Cloud storage provider Dropbox and all-purpose IT maker Dell revealed a new partnership deal Dec. 12 that could mean good news for IT managers, enterprise security officers and employees alike.
Dell will offer Dropbox for Business to its customers as a service that helps employees access company information from wherever they are, yet enables IT to maintain control over corporate data. The announcement was made at Dell World in Austin, Texas.
For most enterprises, a happy medium between keeping corporate data files within a firewall yet allowing employees to safely access them whenever they need to do so has been the No. 1 bring-your-own-device (BYOD) goal.
Research has shown that workers by a large margin prefer "consumerization of IT"—the ability to use personal devices for work if needed and whenever possible—and that they work more effectively as a result.
Dropbox will come preinstalled on several key Dell laptops and Venue tablets to enable employees to access their work files at any time and from any location. Dell also will add Dropbox for Business integration into Dell Data Protection Cloud, which is part of the Dell Data Protection solutions portfolio for large enterprises.
"Dropbox is one of the most innovative and fastest growing companies, and the most popular solution of its kind," said Brett Hansen, Dell's executive director of end-user computing software. "Together, Dropbox and Dell can help organizations embrace the consumerization of IT in the corporate environment while protecting company data."
You can get a free Dropbox for Business trial here along with more information about how it works.
A 2012 survey by Forrester Research found that 14 percent of online users had engaged backup or storage services, and Dropbox was No. 1 with about 25 percent of the market. Apple's iCloud was No. 2.
Dropbox has about 200 million users and competes with such other services as Box, Microsoft SkyDrive, Huddle, EMC Mozy, EVault, Google Drive, iCloud, SugarSync and Seagate i365.