Keeping a business organization on the same page in terms of files, folders, and document updates can be a challenge, even more so when you have distributed workforces. It is precisely to meet this need that Dropbox created its premium version for business customers more than a year ago. Called the Dropbox for Teams, it forces companies to be organized and more streamlined in the way they share, access, and collaborate on files. Let’s take a look at the ways small businesses can leverage Dropbox to streamline their work processes.
Collaborate on Files
In an age of mobile devices, Dropbox makes it easy to get files from one worker to another or from business owner to client specifically because it stores files in the cloud. It basically frees workers from limitations of space and devices. Users can collaborate on files without having to be in the same location, and they can use any device, including tablets, smart phones, laptops, and PCs, to get those files.
A news writer deployed to Rio de Janeiro can share his latest news articles with his editors in New York in minutes. He can do this at the back of a taxi on his way to the hotel. He can do this using any Internet-connected device. Its main feature, Shared Folders, enables multiple users to access files at the same time, allowing for collaboration and easy management of group documents. This allows your company to save on travel expenses as you don’t have to be in the same room to work on a document or project.
There are two ways to share files. One way is to do a Dropbox to Dropbox sharing if a collaborator or client already has a Dropbox account. Another way is to use the Public Link feature, which lets you share files with anybody, and that includes non-Dropbox users. To do this, put the file you want to share in the Public folder. Right-click on the file, then choose Copy Public Link. The file is now accessible by anyone, and Dropbox will provide you a URL, which you can copy and send to clients or customers.
Let’s say you’re going to speak in a seminar the next week, and you want to share a slideshow of your PPT presentation to certain groups for approval, but the file is too large for email. With Dropbox’s Public feature, you simply provide them the link to the file. If you want to share a press release, brochure, menu, or other virtual advertising forms to your Facebook or Twitter followers, just provide the Dropbox URL to that file.
As a server, one of the core functions of Dropbox is to store files. It has a user-friendly interface, with layout and drag-and-drop functionality similar to Window’s document folder. You can copy-paste documents and files to the Dropbox folder, or you can create a new document directly on the folder.
Another strong attraction of Dropbox for many small business owners is the way it keeps files safe and secure. As soon as you load a file to a folder, Dropbox automatically keeps a backup in its server. Even if you lose all your office PCs in a fire or a flood, all your files and documents are intact.
Performance of local servers also degrades with time. With Dropbox, you save money on performance upgrades and maintenance. Physical servers are susceptible to failure. If it crashes, restoring files from backups, setting up a new server, and adding users and permissions can take days of engineering time and resources. With Dropbox, these issues, and potential costs associated with solving them, are avoided.