Dropbox Pushes for a Seat at the Enterprise Table
By Jim Lundy
Dropbox is pushing hard to be taken more seriously with enterprises and it is having success. At its first customer event being held this week in San Francisco, it announced enhanced capabilities for its DropBox for Business offering and its CEO Drew Houston traded barbs with its arch-rival: Box.
Dropbox and the Race to Win the Enterprise
Dropbox has been growing and the press was quick to run with the sound bite of 50,000 new customers in the last ten months. Putting that aside, Dropbox has always been popular with marketing departments and given the new announcements, particularly around security, we expect to see more enterprises considering Dropbox.
It is a fact that mobile content management has been on the rise. The growth of Accellion, Airwatch Content Locker, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive has made it harder for others to compete. The reality in most enterprises is that just like enterprise content management providers, enterprises will have multiple MCM providers as well.
In many cases, Dropbox is still in the marketing department. The challenge will be convincing other departments to use them instead of the others, who often are already installed in the other departments.
Dropbox and Security
In the last year, nearly all of the major mobile content management providers have stepped up their security game. This week, Dropbox announced new strategic partnerships with DLP provider Vera and SSO provider Okta.
Vera will help Dropbox to pass muster in more sensitive, mission-critical document applications. While this is good for Dropbox, others have had partnerships or embedded DLP for a while.
Dropbox Enterprise and Paper
While most of the news was on the new enterprise edition for Dropbox for Business customers (more on-boarding tools and collaboration), Dropbox has had a cadence of news in the last year that has allowed it to be taken more seriously in the enterprise.
This includes Dropbox Paper, its collaborative note-taking application, which will allow it to compete with Box Notes and Google Docs. That said, Dropbox Paper is still in a controlled beta; we had expected to see the rollout at their event.
So, Dropbox is an enterprise player and its CEO Drew Houston is now better known, due in part to well-placed soundbites in his keynote. By holding its first customer event (Box has had five), Dropbox is acting like it cares more about the enterprise. While Dropbox is pushing the envelope in features and capabilities, the market for mobile content management is highly competitive and other providers are not standing still.