Cloud file storage and collaboration company, Dropbox, has appointed Ingram Micro as its distribution partner for Australia and New Zealand, and says it plans to extend the agreement to a number of Asian countries.
Ingram Micro already distributes Dropbox in the US, alongside Synnex, and in several European nations.
Under the ANZ arrangement, companies wanting to sell Dropbox services to businesses will be able to provision access and manage their customers through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace – an online portal through which resellers can provision and manage a range of cloud based IT offerings for businesses.
Resellers of Dropbox services in Australia and New Zealand can presently provide access to Dropbox services for their customers through Dropbox’s own portal, but that access will be blocked and those resellers moved to the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.
Dropbox’s channel chief, Hank Humphreys, said the company had several hundred channel partners in Australia.
“Very soon the only channel to purchase Dropbox in Australia will be to Ingram Micro,” Humphreys said.
“The existing partners will be transitioned to Ingram Micro. We have notified them and identified the transition period.”
He added that businesses could deal direct with Dropbox, but very few other than small ones chose to do so.
“We have 8 million business domains that are using Dropbox, but do not see businesses with more than three of four users coming to us direct.”
He said the company had chosen to work with distributors because it believed this to be the best way to grow the number of channel partners.
“When I joined the company 10 months ago we had 1300 channel partners. We now have 2200, but we want to be working with tens of thousands of partners, or even hundreds of thousands, and we knew that the only way we would be able to do that would be to operate through a distributor.”
In a blog post from December 2015, Dropbox claimed to have more than 150,000 paying business customers, 50,000 of which had signed up in the prior 10 months.
“After examining distribution options we recognised the ability of Ingram Micro to really focus on SaaS distribution,” Humphreys said.
“They are making a lot of strategic bets in the SaaS distribution space, so we decided to go with them as a primary distributor for global reach. They add value in terms of supporting our resellers at scale. It would be very hard for us to scale up to that level of support.”
He said that the company was looking to expand the relationship into Asia with Singapore, Hong Kong and India as the initial targets (Dropbox is already distributed in Japan by Softbank).
He added: “We want to be able to scale in a sensible way. So we will be very dedicated to the ANZ market and want to see some success is that before we look at the places.”
Going forward, Humphreys said Dropbox would be expanding on its collaboration features.
“Over the past few years we have evolved beyond being a file sharing solution to becoming a collaboration platform. We enable users to open up files of any sort, to collaborate with users on any operating system around the world. We have more Office 365 files than Microsoft does in OneDrive.
“We have more Adobe files than Adobe has in their cloud. We are being more used more as a platform than as a simple file storage and sharing service and you expect to see some product releases to emphasise that.”