Dropbox.com Launches Channel Network
When it comes to compliance and security issues, the specter of end users routinely violating corporate polices when using cloud services such as Dropbox.com has been a boon to solution providers that specialize in these areas. Now, however, instead of being the source of the problem, Dropbox.com wants to work with channel partners to become part of the solution.
The company has launched a Dropbox Partner Network and has already recruited 150 partners to resell Dropbox for Business. Rather than trying to force users to rip and replace a cloud application that many are familiar with, Dropbox.com is making the case for upgrading customers to a more secure version of the company's file transfer service.
According to Kevin Egan, Dropbox.com vice president of sales, this approach creates an opportunity to sell software and also provides a consulting opportunity for solution providers that have expertise in helping organizations re-engineer workflows in the mobile and cloud computing era.
Dropbox.com doesn't reveal the number of Dropbox for Business users, but Egan said there are 100 million users of Dropbox.com working at more than two million businesses.
"It's an opportunity to sell a service that an organization's end users already voted for," he said. "The only difference is that with Dropbox for Business, IT gets what it needs."
Dropbox for Business includes the ability to lock down who gets to share what data across Dropbox.com. It also includes support for single-sign-on capabilities and integration with Microsoft Active Directory.
When it comes to file sharing in the enterprise, there is no shortage of competition. Storage vendor such as EMC, NetApp and Hitachi Data Systems are making a play in this market, and almost every cloud service provider from Box.net to YouSendIt.com wants to be known for delivering secure cloud services.
What Dropbox.com may have going for it is that Dropbox for Business may be the path of least resistance, both in terms of making a sale and of actually seeing the software used by employees.