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.
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