Dropbox users can collaborate easily with the new teams feature

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dropbox Adds Team Feature For Collaboration.

The company is launching a new feature called Dropbox Teams, which makes it easier for people to use their personal accounts at work. Dropbox has made collaboration on its cloud storage service easier with the introduction of a feature that allows groups to share files through a centralised folder. Existing Dropbox users will soon see a “team” tab on the left-hand menu list that will let you organize groups of employees and share files with those sets of users in a central hub. Dropbox is also making it easier to separate your personal files from your work ones after the company discovered that around 60 percent of both basic and pro users access Dropbox for work. “Most people, if you look at their data, they put everything in one account,” said Pranav Piyush, a Dropbox product manager, in an interview.

For instance, Dropbox has recently announced the use of second factor security keys, the ability to save URLs, integration with Office, to name a few. Now Dropbox is making a clear distinction between a work and personal account and will let users toggle between the two, as opposed to signing in and out of separate accounts tied to different email addresses. For Dropbox, which has more than 400 million users, the team feature and account simplification is a step toward the type of business-focused service it’s been aspiring to be for some time now. For instance, if you often share files and folders, you are likely to sometimes find it an inconvenience to have to constantly share permissions, add people and so on. However, Dropbox Teams will be available to all users — those using the service for free with a Basic account or paying $10 a month for a Pro account.

Selling cloud storage, Dropbox’s original business model, is becoming increasingly difficult as huge tech titans like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon race one another to up the amount of storage they sell at ever-lower prices. The new feature is aimed at smaller companies that may already use Dropbox but don’t pay for Dropbox for Business, which offers more advanced features like more administrative and security controls such as two-factor authentication. Dropbox and other cloud storage providers are scrambling to redefine their value in the face of marketshare incursions from tech giants including Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft.

To make use of the feature, you just have to create a ‘team’ and add everyone involved in the collaboration for the project once and then all documents that are dropped into the team folder are accessible by everyone involved. Dropbox’s team feature is partly piggy-backing off the success of companies like Slack, the San Francisco-based startup that makes an explosively popular chat application for businesses to communicate with and collaborate on. Dropbox is far from creating a stand-alone chat app; its service remains more comparable to Google Drive and file sharing service Box than any other existing workplace software. But Dropbox is interested in figuring out how to be more than just the place we put our files. “Dropbox’s goal is to simplify the way people work together,” Piyush said. There also seems to be an additional sub-team features in play which uses the ‘groups’ tag and this further allows for files to be shared with sub-teams within the bigger team without having to share with everyone else involved on the project.

That inherently means communication and other forms of online collaboration Dropbox’s founders did not include in the service when it launched in 2007, but are now interested in tapping into. “That’s going to be a continued story you’ll see unfold over the next several years.” For those interested in the feature, the announcement details that the feature will go live on mobile, desktop and web versions of Dropbox over the course of the next week.

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