In recent years, Dropbox has been struggling to find its way.
Having realized that there’s little money to be made in simply being a cloud storage service, they’ve been experimenting with a number of incentives and add-ons in an effort to lure customers into buying the premium version of their product. Paper is the company’s latest attempt, and they are hopeful that this will be the Golden Ticket that puts them on the path to achieving long term security in their niche.
The idea behind Paper was first presented in 2015, and the product moved to public beta last August. The company sees the new service, which is functionally similar to Google Docs, as the centerpiece of its product offering. It is one part word processor, one part collaborative white space, one part content hub (as the new means of accessing content saved in your Dropbox) and one part task management tool.
The trick for the company is that it has to make its product compatible with Office 365 and Google Doc files while bringing something new to the table, which, in this case, is the integrated workspace.
The problem, though, is that many Enterprise-level users are already paying for Microsoft 365 or premium access to Google’s toolset. The company also needs to maintain a modest pricing structure if they want to either lure users away from these already mature markets or consider Dropbox as an addition to their suite of capabilities.
It’s’ an intriguing proposition, and the new tool manages to be both fairly robust and surprisingly easy to use.
At this point, it’s too soon to say how successful the company will ultimately be, but if you’re a small or medium sized business owner, and you haven’t already gravitated to Office 365 or Google Docs, it’s well worth your consideration. Even if you have, and the workflow aspect of the product sounds intriguing, it still may be worth investigating.