DROPBOX HAS made several announcements during its annual Dropbox Open event in San Francisco.
Most notable is the arrival of Dropbox Enterprise, an entire ecosystem building on the existing Dropbox Business offer but aimed squarely at competing offerings such as Google For Work in becoming a viable alternative to Microsoft.
The newly created Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which launched on Monday, is to become a premium reseller of Dropbox for Business as a potential deployment option for companies. Dropbox for Business and Dropbox Enterprise will also be available white-labelled to add to corporate branding.
New features include the ability to suspend an employee's account after they leave a company so that it can be accessed if needed before being ultimately deleted. Admins can now sign in as individual users, should it be required for business continuity, but the user is provided with a complete audit trail of actions taken in their account.
The company is also launching the Dropbox Partner Network, which is designed to offer a centralised repository for technology and channel partners to work together to deliver the latest solutions and communicate with customers.
Also new is Dropbox Platform 2.0, an upgraded version of its API designed to make it even easier for developers to create products that integrate and live on top of Dropbox.
Finally, the company announced that it now reaches HIPAA and HITECH Act compliance obligations to ensure that private health data is kept out of the wrong hands.
CEO Drew Houston told his keynote audience: “What started as a simple way to access files from anywhere has evolved into a global collaboration platform. Today, Dropbox connects 400 million people and eight million business across the world through 2.8 billion sharing connections.
“In just a few short years, over 150,000 companies have chosen Dropbox Business to tap into this powerful collaboration platform. And this morning, we made several announcements that underscore how we’ll continue creating richer connections.
“We're doing all of this in the service of our mission to simplify the way people work together. We're really excited about the future of Dropbox, and we look forward to building it with all of you.”
Despite all this, Dropbox has been heavily criticised for its attitude to privacy. The company has Condeleezza Rice on its board of directors, regarded as one of the architects of the NSA PRISM snooping programme, leading whistleblower Edward Snowden to describe it as "hostile to privacy".
It's likely, then, that the idea of administrators being able to access anyone's account will not go down well with him.
Dropbox, on the other hand, is keen to play down such concerns. The company's head of security told us at a recent event that the biggest threat to security is bad passwords. µ
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