Dropbox, the popular cloud storage service, has released “Dropbox for Business,” a new service that’s much more than a rebranding of Dropbox for Teams, the company’s previous business offering.
Dropbox has been widely adopted by the real estate industry and proven to be a valuable tool for Realtors. But is it the right enterprise product for your business or organization? Let’s take a look at the features.
Dropbox for Business includes a ton of features, most notably support for single sign-on (SSO). The addition of SSO and active directory support will allow users to utilize their existing company credentials to log in to Dropbox. In terms of IT (information technology) and application management, this is a huge plus. Dropbox for Business offers two flavors of authentication: single sign-on and two-step verification.
Pricing starts at $795 a year for five licenses ($125 a year for each additional user) and includes “as much storage as you need,” although I believe Dropbox initially stated 1 terabyte (TB) of storage. Live tech support is also included.
The foundation of Dropbox for Business is the admin console, the management section of the application where you facilitate onboarding, folder sharing, company settings and more. The console is intuitive and easy to navigate.
Dropbox for Business includes some useful features for your organization. One of my favorite features is restoring documents. Not only can you restore deleted documents, you can restore deleted documents based on the file’s version history. This is a super valuable feature.
If you were collaborating on a market update report that went through many iterations before being deleted, for example, you could restore the document at any previous version of the project.
Selective sync is another valuable tool. It enables users to keep folders in their account but not stored locally on their machine.
As Dropbox puts it, “As the size of your business account grows, you may find yourself with folders that you want to keep in your business account, but not on your computer. Selective sync solves that for you. You can select which folders and subfolders you want to sync locally via the preference menu.”
Dropbox for Business is also flexible in terms of permissions and sharing. In the admin console, you can determine the permission level of both folders and link sharing. You can set the preferences to be shared inside or outside of your organization.
It’s worth noting that security has been an issue for Dropbox in the past. The revamped business product includes features to help organizations get a handle on security.
Besides multi-tier permission levels, flexible sharing and SSO, Dropbox for Business includes user reporting. The reporting includes information such as recent logins, member usage, devices and apps. Files are stored using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. You can learn more about Dropbox business security here.
After attending a Dropbox webinar and speaking with a company representative, I did confirm that Dropbox for Business can be utilized in a corporate setting with folders and documents being shared with real estate agents who are using standard, free Dropbox accounts.
So, is Dropbox for Business the right tool for your brokerage or organization?
It depends. In my testing, the app has some great features and is easy to deploy. However, the pricing structure may not be advantageous depending upon the size and number of users in your organization.
Tom Flanagan is the director of information technology at Residential Properties Ltd. in Providence, R.I. You can contact him at email@example.com or @tflan on Twitter.