Dropbox hopes new API will further establish its enterprise credentials but it doesn’t mind being perceived as a consumer brand
Dropbox has launched a new API for Dropbox for Business customers, which the company hopes will establish itself as a credible option for the enterprise amid fierce competition from the likes of Box.
The new API offers a range of management features for administrators and is designed to integrate into enterprises’ existing applications, launching with 20 integrations and partners like IBM, Dell, Splunk and Microsoft Azure.
Dropbox already works with some services like Office 365, Jive, DocuSign and WebEx, but the new API is intended to establish the cloud service as a genuine platform to build applications, not just a repository and collaboration tool.
“We actually completed the API a few months ago and gave our partners access,” George O’Brien, product manager, Dropbox for Business told TechWeekEurope. “Because of how powerful the APIs are, customers and partners are beginning to develop solutions we hadn’t necessarily thought of when we made the APIs. We’re excited to see what comes next.”
O’Brien said the API is designed for businesses which have large, complex environments comprising custom workflows, in depth reporting, streamlined authentication, regulatory and legal requirements, and files that must be used with more “serious” applications.
The API will allow admins to deploy and manage these applications and includes integrations for eDsicovery, data loss prevention, digital rights management, identity management, single sign-on and on premise backup functions.
Dropbox is making a major play for business customers and says it now has 100,000 enterprise customers – a 20,000 increase from the last figure it reported earlier this year. It says its business product is “growing and evolving” but remains as simple for end users as its consumer product.
“Making things as simple as possible has always been a core principle of ours,” added O’Brien.
Dropbox for Business
The company has struggled to shake off the perception that its service is for consumers and that the likes of Google and Box are for the enterprise. But it still believes that being an established brand in the consumer space is not detrimental to its business ambitions because so many people within companies it talks with are already using the service – often with work email addresses – and know how to use it.
The theory is that IT departments might prefer to use Dropbox when they’re picking a supplier.
“I’d be lying to you if that perception wasn’t in the market,” said O’Brien. “That might be the perception in the press but we don’t think it’s the perception when we go out after business
“When you’ve had as much success in the consumer market as we have, that’s going to be your brand. I think what we’ve seen over the past year and a half is that Dropbox for Business is a robust, legitimate product for business.
“I think we’re winning our fair share.”
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