Dropbox plans continuous channel tweaks to lure MSPs

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Dropbox plans continuous channel tweaks to lure MSPs

Dropbox will reveal a significant refresh of its partner portal in late 2019, then settle into continuous improvement mode.

So said the company’s global head of global channels Simon Aldous, with whom CRN Australia sat down to chat about Dropbox’s channel intentions late last week.

Aldous admitted Dropbox has only recently embraced the channel, having launched its formal program just four years ago.

But the channel is now crucial to the company since the launch of “New Dropbox” that emphasises secure collaboration by offering native integrations with multiple applications and SaaS services. New Dropbox is aimed at preventing content falling into app-centric silos, a significant step beyond the company’s roots in cloud storage.

Aldous said he thinks New Dropbox gives the channel – and especially managed services providers – the chance to build services on the platform. He added that the company sees partners do best when they work Dropbox into wider services.

That wasn’t always possible. Aldous told CRN that Dropbox’s cloud storage cloud storage essentially went viral – it solved a prevalent problem and users were therefore able to introduce it to the enterprise without pushback.

As that use case gathered pace, the company realised that its customers turned to partners to drive Dropbox, so created its partner program to formalise that engagement.

Today, the company is in the process of continuous improvement for that program, much of which is expressed through its partner portal.

“We'll be launching some changes to the program … probably towards the back end of Q4 this year,” Aldous told CRN. “And then the goal is just to continue to iterate. We’re not going to do Big Bang launches every year, the goal is just to continue to iterate over, you know, over the course of a year to make sure that we're still relevant to partners.”

And that partners are relevant to Dropbox: Aldous said the company is open to new partners, but “we need to make sure that we're recruiting the right partners to service those customer needs. And more and more now, and as you well know, is people are moving to a consumption model. We need to make sure that we're working with the right partners that we can actually deliver that level of service.”

The other thing he hopes new partners can deliver is an explanation of how New Dropbox goes beyond cloud storage and can enhance end-customers’ SaaS experiences.

“The platform is there really to pull all of your applications together and actually provide a foundational platform you can manage in a coherent way,” Aldous said.

The channel chief therefore hopes that current and future members of Dropbox’s channel can speak about “the challenge that knowledge workers have today” and explain how Drobox can deliver value.

And he thinks that MSPs who understand those challenges will also come to understand how Dropbox meets the challenge of shifting to services-driven subscription revenues!

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