Dropbox wants shadow IT to drive enterprise adoption

The company is building out new collaboration tools to attract business users, too

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston speaks at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco on Sept. 21, 2015 Credit: Blair Hanley Frank

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston speaks at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco on Sept. 21, 2015 Credit: Blair Hanley Frank

Dropbox is one of the great success stories of the consumer cloud. The startup's vision of a folder that can sync across a user's computers and mobile devices has translated into a multibillion dollar valuation and widespread consumer adoption.

But that hasn't meant success in the business market. Dropbox is facing massive competition from the likes of Google, Microsoft, Box and other companies that want to push their solutions. CEO Drew Houston told an audience at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco that Dropbox has 130,000 businesses paying for its enterprise service. It's a paltry number compared to Google Drive for Work's 1 million active users.

There's one key thing that Dropbox has going for it: users inside companies are already using its product without the authorization of administrators. When the company goes to pitch a large business like News Corp. on adopting Dropbox for Business, salespeople can already point to the thousands of users of its technology inside the company.

"With Dropbox, [pitching the service to IT administrators is] like, 'Hey, as you know, thousands of people are already using Dropbox in your company, and we have all these awesome ways for you to manage that the way you manage all the other infrastructure in your company," Houston said.

In addition, Houston said that the company has made developing collaboration tools for its platform a priority. The company announced a team feature for business users on Monday morning that allows users to create a group of users inside Dropbox for business and then easily share resources with them.

Dropbox is also building out more sophisticated tools, like the Notes product it's testing in a private beta. Notes allows users to write documents simultaneously online, similar to features inside Office, Google Drive and other collaboration services.

The company has made some key acquisitions along those lines, including CloudOn, an Israeli productivity tools startup. The company also hired Justin Hileman, one of the co-founders of presentation sharing software Presentate.

The cloud storage market isn't sitting still and waiting for Dropbox to catch up, though. Microsoft is boosting its collaboration tools, and already has the buy-in of major businesses who have been using Office for decades. Box is also pushing its capabilities as a collaboration platform beyond basic storage, and Google Drive for Work includes a wildly popular collaboration suite.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags TechCrunch Disrupt 2015

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?