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On the Eve of Box's IPO, Dropbox Raises Its Enterprise Play

While the battle between BYOD and company issued mobile devices is pretty much over (BYOD takes it all), the competition between Enterprise File Sync & Share providers seems to be getting more and more intense.

It’s a bit unfortunate for Aaron Levie’s once red hot Box which is trying to go public (Quartz reports that this is supposed to happen within weeks) because its competitors, and would be competitors, keep upping their plays, adding appealing end-user facing features as well as safeguards to suit the CIO’s fancy.

Consider that last week Salesforce’s Mark Benioff and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced plansfor a tight integration between their products (including EFSS), and that SAP and OpenText made arrangements to offer TempoBox to certain mutual customers for free.

Add to that Microsoft’s recent announcement that it’s increasing OneDrive for Business storage from 25GB to 1TB per user.  Levie finds himself in a crowded field (Apple may join soon) that includes not only the 100+ existing players (see our recent EFSS update), but also 300 million user Dropbox that seems to be getting serious about the Enterprise.

What We're Hearing

Techcrunch says that Dropbox has “just” acquired Droptalk (we suspect that it could have happened in April, but Droptalk reported it today, read on) a stealth startup whose aim it was to take the ugly part out of sharing content (e-mailing back and forth) while doing business.

From Droptalk’s website:

Armed with bootstrap funding and a team of ex-Facebook and LinkedIn engineers we set out to change the way people not only messaged but how they actually got work done across all their devices. With Droptalk all your communications happened in the browser, tablet or phone, eliminating the need for emails. What’s more is anytime you updated your shared folders in the cloud, everyone else in the conversation could see the updated version and go directly to the document or link right in the very same thread."

It sounds like a nice feature to have, right? Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, no doubt, thinks so. And it’s one that Dropbox for Business boss Ilya Fushman ought to be able to easily integrate into his new built-from-the ground-up offering.

More than a Product

But it’s not only the product that Dropbox is acquiring, but also the team of talented engineers who built it and will reportedly be joining the company.

And there are no slackers in the mix— the LinkedIn profiles of the team reveal that they’ve worked at companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapstick.

(What’s curious about news of the acquisition is that the LinkedIn profiles of some DropTalk team members indicate that they joined Dropbox in April.)

What this acquisition, coupled with other earlier news, could suggest for those who seriously consider Box’s future is that Dropbox its other competitors are catching up quickly. And if Dropbox’s 300 million users, many of whom we assume have jobs in the Enterprise, find still another reason to love Dropbox, they’ll not only fight rather that switch, but simply ignore their employers’ guidelines.

Fear of this could sway CIO’s decisions, that is how BYOD won the Enterprise, after all. 

 
 
 
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