the customer.

"I think companies that are not comfortable using the cloud aren't going to be Evernote customers," Libin said. While he estimated that may eliminate 50 percent of potential corporate business, he expects that more companies are going to get comfortable using cloud products in the future. Libin isn't expecting to sell to financial institutions since, he said, that is the industry least likely to purchase cloud products at the moment. However, the creative industry is already using a lot of cloud products, he added. "I think the opportunity is huge," Libin said.

In addition to a business version of Evernote, the company is planning to launch several major versions of its products in the next couple of months, or around a conference that is going to be held at the end of the summer, he said. There are going to be big redesigns and a focus on sharing, he added.

The company is also preparing to launch a Chinese version later this year. Evernote's lack of servers in China means a slow experience for its 1 million users in the country, Libin said.

Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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