Do you remember when you got your first Dropbox email telling you there was a really big file waiting? Chances are it was right after someone had tried to email that file to you and it got bounced.
Working in media means big files and the success of Dropbox in the media space was built on the company’s ethos of ‘simple and secure’ file sharing. The business started out in 2007, first with the familiar free version and then a paid service that gave people more storage space. Dropbox for Business launched about two years ago, with over 100,000 businesses signing up globally to date.
The number of UK companies on Dropbox for Business doubled last year, with the UK already number two in the world for business sign ups. Growth in the media sector has been particularly strong; 200 percent over the last 12 months. UK country manager Mark van der Linden says uptake in the professional media market has been striking, partly because Dropbox identified media companies as a target market, but also because Dropbox has set out to solve some very specific challenges that media companies face.
Van der Linden says the freedom to move any file, any size, anywhere is part of the Dropbox success story: “File sizes in media, like Adobe or movie files, are very large and we’re one of the only platforms that doesn’t impose file size limits.”
But it’s only part of the story… when talking about the success Dropbox for Business has enjoyed in the UK, Van der Linden talks about superior performance – speeds 20 times faster than competitors, best in class syncing, and advanced admin controls. However, he says, “We think that what makes Dropbox for Business special is that people know and love the product because they already use it day to day.”
Publishing clients, including Hearst, News Corp, Macmillan Publishers and Channel 4, frequently work with hundreds of freelancers and suppliers. “There is no time wasted training team members or freelancers on how to use the product,” says Van der Linden, “high adoption rates are guaranteed.”
And, he explains, Dropbox is no longer just about file sharing and storage — collaboration across organisational boundaries is critical. “People have seen Dropbox as a file sharing platform, but it’s becoming more about collaboration. There are 2.1 billion connections on Dropbox, that’s shared folders and shared links. People are using it to work together.”
He uses the example of a photographer taking pictures for an agency, who are working on behalf of an advertising client that needs to supply files to a publishing company. “There is a whole chain of third parties and contractors involved,” he explains, “The media industry is built on collaboration.”
The incredible reach of Dropbox is a factor in growing the collaborative power of the service. It has achieved something close to ubiquity in file sharing and collaboration, recently announcing growth from 300 million to over 400 million users worldwide.
“When we opened the Dropbox UK office in January, one in four British internet users had a Dropbox account, six months in and that number has grown to one in three,” says Van der Linden. “It’s the network effect; sharing and collaboration are easier when more people use the system.”
Promoting security as standard
Security is a huge topic of debate in relation to cloud-based services, but concerns over security are actually encouraging more businesses to adopt Dropbox for Business as their chosen collaboration and file sharing platform. “Smaller businesses can take advantage of the scale that Dropbox can offer,” says Van der Linden. “Companies are telling us that in the battle with the bad guys, the hackers, only a few companies have the scale, resources and capability to fight back.”
Dropbox for Business is one of the first file sharing services to adopt ISO 27018 – a new, international standard for privacy and data protection. “This puts Dropbox for Business ahead of the competition on security and privacy.”
Van der Linden points out that advanced security is just one indication that the value of Dropbox is no longer just in storage. Dropbox for Business delivers syncing, sharing controls and integration with third-party applications from Shutterstock to Microsoft Office. “We have over 300,000 integrations, and we have made our API available to business customers to integrate Dropbox with their own internal systems and workflows,” he says.
The system offers businesses collaborative workspaces to keep staff, freelancers, and IT connected via shared folders, groups, and audit logs. It provides sync and sharing features to give teams access to any file type from any location, or any device, in real time. Assets can be centralised and stored or securely distributed.
“Creative professionals are always on the move, visiting clients and working at different sites. They need access to huge files that are constantly being revised and collaborated on,” says Van der Linden. “This makes them natural adopters for cloud services. Dropbox is making it as simple as possible for these professionals to be creative and collaborative.”