Is Dropbox office-ready?

Dropbox has been a surprise hit with consumers, to the point where it has crossed over to the office environment.

In response to this demand, Dropbox for Business was released last year.

Dropbox channel sales and partnerships head, Adam Nelson, said the product’s usage showed it was needed in the office.

“There is incredible value in being able to have your files wherever you are, as well as collaborating on documents in real time with a product that plugs into whatever eco-system you’re already using,” he said.

Nelson also highlights the “ease of use and reliability” of Dropbox that makes it stand out against other enterprise focused Cloud storage solutions.

Not for business

Much in the same way as BYOD, Dropbox crossed over to the office thanks to its users.

The consumer focused nature of Dropbox has led industry analysts and experts to question the security and appropriateness of the service for business use.

Nelson admits that the company took these criticisms on board and spent time implementing central management and visibility for IT admins for Dropbox for Business.

“We spent over 12 months building a product that gives IT admins the capability to deploy, manage and control this product all from one place,” he said.

Nelson said it was important for Dropbox to provide business users with the productivity that they want while at the same time providing the peace of mind that IT admins need.

Channel focus

Dropbox launched its channel partner program in the US last year, and it is now in the process of expanding worldwide, including Australia.

Nelson said the channel program and its extension to markets such as Australia is in response to the demand in today’s market.

While Dropbox has its own sales team, Nelson said they are struggling to keep up with existing customer demands.

“There is a huge opportunity for partners and resellers to help spread awareness for the Dropbox for Business product,” he said.

Dropbox has grown “aggressively” grown its sales team over the last 12 months following the product’s launch, though Nelson said the company is still “well behind” the demand and partners can be of assistance with “that part of the equation.”

Role as advisor

In addition to carrying out the deployments, Nelson said partners and resellers can assist customers by taking on the role of the trusted advisor.

“A partner or reseller is more than just a shop where people go and purchase IT,” he said.

“Partners provide valuable insight into how Dropbox can work with that infrastructure, as they know their customers and have that context.”

Since Dropbox is Cloud based, Nelson said the platform agnostic approach of the service means they are “not forcing a change of behaviour” in businesses.