falling down

Dropbox is falling deeper into the enterprise with upgrades designed to drive new levels of document sharing and collaboration.

Dropbox — which recently made headlines by announcing it was cash flow positive — announced last night that it was beefing up its document creation, sharing and collaboration tools in a bid to capture a larger slice of the enterprise pie.

The new functionality will improve the platform's mobile capabilities in several ways, including the ability to create Microsoft Office documents. 

It has also enhanced security by provisioning tighter control over the way documents are shared. Specifically, this enables users to share a single file with one or more named people, who will have to log in to see it. Those documents can also be given view-only access within shared document folders.

Document Function Upgrades

Dropbox simplified workflows, unified workspaces and improved data security.

Workflows:

  • New document scanning enables Dropbox mobile app users to capture data anywhere using their smartphone and send that data directly into the Dropbox repository.
  • Dropbox users can create Word, PowerPoint and Excel files on their mobile devices, as well as access basic digital asset management (DAM) functionality by enabling phone users to push photos they have taken into Dropbox, where they can be organized and managed.

Unified Workspaces:

  • Unified workspace improvements add speed and clarity to file and document transfers. Dropbox has cut some of the steps in the sharing process from desktops, enabling users to send files simply with a click.
  • Users can also add comments to a specified part of a file, theoretically improving accuracy of comments or questions.

Data Security

  • Dropbox introduced previews to previous file versions. Before you restore an earlier version of a file, you can check what was in it.

Dropbox’s Balance Sheet

While last night’s announcements are driven by Dropbox’s push into the enterprise space, the push into the enterprise space is driven by the need to become profitable.

After a funding round in 2014, Dropbox’s valuation hit $10 billion and now it needs to make money to justify that. To do that, it needs to expand beyond file sync and share and into the bigger enterprise collaboration space.

Last week at the Bloomberg Technology Conference in San Francisco, Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston told the crowd that Dropbox is bringing in more cash than its spending.

"Dropbox is cash flow positive. That's really important, especially in an environment like this, because it means you control your destiny," Houston said. "Instead of being funded by investors, you're funded by your customers."

Title image by Fred Mouniguet