It’s been an eventful week for Dropbox coming off its announcement last Friday that it was finally going public, but that doesn’t mean the business stops. The company announced plans to partner with Google today to bring native G Suite integration to Dropbox storage.
The fact is that more than 50 percent of Dropbox users have a G Suite account — which includes GMail along with Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. To this point, there hasn’t been a way to store these files in Dropbox. That has required a Google Drive account, but customer requirements can sometimes make for strange bedfellows and Dropbox and Google have been working together to bring this integration to fruition because it’s something both companies’ customers have been asking for, Quentin Clark, SVP of Engineering, Product and Design at Dropbox explained.
“Dropbox is increasingly building out its content collaboration functionality with the freedom to use whatever tools [customers] want to use on whatever platform that they want to use. This partnership is another step on that journey,” Clark told TechCrunch.
Clark points out that Dropbox has been in the process of building out these partnership deals for the last couple of years with partnerships with Microsoft, Autodesk and Adobe already on the books. This fills in a major content type that had been previously (conspicuously) missing.
He said that the two companies are in the process of working out the details of how the integration is going to work, but he expects the integration to be completed by the end of the year. When it’s done users should be able store, open and start G Suite documents in Dropbox. “The way that integration looks and feels, that’s the stuff we are finding our way together,” he said.
Clark, who has had past stints at Microsoft and SAP, says that he has learned over time that it’s incumbent upon vendors like Dropbox to focus on the needs of the users over the needs of the company. That’s why two companies that sell online storage services are willing to work together. “It is enabling best of breed and recognizing that you are going to hire your product to do a certain job and may be hiring other products to do other jobs, and you have to be at peace with that,” he said.
While the timing may seem to be close enough to the IPO announcement that it is related, the fact is the partnership has been in the works for some time. Perhaps the company wanted to put it out there to enhance their enterprise street cred prior to the IPO, but if that were the case, they weren’t saying during the legally required quiet period prior to going public.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Google has teamed up with another company to provide third-party storage. In fact, Diane Greene, who is head of Google Cloud, announced a partnership to make Box a third-party storage partner for Google content at the 2016 Boxworks customer conference.