And the online storage wars continue. On Tuesday, online storage provider Dropbox unveiled several new features targeted at IT administrators.
The new features include a revamped console for the Dropbox for Teams service, offering additional controls and sections for Members, Activity, Authentication, Sharing and Accounts.
According to the company, its service is used by people at more than 2 million businesses worldwide. While the company has been largely consumer-oriented, it has declared that one of its key emphases in 2013 will be its Dropbox for Teams product for businesses. Additionally, Dropbox has noted that many of its users employ the service to transfer files between home and work, meaning that it falls in the category known as "the consumerization of IT."
Monitor for Violations
Dropbox admins are now able to see which employees are using the service and how they are using it, such as the amount of storage used by each participating employee. Additionally, the admin can monitor for policy violations, as well as the IP addresses being used and the devices and apps connecting to Dropbox. If needed, managers can take action, such as disconnecting devices or apps.
The console can also be used to manage account billing and team licenses or require a two-step authentication. There are also updated functions for resetting passwords, dropping accounts, governing how files are shared, or remotely de-authorizing a lost device.
Late last month, Dropbox released other new features that are part of a current strategic push toward focusing on content rather than files.
One of those features was the ability of users to preview the content of any file without having to download it. File Preview is intended to offer a quick pop-up of content, providing a more efficient way to quickly check files before sending them without having to download them first to ensure they are the correct ones. The company has also added a variety of new features in support of photos, and, since it bought a music-related start-up in December, is expected to release audio-related features soon.
Dropbox Versus Box
Among storage services, Dropbox and Box.com in particular have been releasing new features at a hectic pace as each tries to differentiate itself from the other, and from larger companies offering online storage, including Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Apple and Amazon.
Last fall, for instance, Box.com released a series of additions intended to increase its appeal to its main market of businesses. These included a new HTML5 framework that better enables integration of content and collaboration with Web sites and applications, and integration with a variety of third-party software vendors, such as Oracle, NetSuite, Eloqua, and SugarCRM.
Box also introduced new management tools, an enhanced search functionality, a performance booster, business intelligence integrations with partners such as GoodData, and a new relationship with security service provider Proofpoint.