Dropbox for Teams Adds Another Tool to Your Collaboration Toolkit
Succeeding in Consumerization of IT
By Curt Finch, CIO
Dropbox recently introduced Dropbox for Teams, a new service designed for enterprise use. Like the consumer version, Dropbox for Teams allows business teams to share documents, photos and videos in the cloud across multiple device operating systems, including Android, BlackBerry, Linux, iOS, Windows and Mac. Dropbox for Teams gives IT more control of cloud storage by providing the ability to add and delete users. Along with administrative controls, Dropbox for Teams centralizes billing and phone support. The service costs $795 a year for five users with additional seats costing $125 each. The basic plan has 1,000 gigabytes of cloud storage with each additional user adding 200 gigabytes more.
I have a feeling that Dropbox for Teams will become popular very quickly in small businesses. Dropbox is already one of the most popular consumer cloud storage services; many businesses already have some of their employees using it for free (and even logging on using their company email). Dropbox has had a few hiccups in the four years they’ve been on the market. Earlier this year, Dropbox accounts endured a security breach that allowed Dropbox account access using any password. Weeks later, Dropbox revised their terms of service, which had users worried that Dropbox was claiming ownership over user content and data. Dropbox soon reworded the terms of service and reassured customers that they maintained ownership of their personal data on the cloud. These missteps might cause some concern but it’s comforting to know corrections were made before Dropbox for Teams was introduced. Dropbox has 45 million users to please; they can’t afford to mess up.
But Dropbox is entering the competitive field of cloud storage for SMBs. The major players include Google (Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar), Amazon.com (Amazon Cloud Drive), and Apple (iCloud). Smaller companies in the space that are gaining traction include Box.net, SugarSynch, and YouSendIt. Also, big companies like Citrix Systems and Research in Motion have recently bought out small cloud storage services. This is a pie everyone is trying to get a piece of.
Dropbox will stay competitive by increasing security measures for Dropbox for Teams. Dropbox files are encrypted, but the only thing stopping a hacker from getting into a Dropbox account is the password. Dropbox is currently working on a two-step authentication, which would put IT administrators more at ease.
But what collaborative tools actually work in the workplace? The obvious answer is the tools that are easiest to use. Dropbox makes it easy to share large files and keep files up-to-date across multiple devices. At my company, Google Docs and Google Calendar have crept into our workspace. Google Docs is proving to be very useful because multiple people can make edits, creating a living document. Google Calendars on the other hand is getting too messy: there are too many calendars to keep up with, making scheduling pretty confusing. But people are on Google Calendars so much that it’s hard to not take advantage of them. However, many times in meetings I hear the phrase, “Not another Google Calendar!”
Would you trust Dropbox for Teams for your business documents?