Dropbox for Business has been available since November of last year and gathered over 80,000 businesses. About seventy percent of those businesses are international, and a third of those are European. With such a spread out market and an opportunity to make a global impact, Dropbox is expanding to London where they will set up a new international headquarters, and expanding it’s features.
Currently, Dropbox for Business isn’t much different from GoogleDocs on the Dropbox platform. They charge fifteen dollars a seat, with a minimum package of five seats, and colleagues can share and collaborate on documents. There are 300,000 apps that integrate Dropbox’s cloud platform, and Dropbox has it’s own application for easy mobile access. But there are still large quantities of business owners who are using Dropbox, but haven’t felt the need to invest in the business option. So they decided to up the ante and provide features that will make it more enticing, and hopefully worth the fee for small business owners.
In the upgrade to Dropbox for Business, the owner of a document will not only be able to share it for collaboration with a group, but they can edit the preferences so that only certain individuals may edit it. This means documents can be shared with a large number of people, but a handful can be authorized by the owner to make changes. This adds a level of security and protection to the document that was previously managed by the honor system. There will also be an option to show members of a group who share a document the names of the other users who have been made privy to the document, and the ability to search all words within all documents, instead of only for document titles.
Dropbox for Business will also give the document owner the ability to set a timer on the document or spreadsheet to end the share. If you would like to present a proposal or collaborate on a document with a third party, the share timer can be set so that at the end of the week the document becomes private once again. This feature offers yet more security for the user. Along the same lines, they will also be offering links that expire after a set amount of time for even shorter collaborations.
Lastly, there have been some modifications to the API’s to target developers, and to make it easier for them to integrate Dropbox for Business into applications. This allows the application to pull Dropbox based documents into either a document preview or shared view setting, and without a lot of hassle to set it up. All of this expounds upon what it means to be a storage provider, and hopefully with the questions surrounding cloud based storage Dropbox will be able to endure and continue to develop and stay relevant in the business market.
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