Cloud Computing

Dropbox Gains Mobile Office Capabilities with CloudOn Acquisition

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Dropbox is adding the ability for users to edit, share, create and review Microsoft Office, Google Docs and other file types from any device or platform after acquiring US/Israeli startup CloudOn this week. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

This is the first acquisition for Dropbox in 2015 following several in 2014 including Mobilespan. The company seems to be focusing on mobile user experience, having partnered with Microsoft in November to add mobile document capabilities despite being in competition with them for cloud services.

CloudOn may be a great fit for mobile strategy allowing users freedom to access documents from any platform. “From the beginning, my co-founders and I built CloudOn to change the way people edit, create, organize and share docs on any platform,” CloudOn wrote in a blog post. “What we’ve achieved alongside our 9 million users – the driving force behind CloudOn – has been pretty incredible: over 90 million documents have been edited, created or shared on CloudOn.”

The acquisition may make sense geographically for Dropbox as well. “We believe the opportunity we’re going after is all three billion connected people on the planet. We believe all of them are going to migrate to a cloud-based platform in the next five to 10 years. It’s a pretty big opportunity, and an important one,” said Dennis Woodside, Dropbox’s chief operating office, in an interview with The Guardian.

With almost half of its 300 million users in EMEA and plans to entice a worldwide audience to its services, the company has a need for a variety of geographic locations. Dropbox is opening an office in London and will now have the Herzliya, Israel office with the addition of CloudOn.

Woodside told the Guardian that it has 120 million in EMEA, and UK is one of its biggest markets that is growing faster than the US.

Dropbox said on Tuesday that the employees of CloudOn will stay on and the Israeli office will become “a base for the company’s ‘aggressive hiring’ in the region,” Ilya Fushman, head of product, business and mobile told the Wall Street Journal. Isreal is home to many technology startups, so many that Microsoft and Akamai started a cybersecurity accelerator there.

Despite hacking accusations in October, Woodside said Dropbox is secure.

“The businesses are realising the advantages that are conferred by the cloud greatly outweigh any concerns they might have,” Woodside said in the Guardian interview. “The security that can be delivered through a cloud service is, in many cases, greater than what they can provide on the premises. We have the resources to dedicate entire teams to security, and a lot of companies just don’t have that.”



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