In theory, the cloud makes communication easier than ever by allowing users to connect with one another from anywhere. In practice, the picture can be more complicated, especially in situations where security or regulator concerns constrain the ability to work in the cloud.  But the channel is responding with solutions for leveraging the cloud without violating data policies, as a new collaboration platform from Teambox shows.

The software, called Teambox On-Premise, is designed to reconcile data privacy and security concerns with demand for cloud-based collaboration by allowing organizations to run collaboration software on their own hardware and behind their own firewalls.  It's the latest addition to Teambox's line of collaboration, workflow management and file sharing applications, and the company bills it as the channel's "only behind­-your-­firewall collaboration solution."

The company is pitching the software as a particularly valuable solution for industries like healthcare and finance, where strict regulatory policies define what data they can and can't place on cloud servers controlled by a third party. It will also likely appeal to organizations that simply have tight security policies or want to minimize their risk of becoming the next headline about a major leak of personal consumer data.

The drawback to the Teambox On-Premise approach, of course, is that organizations need to deploy and maintain the software themselves -- Teambox mentions that customers should be "adept at managing IT Infrastructure and virtualization" -- but the company has taken steps to make that task as easy as possible. It distributes the platform as a virtual machine that it promises will run in any data center, and provides full installation support.

And while many organizations a few years ago may have hesitated to embrace a cloud-based collaboration solution that would require them to maintain more in-house infrastructure -- a burden that could seem antithetical to the point of moving to the cloud in the first place -- that is likely to be less of an issue today.  As private clouds become more and more popular, and enterprise-class software for deploying them grows more accessible (and, in many cases, is free), behind-the-firewall solutions like this one make more obvious sense.

Solutions like Teambox On-Premise highlight the demand within the channel for organizations to have their cloud and eat it (?) too -- or, to lose the muddled metaphor, to take advantage of the flexibility of the cloud while avoiding the security and privacy issues it raises. They're a sign that the area of the private cloud, and related software like ownCloud, have a lot of room left for growth.

Teambox On-Premise is priced beginning at $15/month, with a minimum commitment of one year. The company will detail the platform in a free Webinar on April 18, for which registration is currently open.