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Dropbox Unveils New Tools Designed for Enterprise Teams

Cloud storage and collaboration tool provider now has 500 million users and has surpassed a $1 billion run rate for its fiscal year--a milestone for any company.

Dropbox dropped a slew of new features and application improvements into its product line Jan. 30, centered mainly around the trend for enterprises to organize themselves into project teams that report to division heads.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston also announced that the San Francisco-based company now has 500 million users and has surpassed a $1 billion run rate for its fiscal year--a milestone for any company.

Highlights of the announcement included the introductions of:

--Smart Sync, which Dropbox claims is the industry's first cross-platform, on-demand cloud storage solution;

--Dropbox Paper: a configurable workspace for teams, which officially launched in 21 languages worldwide;

--An all-new Dropbox web interface and collaborator information package that ostensibly makes teamwork easier; and

--Three new business packages that enable companies to tailor the Dropbox platform exactly to their needs.

"We're redesigning Dropbox to be fundamentally designed for teams," Houston told reporters at a press conference. "We're reinventing sync, bringing a modern collaboration experience to all your files, and launching Paper, a new way to work together that goes beyond the document.

"And we're building this all on top of a strong business foundation; we've reached $1 billion in revenue run rate faster than any other SaaS company in history."

Industry researcher IDC backed up Houston's claim.

"With Dropbox's announcement that their subscription business has surpassed $1 billion in revenue run rate, they have become the fastest software-as-a-service (SaaS) company to reach this milestone to date," said IDC analyst Robert Mahowald, Group Vice President, Applications and Cloud.

Smart Sync Enables Users to Bring File Servers into the Cloud

Dropbox said that Smart Sync makes all the content in a user's account accessible from their desktop file system, and that the content takes up virtually no local disk space until it's needed. Smart Sync works across Windows and Mac computers and is fully backward compatible to Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.9. This is the industry's first cross-platform, on-demand cloud storage solution, Dropbox claimed.

Smart Sync works on all files and folders in a Dropbox Business account. Paired with the recently released Dropbox team folders, Dropbox becomes a centrally manageable, secure hub for teams to work together on all their files.

Team members gain full visibility and access to their entire Dropbox right from their desktop file system, no matter how large. For more information, go here.

Move Beyond the Document with Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper is a virtual workspace that brings teams of people and their ideas together inone place. Users in more than 200 countries and territories created millions of Paper documents while the product was in beta.

Starting Jan. 30, Dropbox Paper became generally available in 21 languages around the world. Paper users will now also be able to add due dates and assign owners to tasks, providing teams with even greater project management capabilities within Paper.

Other recently released features include:
--Presentation mode
--Smart meeting notes with Google Calendar integration
--Improved search functionality
--Mobile folder functionality on iOS and Android
--Improved accessibility features
--eDiscovery and security API

Updates for Dropbox Paper on iOS and Android will also become available in the coming months to enable mobile offline functionality and localization in 21 languages. Paper is available for free to all Dropbox users here.

Three New Business Plans

Dropbox also introduced three new business plans that allow customers to pay for only the features and storage they require.

The new plans include:

--Standard ($12.50/user/month, starting at five users) for teams needing powerful storage, sharing, and collaboration tools.

--Advanced ($20/user/month, starting at five users) for teams and businesses seeking more sophisticated admin, audit, and integration features.

--Enterprise (contact for pricing details) for larger businesses requiring scalable custom solutions with individualized support.

For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...