Dropbox explains why its making back end systems as easy to use as its front facing app, complete with greater visibility for admins
Dropbox is making its business and enterprise cloud collaboration platforms easier to use for administrators who can now take greater control over shared folders and have greater visibility over what’s happening in their environment.
But the company is also overhauling its admin console as part of the ‘AdminX’ initiative to make using the back end of Dropbox as easy as the front end.
But why do this and why now? Surely as ‘power users’, administrators would have the technical knowledge for more complicated interfaces and would bemoan any loss of functionality.
“We’re taking the same philosophy of user experience (UX) to AdminX,” Marcio von Muhlen, senior product manager at Dropbox told TechWeekEurope. “The needs of an admin go well beyond a normal user.”
He explained the AdminX initiative started last year as training courses and manuals for a product like Dropbox were barriers to adoption and kept IT managers away from doing other things.
The new console promises a streamlined interface and records more file events, such as logins, additions and deletions – improving auditing procedures and helping identify anomalies. This isn’t analysed within Dropbox itself but it can work with a third party analytics platform which can be used across multiple cloud services and avoids vendor lock-in.
“It makes sense for a central service like Splunk,” suggested von Muhlen. ““It makes sense for larger companies.”
Ease of use
Other new features include team folders that let admins set permissions for external and internal collaborators at a granular level. Members of team folders can be added by IT based on which part of the company they are employed in. This isn’t automated, but APIs allow companies to integrate this with something like ActiveDirectory.
Admins can also manage sync settings at scale within large companies and view all team folders from a single tab – increasing visibility.
All the new features are available within existing Dropbox for Business and Dropbox for Enterprise subscription plans and are being rolled out globally starting this week.
Other recent additions to the platform include in-app scanning and Office document creation and the company sees its ease of use as a way of expanding its European business amid fierce competition from the likes of Box.
Dropbox has 500 million users, of which eight million have taken the product into their workplace, and 150,000 paying business customers. This employee advocacy is instrumental for Dropbox’s growth prospects.