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  • Enterprise IT, News - Written by on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 15:14 - 7 Comments

    Dropbox opens Sydney office

    koalabox

    news Cloud computing storage player Dropbox has announced it is opening an office in Sydney, as competition in the local enterprise cloud storage market accelerates.

    Dropbox was founded in 2007 and has rapidly expanded globally since. The company offers cloud storage and file synchronisation services through an extremely easy to use platform, and has seen widespread adoption primarily in the consumer market. It works through a freemium model where its services are initially free but attract a fee if you use more storage.

    The cloud storage market is rapidly expanding. Established enterprise IT vendors such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services already have very popular offerings in the space, and local cloud computing company Ninefold launched a cloud storage service focused on businesses in February 2012. Just two weeks ago Dropbox competitor Box announced a deal with Australian educational telecommunications network AARNet to target its service at major universities. And in December last year, the nation’s largest telco Telstra invested a reported $10 million into Box, giving the company a strong local distribution channel.

    In a post on its blog this week, Dropbox said as it grew, it was more important than ever for it to be close to its users.

    “From our home in San Francisco, we started by opening offices in Dublin, Austin, and New York — but until now, we hadn’t made a home in Asia Pacific. Today, we’re happy to announce that we’re establishing a new office in Sydney, Australia,” the company said.

    “In Australia, we’re focusing on expanding Dropbox for Business and making Dropbox a delightful part of people’s personal and work lives. We’re eager to be neighbors with Australian companies already using Dropbox for Business, like Atlassian, Macquarie Group, and Mirvac. We also can’t wait to be a part of Sydney’s vibrant culture and booming tech scene.

    “We’ll be starting with a small team in Sydney, and would love to have you join us. We’re hiring in user ops, sales, and many other roles.” The company currently has job opportunities open for an IT administrator, a recruiter and recruiting coordinator, several sales account executives, a solution architect and a user operations agent.

    “When the time came for us to venture across the Pacific, we knew Sydney would be a great place to begin,” the company’s site states. “With a booming tech scene, international culture, and welcoming people (and beaches!), it’s an exciting city to start an office. “In Sydney, we’re focused on expanding Dropbox for Business and making Dropbox a delightful part of peoples’ personal and work lives. As an early member of a new office, you’ll help build an amazing team to tackle Australia and beyond.”

    However, the company may suffer problems attracting local customers due to its US-based hosting model, which has not found favour in some sectors with data sovereignty concerns such as government and financial services. It is for this reason that companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Amazon and others have established or are establishing Australia-based infrastructure.

    iTNews has quoted Dropbox enterprise strategy vice president Ross Piper as stating that the company has no immediate plans to open a local datacentre.

    opinion/analysis
    Honestly I didn’t even really know that Dropbox had a business product. My impression was that it was primarily used by consumers, small business and only informally within big business. It feels to me that rival Box has done a much better job of building enterprise features into its offering. It will be interesting to see if Dropbox can attract any traction in Australia. I’d love to hear stories of how it’s being used in a corporate sense.

    Image credit: Dropbox

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    7 Comments

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    1. Posted 15/04/2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink |

      As far as I was aware they are quite profitable.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/02/07/why-is-dropbox-worth-more-than-4-billion/

      Anecdotal evidence in my non tech circles shows that most people know about Dropbox, but not alternatives. I’m also across several businesses that utilise it.

      I use a few applications that seem to have Dropbox integration, but nothing else.

    2. Cam
      Posted 15/04/2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink |

      Doesn’t DropBox use Amazon S3 for it’s server hardware? Does Amazon have a datacenter here?

    3. Joff
      Posted 15/04/2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink |

      Also, box.com appears to be losing huge amounts of money.

      http://www.pcworld.com/article/2111260/box-to-go-public-hoping-to-raise-250m.html

      It remains to be seen if they can turn their growth into cash fast enough.

    4. Paul Thompson
      Posted 15/04/2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

      Wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot barge pole. One of the main hurdles of any cloud service is trust. Dropbox have not just destroyed that with the recent appointment of Rice, they have done so with breathtaking arrogance. That’s dumb business.

      To quote from an article on the Guardian:

      http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/11/dropbox-condoleezza-rice-privacy-surveillance

      citing her role as US president George W Bush’s national security advisor in the run-up to the last Iraq War; her past position as a director at energy company Chevron; and most controversially of all, her past defence of warrantless wiretaps on US citizens by the National Security Agency (NSA).

      “Given everything we now know about the US’s warrantless surveillance program, and Rice’s role in it, why on earth would we want someone like her involved with Dropbox, an organisation we are trusting with our most important business and personal data?,”

    5. john dyres
      Posted 15/04/2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink |

      Microsoft is not an established entity until it starts storing data in Australia instead of Singapore.

    6. MarkD
      Posted 16/04/2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink |

      So this is largely a sales office? They are hiring sales folk, hiring tech support for sales folk and hiring HR folk to hire more sales folk.

      No infrastructure in Australia. No software development in Australia. Just enough employees to syphon profit back to the US.

      I know Branch-office IT has long been a core-competency here but it’s still depressing to have your nose rubbed in it.

    7. David Metcalf
      Posted 16/04/2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink |

      So now companies can pay for the privilege of auto-sharing their confidential business documents with secret US government organisations for use by competitors. You can even share all your commercial documents, unfiltered, with Australian government customers you’re negotiating with (via their convenient 5-eyes partner services and streamlined TPP intel sharing agreements).

      This sounds so much more convenient than having intel agencies bug trade negotiations, etc.

      With the appointment of Condolezza Rice to the board, you might even be able to get some free water-boarding, extraordinary renditions and planted fake WMD evidence thrown in with the privilege.

      If you think intel gathering is still anything remotely to do with terrorists or ‘national security’ other than economic espionage, you’ve had your head in the sand too long.




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