This week I had a chance to catch up with the folks at Dropbox, it’s been a busy time there with the acquisition of HelloSign and the launch of a radical redesign of the Dropbox for Business UI. I have been following the firm (and in full disclosure was a past advisor to them) for quite a few years and watched their growth and transformation with interest. However, what has most interested me about the company is their corporate culture and their approach to design and product development.
Over time, OneDrive has improved, and its consumer version is now equal to both of its significant rivals. But OneDrive for Business, the commercial version, has struggled to keep pace for several fundamental reasons. The main reason is that it didn’t do an excellent job of syncing files and that it relied on aging SharePoint legacy infrastructure, which wasn’t designed for the cloud. In 2016 Microsoft went as far as to state that OneDrive wasn’t for sharing files at all: that job was for a SharePoint team site. Twelve years on from the first OneDrive release, Box and Dropbox have both had IPOs and now provide file-sharing services to 350,000 businesses between them. At Deep Analysis, our question is whether all that is about is to change. Is OneDrive for Business finally ready for prime time?
To be fair, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been used for a long time in enterprise applications but their usage has really been for really complicated scenarios such as enterprise search (e.g., for for proximity, sounds etc) or sentiment analysis of social media content. But it has never been easy to use machine learning for relatively simpler use cases. Additionally, no vendor provided any SDKs or APIs using which you could use machine learning on your own for your specific use cases.