InsightaaS: The Real Story Group is “a buyer’s advocate for enterprises looking to invest in content technologies” specializing in independent vendor evaluations. In this post, analyst Apoorv Durga provides an interesting perspective on Dropbox – its recent service change, and its competitors. The change is described as a price reduction, but isn’t – instead, it’s an increase in storage (from 100 MB to 1TB) without an increase in Dropbox Pro’s price of $9.99/month.
Ordinarily, ATN wouldn’t be focused on this kind of item. However, we’ve just completed work on some research (with Techaisle) identifying file sharing as the key capability in collaboration solutions, and given the prominence that Dropbox enjoys in the file sharing arena, we thought it would be useful to highlight Durga’s analysis of Dropbox and its competitors.
A review of the RSG post finds that Durga’s reaction to the announcement is tepid at best. He notes that it only “brings Dropbox in line with Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and others.” He goes on to note that the capabilities that a service like Dropbox offers are more important than the total storage capacity – and while Dropbox “does have a lot going for it, especially for consumer-focused use cases,” other services have compelling offerings as well; Durga highlights features included in competitive offerings from Microsoft, Google, Apple and SugarSync, and finds that each might provide a good fit for users, depending on their requirements. Durga closes by stating that “many users don’t need 1 TB and so would have preferred a more tiered plan instead of a 1 TB threshold to get the extra capabilities that come with the Pro edition. But then 200 GB for $2 wouldn’t sound as cool as 1 TB for $9.99…
Cloud-based file sharing and sync service Dropbox received significant media attention in the past few days after reducing the price of its paid offering, Dropbox Pro, from $9.99 per month for 100 GB to $9.99 per month for 1 TB. This drop in price — or rather, increase in storage (more about that in a minute) — brings Dropbox in line with Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and others.
I suspect most vendors will gradually lower their prices to remain competitive, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see unlimited (or very high) storage quotas becoming a norm in the near future.
What is more important for you the customer, however, is the actually capabilities you obtain. Or in other words, what you can do with the technology.
Of course, Dropbox does have a lot going for it, especially for consumer-focused use cases. For example, its sync apps work reasonably well on most platforms (barring Windows Mobile) and you also get nice photo sharing features. You have access to some additional security features with Dropbox Pro; you can now attach a password to shared links, set expiry dates, and remotely wipe content if your phone gets stolen or lost.
However, there are many similar services out there, each with its own advantages..