Dropbox wants to be your enterprise content concierge: the fulcrum for all of your files, regardless of where they are stored.
The idea is to pool a company's terabytes of collective content and "wrap your arms around it and deliver only the information that's needed," provided that the proper permissions are there, according to Rob Baesman, head of product for Dropbox Pro, Business and Enterprise.
Code named, Project Infinite, the yet to be released technology could bring a huge win to knowledge workers who are plagued by the ever increasing loads of information they need to work with and the limited capacity of their endpoint devices.
With Project Infinite, the entire cloud is behind your hard drive, said Baesman. "You'll be able to easily and visibly access files with surgical precision, and bring only what you need to your endpoint."
This last part matters because we're working in a world of big content. While storage on mobile devices and laptops are limited, it's virtually infinite in the cloud.
Easy File Access
This is a big deal, Terri McClure, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, told CMSWire. Right now if files aren't synched to your laptop, you can't see them except via a browser, she explained. But most business users don't like that option because its cumbersome and unproductive.
And likability is important in an age of consumerized IT. After all, CIOs can choose whatever products they want, but they can be quickly rendered impotent by end users who won't adopt them.
"There is a lot of shelfware out there," said Baesman, noting that Dropbox is more widely used than Box and other EFSS solutions that companies have chosen to standardize on.
Consider that only five hours after Project Infinite was announced there were 174 comments by enthusiasts on the website of Y Combinator, which provides seed funding for startups.
Is Dropbox Enterprise Worthy?
Though Dropbox managers hesitate to concede that its enterprise file collaboration service is often scrutinized for its enterprise worthiness, the reality is that it was conceived as a consumer technology and, according to most analysts, is still playing catch-up with those that went the corporate-way from the start..
But Dropbox is quickly catching-up to its enterprise competitors, according to Forrester analyst Cheryl McKinnon. " Project Infinite is a really important step for Dropbox," she said, noting that it is proof positive that it's now building for the enterprise.
McClure, seemed more impressed, noting that she hasn't seen anything like Project Infinite among the other vendors she covers. But that doesn't seem to surprise her. Dropbox is "always an innovator with technology," she said. "They are the ones who taught us to share our files in the cloud to begin with."