Box and Dropbox Race for Long-Term Relevancy


The Spanish InquisitionIn case you missed it, Dropbox has followed the path blazed by Box and has integrated with Microsoft Office. While Box integrated on the desktop, Dropbox is integrating with the Office mobile apps and plans to extend it to the Online Office versions. This is a no-brainer move as anything that simplifies people’s ability to work with content within Dropbox helps keep people using both tools.

On top of all this, Microsoft announced that their Android and iOS versions of Office will now be free. Microsoft is clearly trying to maintain their edge on the office productivity world and Dropbox is aiming to stay in front of people’s eyeballs.

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Cloud May be Easier but Do Your Homework


imageAt this point, just about everyone acknowledges that the simplified, cloud-based Content solutions like Box and Syncplicity are here to stay. There is a place for them in the Enterprise world and that place will grow as their capabilities grow.

What I’ve been hearing and seeing is a repeat of what I’d like to call the SharePoint Experience. People would just role SharePoint out because it was easy and expect everything to work. As we all now know, that wasn’t always the case.

Content Management, when done in a way to do more than just replace a file share, requires planning. It requires Change Management aspects to be considered. The impact to the business processes needs to be planned. Old content has to be migrated.

imageWhen SharePoint hit it big, this didn’t happen. Technicians just implemented it without considering the need to understand Content Management. Now, it is a different story.

As these new offerings are purchased and deployed, I’m seeing a lot of the same things. Instead of IT, the business users are leading the efforts. Sure, they don’t need to create an architecture or determine what customizations are needed, but they still need to plan.

  • How are we organizing content? Are we going to rely on tagging? Do we need to establish a simple Taxonomy?
  • What are we going to do about existing Content? Do we migrate or leave it as is? Are we bringing any structures from the old system over?
  • How do we integrate our business processes?
  • Speaking of integration, what about our other business systems?
  • How are we providing documentation, training, and support to our users?

These are common issues in Content Management and with a cloud-based system they may be simpler questions to answer.

The key to answering these questions is knowing that they need to be asked before the project starts.

Checklists of things to do aren’t going away, they are just getting shorter. They are becoming simplified but still require knowledgeable Information Professionals to lead the effort.

The goal of these cloud-based Content Management solutions is to take the simplicity of file sharing and add the functionality of Content Management. We all need to make sure that the result of this combination is the best of both worlds and not the worst.

Box, Syncplicity, and EMC


imageThis post has been a long time coming but it really took me a while to come to grips with all the implications of the Synplicity acquisition, and there are many. (Plus there is this whole day-job thing with AIIM). There are really three angles to take when looking at the acquisition.

  1. What this does for EMC’s Content Management cloud strategy?
  2. What this means for EMC’s technology stack?
  3. The impact on the nascent cloud-based Content Management space?

Without further adieu, let’s dive in and see what we can figure out.

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