Dropbox launches reseller network

Hopes to have third parties sell services to business

Last week, Dropbox took another step in trying to build its business product, Dropbox for Business, by officially launching a new partner network. The idea is to turn non-paying customers inside the enterprise into paying ones and partners can help facilitate this.

In February, it added administrative controls to give business users a semblance of control over the popular consumer product. In April, it renamed its business product from Dropbox for Teams to Dropbox for Business. This week, they brought in the resellers hoping to increase their presence in the enterprise through the reseller network.

Of course, Dropbox is best known as a consumer tool with millions of users. Many are using Dropbox, in fact, without IT knowledge or permission because it makes it easy to move files between multiple devices or to share them with others. It only makes sense that Dropbox wants to take advantage of those numbers and its presence, and make it more friendly for business by giving them some control over Dropbox usage in the enterprise.

Of course, enterprises also have to pay for that privilege and while Dropbox has a freemium consumer model (and continues to use that model), it needs a more secure stream of revenue that only enterprise-paying customers can bring.

Enter the reseller network, which can help build that network because resellers have existing relationships with enterprise customers, and can use that leverage to sell Dropbox services--at least in theory.

Dropbox has set up a partner website to help organize the effort. The chief advantage for the resellers appears to be that they get a break on the pricing, which they can use to make additional money helping customers make the transition to Dropbox for Business.

Dropbox is also providing other resources like training tools, and sales and marketing collateral.

The company says it already has 150 partners including Managed Service Providers, IT Consultants and Value Added Resellers in the partner network.

It's unclear how successful this is going to be, but combined with the API to build customized functionality on top of Dropbox, it is clearly another step toward making Dropbox more palatable for business customers.

For more information:
- see the Dropbox blog post

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