Say what you will about the quality, security and reliability of Dropbox, people love the file sharing service that is rapidly expanding into channel sales and business environments.
And it's getting help from resellers and vendors; the latest is California based hardware-as-a-service provider CharTec.
CharTec has announced a partnership with Dropbox in which it will offer its managed services provider partners Dropbox for Business, a version of the file sharing service that provides more administrative and security controls than the consumer version.
"We are consistently looking for the best products in the market to offer to our clients and our partners. Dropbox for Business offers an awesome solution for desktop backup, allowing people access to their files anytime, anywhere, on any device. We are really looking forward to bringing Dropbox to our partners through this relationship," said CharTec CEO Alex Rogers.
Calling Dropbox a "backup solution" is a bit of an overstatement. While file sharing services such as Dropbox, Box, SugarSync and a plethora of others have certain backup characteristics, they are really about synchronising folders and files of common desktop applications across multiple devices and operating platforms via the cloud.
CharTec isn't a stranger to the backup space, either. It has a hardware backup offering that it builds, sells and supports through its MSP network.
As a hardware leasing company, it provides certain guarantees of performance and replacement of its backup solution, making it an attractive offer to MSPs.
Adding Dropbox as an alliance partner gives CharTec a new dimension that few other backup vendors have - the ability to provide users with ease of access to data through file sharing.
Other that CharTec, as far as we know only backup vendor eFolder has expanded into file sharing. Last week, eFolder bought file sharing software company Anchor for an undisclosed sum.
This deal will eventually result in the merging of the backup and file sharing technologies to give resellers a holistic data protection and portability service.
"MSPs want it all - cloud file sync features that business users demand, vast amounts of cloud storage, multi-tenant management and branding, security and HIPAA compliance, PSA integration, wholesale pricing that leads to big margins... eFolder and Anchor are now uniquely positioned to deliver it all," said eFolder CEO Kevin Hoffman.
CharTec and eFolder may be first to market with offerings that combine the best of backup and file sharing, but they won't be the last.
Other backup vendors are looking for new features and functions that will enhance their value and make them more appealing to partners and customers.
Boston based Carbonite, for instance, has file sharing qualities, but not a true service; it will eventually add features that will make it look like a cross between Dropbox and backup vendors.
Arguably, the backup vendors are taking cues from their provider partners.
File sharing services providers such as Dropbox, Box and others are getting increasingly aggressive in the channel as they look for new routes to market to enhance and accelerate sales.
Many providers are already offering file sharing services as a resale offering to augment their other managed and cloud services.
File sharing is an attractive addition to backup vendors because of the similarities to their core function - data accessibility and protection.
The challenge facing nearly all backup vendors is the market is oversaturated with suppliers and none have a market leading advantage.
Worse, new features are being added to backup vendor portfolios in virtual synchronicity, negating competitive advantages.
Likely to come next is a file-sharing land grab among cloud backup vendors, which will lead to a short period of growth for them, followed by a return to the status quo.
As part of our special editorial partnership, CRN is republishing this article from Channelnomics
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