The Desired Dropbox Alternative

We want to offer the simplicity of the Dropbox connectivity model to corporate storage. The Dropbox model is so very attractive: it’s moderately affordable, easy, and it works. How do we keep all the great parts of that? Counter-thought: what’s wrong with Dropbox that we all so desperately want an alternative? (possible security issues and challenge of central control are the two major things that come to mind, the lack of extending existing corporate storage might be an issue for some, a benefit for others!)

OwnCloudOwncloud, other than the issues of cost, would seem to be a solution ready for taking.

Thoughts:

  • Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android clients, with the same basic simplicity as Dropbox. Users have the control without having to ask an administrator. (Yes, there are both good and bad points to this)
  • Windows Files services assumed, but if the solution were to require Linux or other backend, shouldn’t matter! (as long as we have full control and backup)
  • Users have the ability to extend sharing of anything they have rights to, to others, on staff or not
  • Ability to administratively set and over-ride any user share settings, internal and external
  • All folders and files must fit within the corporate backup mechanism. The “master copy” is on-site
  • Administrative ability to disconnect (remote wipe) in case of lost device or abuse
  • Reporting capabilities? What files accessed by what user or device? What do we want to know about?
  • Additional thought: some way to tag files such that they cannot be shared outside staff? The “company confidential” attribute. Assumption: people can always work around such things. This is more advisory than control, but at least makes sure people are really intentional about the work around
  • Is there any value in extending the concept for ftp-style access?

Thought: If we had a sufficient solution, we could ask people to quit using Dropbox, and they wouldn’t mind. Thinking about how much people love Dropbox, what would that look like?