Dropbox for Teams has a new set of features that gives IT deep visibility and control over the way both individuals and groups use the service. The new features show how Dropbox is entering a new chapter in its evolution, pointing to a future where a significant aspect of its business will focus on the business market.
Dropbox For Teams launched in late 2011. In August of last year the company began offering two-factor authentication, followed in October by providing IT with more visibility into who was using the authentication capability. With the new feature sets offered today, Dropbox is offering granularity that, for example, gives IT a view into the actions people take, the devices they are using, per-user storage usage, linked devices and third-party applications the person or group is using.
The new user interface offers IT admin control over a user and a group's activity, authentication settings, sharing and account access.
IT can view team activity, such as member log-ins and team invitations. The new features also offer the ability to generate downloadable reports.
With an individual user view, IT can see what devices an individual uses to access the service. IT can also remove access to individual devices.
Dropbox has further beefed up authentication controls with the ability to require two-factor authentication. IT can reset passwords and draw a perimeter around the group so no data can be shared outside the corporate walls.
Beyond The Magic Folder
Dropbox built its service on the concept of the “magic folder.” Its next chapter is about Dropbox as a back-end. A new sync API is key to this evolution. The new API means that updates to an app get synced even when a developer goes offline and comes back on again. This means more apps will hook in to the Dropbox service. Combined with the new IT controls, Dropbox sees the company going deeper into the enterprise.
Dropbox sees its differentiator as being the gold standard for end-user apps. Its challenge will come in where it takes the service next. There are a number of services that offer file sharing. Box, SugarSync and Mozy to name a few. Box now integrates with collaborative offerings, such as Jive, and VMware's Project Octopus is part of the company's larger VMware Horizon suite.
But for now, Dropbox is showing that its service can stand up in the enterprise with robust security and deeper IT visibility and control.