Secure mobile messaging platform provider TigerText is launching an API integration with file hosting/transfer service vendor Dropbox, Inc. The integration is designed to allow Dropbox users to securely send encrypted documents via TigerText, with a preset lifespan and the ability to recall an attachment from a recipient's device at any time.
Thus the API integration, which TigerText says is aimed at BYOD enterprises, enables TigerText users to securely send PDF, Excel or Word files stored in their personal Dropbox account through the TigerText app. TigerText encryption prevents downloading, copying or forwarding of documents by recipients.
In a press release, TigerText Co-Founder Brad Brooks is quoted as saying the API is "a definitive step toward making TigerText a must-have social enterprise application." Other unspecified API integrations are planned for the near future.
The API allows TigerText users to access their Dropbox account from their mobile phone or tablet through an icon that will appear on their menu screen in the TigerText app. TigerText is currently testing the API with its consumer users and plans to migrate it for use by enterprise customers by the end of this week.
Other features that are currently supported by TigerText include an integrated controlled message lifespan, delivery and read notifications, company directory and group messaging. Currently the API is available through the TigerText iOS app, with Android and Blackberry access planned in the near future.
Dropping into Dropbox Functionality
Considering Dropbox’s widespread popularity and ease of use, it’s not surprising to see TigerText reaching out to Dropbox users by integrating with Dropbox functionality. Other document management and messaging vendors have also made recent efforts to capitalize on the potential market offered by Dropbox users.
For example, in April 2012, digital asset management (DAM) solution vendor Picturepark released its Dropbox Connector, which integrates Picturepark’s DAM software with the Dropbox file sharing solution. According to Picturepark, files are synchronized to Dropbox for teams accounts and can be shared with users, even if they don't have Picturepark accounts.
Teams have access to the most recent versions of files because the files are syndicated to recipients after being updated in Picturepark.
Dropbox Opens Up
Dropbox itself realizes the added value that opening its file sharing system up can offer. April also saw Dropbox announce that anyone can view Dropbox content without even having an account. This means that Dropbox account holders can more easily share files by linking out their images, documents or videos.
And in March, Dropbox got an interface makeover and also announced deeper integration with Facebook that allows users to invite their Facebook friends to Dropbox shared folders.
If You Can’t Join ‘Em, Beat ‘Em
In another sign of Dropbox’s status as a top means of hosting and sharing files, some IT vendors are also trying to directly compete with Dropbox by offering what they claim to be a superior alternative. As pointed out by CMSWire, with a variety of consumer file sharing options currently available, users expect access to all their data from any device, at any time, which many CIOs refer to as "Dropbox Syndrome."
A few weeks ago, DAM vendor WatchDox said it will soon release a file sync feature that extends its data-centric security platform beyond personal sync folders to apply it to synced collaborative workspaces across multiple devices. In short, WatchDox plans to offer enterprise security for documents hosted and shared via remote employee devices, which would make it a direct alternative to Dropbox.
Whether companies are trying to join Dropbox or beat it at its own game, Dropbox is discovering that success breeds competition and imitation, which in the end can only benefit the end user.