- Free Online Storage – Who Provides It?
- Cheap Cloud Storage
- Best Automatic Online Backup
- The Truth Behind Unlimited Online Storage
- Is Cloud Storage for Linux Available?
- What to Expect from Dropbox for Business
- Cloud Storage Security and Its Importance
- External Hard Drive vs. Online Storage
- Cloud Storage for Mac
- Android Cloud Storage Apps
What to Expect from Dropbox for Business
Dropbox is one of the top cloud storage solution providers. Though it’s hardly one of the oldest, the service has managed to make a name for itself since 2008. This is due to its easy to use interface, adequate (initially 2 GB but upgradable to 16 GB) free storage, and real time synchronization feature. After rebranding its Dropbox for Teams as Dropbox for Business earlier this year, the company has stepped out of storage for personal use and leaped confidently into online backup for business purposes.
If you’re in the market for a cloud storage provider, read on to determine whether or not Dropbox for Business is what you need.
Features of Dropbox for Business
Since it’s dedicated to business users, Dropbox for Business comes with more features than the free and pro versions. If you had used one of these, here are the features that make the business plan stand out.
Additional Safety Measures
Dropbox understands how important security is for businesses, which is why it offers little extra features to ward off hackers and ensure your data’s safety, availability and integrity.
- Data Encryption at All Times – Data on Dropbox’s servers is protected by 256-bit AES encryption. However, because data can be altered or viewed during upload and download, SSL is used to ensure secure data transfers.
- Two Step Verification – Dropbox for Business users have the benefit of securing their accounts with more than their passwords. An additional security layer is provided via phone so that only you can access the data.
- Remote Unlinking – If your mobile device or laptop is ever stolen, the thief won’t be able to gain access to your files. All you need to do is unlink the device and your installed Dropbox client will be useless.
- Multiple Storage Locations – Dropbox’s storage may provide data replication features across other secure data centers. This way, your data will be safe and accessible regardless of disasters caused by nature or people.
Team Management Features
Most businesses manage their teams virtually as well as physically. This is especially true in the case of small businesses which don’t have sufficient capital to cover office costs. Therefore, to facilitate such business’ needs, Dropbox for Business offers the following valuable features.
- A Centralized Admin Console – You can manage your team through a single admin console. Some of the functions available for you include adding/removing members, bill payments and report generation.
- Member or Team Activity Reports – You can keep tabs on whatever is happening in your account. For example, you can discover who logged in, who removed who from the team and much more. You can also filter your reports by specific actions, such as member sign-ins and password changes.
- Quick Service Migration – If your co-workers, employees or even you have Dropbox accounts, you won’t have to sign up again for the business plan. Simply upgrade with the same e-mail and you’re set to go.
The business plan from Dropbox offers better collaboration than the other two plans. For starters, it replaces the need to zip large files or break down folders to attach and send them around. All you need to do is create a link to the file in Dropbox and send it. Everyone you specify will gain access to that file alone. You can also restrict members from sharing files beyond your team. This will prevent industrial espionage and ensure the safety of your data.
To boost the efficiency of this plan’s users, the cloud storage solution offers over 100,000 apps. Some of the top apps used today are:
- Cisco WebEx Meetings – This s a web-conferencing solution that allows Dropbox users to interact with each other in real time via voice or video. You can also deliver presentations and demonstrate apps through Cisco WebEx Meetings.
- CloudOn – With CloudOn, you can create, edit and share all kinds of Microsoft Office documents. Whether you’re using your smartphone or tablet, this app makes working on files easier.
- CloudMagic – Rather than sifting through hundreds of files, CloudMagic allows you to easily search your files and start working on the one you need within seconds.
- Producteev – For project management purposes, Producteev is one of the hundreds of apps you can use. If you have used this software before, you’ll be glad to know that it integrates Dropbox easily with its web, Android and iOS apps.
How You’ll Benefit from it
The features of Dropbox for Business have the power to offer their users a number of benefits, including the following:
- More Than Just Storage – Aside from providing you with 1,000 GB or more for storage, this solution offers you collaborative and team management tools. As a result, you will get more for the money you pay.
- High Security – Whether it’s through the military level of encryption or the centralized admin controls, rest assured that your data and files will always be safe from external and internal threats. As a result, no information will be lost or altered, which in turn ensures the success of your business.
- Fewer Chances of Human Error – Nothing can be as annoying or alarming as the fact that an employee has deleted one of your files. Luckily, this online backup provider creates backups of your files and stores versions of them. Therefore, if a file is missing, visit your Dropbox console and check for Previous Versions of your files.
- Better Productivity – There are thousands of apps that you can use with Dropbox and all are designed for business users. Through these, you and the rest of your team can boost your productivity and streamline many processes that are essential to your business.
- Flexibility – Businesses have embraced a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. This used to hassle IT departments since it meant that they had to provide access to numerous devices and customize their solutions according to operating systems. However, Dropbox functions on Linux, OS X, Windows, Android, iOS and BlackBerry. So, regardless of the device your employees use, rest assured that all of you can access and work on documents.
The Shortcomings of the Cloud Storage Service
As attractive as the business plan from Dropbox may be, there are a few things that prevented it from being the #1 cloud storage solution for companies.
- Individual Syncing – The files in your storage space won’t be updated on all platforms until Dropbox syncs. Therefore, users who aren’t connected to the Internet or are suffering from weak connectivity issues will not have critical files up to date.
- Dropbox Emailing – Sending multiple files by email can be a hassle. Dropbox creates a web-link to the file on its server. So, you need to send each file via a different email. This is definitely time- consuming. However, the biggest issue arises from the chances of human error. If you forget a few recipients while sending out files, your files won’t reach their audience.
- Integration Issues – Despite being designed for businesses, Dropbox for Business can’t be integrated with business systems like Oracle and Salesforce.com. This can be a hassle, especially since you depend on those more than online backup.
- Value for Money – The plan costs $795 annually for five users and you need to pay $125 per year for each additional user. Though this is a great price considering that you get “as much as needed” storage space, the limitations of this system make the offerings of competitors like Box and Google Drive seem like a better deal.
- One Size Fits All – Customization is the key to surviving in the business industry. Therefore, Dropbox’s one size fits all solution goes against what businesspeople expect. With other cloud storage solutions offering a number of plans for businesses, the company needs to tweak its package a little and be open to customizing it according to business’ needs and relative industry.
“Is It For Me?”
After discovering the benefits and shortcomings of Dropbox for Business, you may be wondering whether or not you should really go for this option. The best way to decide is of course to weigh both the good and bad. However, to ensure that this is the perfect solution for you, give it a try.
Dropbox allows you to sign up for a 14-day trial to see whether or not it works well with your systems. All you need to do is fill out a form and your credit card details. Before you panic at the latter, rest assured that you won’t be charged unless you decide to continue using the service after the end of your trial. Even then, the service provider will prompt you that your trial is about to end and you can decide if you want to continue using Dropbox for Business.
The Bottom Line
There is a reason two million businesses, including Rockstar Energy Drink, foursquare and National Geographic, use the services of Dropbox. You can check each company’s case studies to see if they’re similar to your case. However, to test how well the software is capable of securing your documents, ensuring better collaboration and efficiency, and boosting your efficiency, avail the free trial.