EXCLUSIVE: Dropbox - In the Kiwi box seat or just dropping by?
- 11 April, 2016 09:00
Hank Humphreys - Head of Global Channel Sales, Dropbox
Dropbox will tap into New Zealand’s “forward thinking” cloud nature, as the tech giant aims to forge a thriving Kiwi channel across the country.
Fresh from announcing a local distribution agreement with Ingram Micro - reported first by Reseller News - the cloud-based file sharing provider is actively targeting all ends of the channel, including managed service providers, system integrators, value-added resellers, telcos and hosters.
“We look for partners that are interested in expanding the types of solutions and services they offer their customers,” says Hank Humphreys, Head of Global Channel Sales, Dropbox, speaking exclusively to Reseller News from the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.
“Some partners help small and mid-market companies and others are focused on enterprise.
“We just launched the Dropbox Partner Network in November, which serves technology partners that can easily integrate Dropbox into their customer's products and resellers interested in offering Dropbox Pro or Dropbox Business standalone or with Office 365, for example.
“What partners will notice is that Dropbox goes beyond file sync and share. Many partners are seeing opportunities to sell Dropbox as a collaboration platform, helping companies better organise their data and improve workflows.”
Specific to New Zealand, Humphreys says Dropbox and Dropbox Business is used across a wide range of industries.
“Locally, Bauer Media Group uses Dropbox Business across A/NZ to redefine it production workflows,” he adds.
“Earth Hour, the world’s largest grassroots environmental campaign, uses Dropbox Business to bring together people across 170+ countries to protect the planet from climate change.
“CSBP Fertilisers uses Dropbox Business with their remote workers offering fail-safe file storage and a simple way to resume work.
“Campaign Monitor uses it with its employees and freelancers because Dropbox Business can be used across devices and platforms.”
Humphreys says the introduction of Ingram Micro will help Dropbox grow its Kiwi business in the coming months, building on a base of over 2,200 partners worldwide and over 500 million users.
“We have a team based in Sydney who manages New Zealand and our business is growing well down there,” he explains.
“Having Ingram Micro on board is part of our overall strategy to further ramp our growth in the country.
“New Zealand customers want local support and representation. Partnering with key resellers in New Zealand, through Ingram’s network, allows Dropbox to find the right balance between global innovation and local presence.
“This multi channel approach is key to Dropbox’s go to market strategy and we are committed to making both customers and partners successful.”
In comparison to both Australian and global operations, Humphreys acknowledges that New Zealand is standalone in terms of go-to-market strategies and how resellers do business, highlighting the need for flexibility in the company’s local channel plans.
“We are looking for a balanced approach where we have global consistencies where possible to help us get reach and scale while also accounting for local needs and conditions,” he explains.
“Our strategy in achieving this is through a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro which allows our partners to reach us through a relationship with Ingram that many of them already have today.
“This allows our partners to utilise purchasing, billing and provisioning services they are familiar with along with valuable services that Ingram offers to support them.”
At a trans-Tasman level, Humphreys says the Dropbox channel team will work with partners on the market approach that is most appropriate for that region, with “specific messaging, collateral and events” that are a best fit for those conditions.
Having held executive positions at Google and IBM, Humphreys is a 16 year veteran of the technology industry, joining Dropbox in 2015 to oversee the company’s growing channel ambitions.
With over 500 million users worldwide, Dropbox is used in 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies, with over 300,000 apps built on the Dropbox Platform.
“Since we started, Dropbox users have created 3.3 billion connections by sharing with each other,” Humphreys adds.
“That’s a 51 percent jump in just the last year. And as new people join, they’re bringing friends, family, and co-workers along.”
Humphreys says 44 percent of new accounts were opened when existing users introduced people to Dropbox, making for an “even more creative and collaborative community”.
From a channel perspective, Humphreys says Dropbox’s 2,200 partner base is comprised mostly of smaller MSPs and hosters, with the company naming former Infor Channels and Alliances Manager Greg Kieser as Head of Partner Sales across Australia and New Zealand.
“We truly value the relationships we have with our channel partners and are committed to their success,” Humphreys adds.
“Our partners see the real value in Dropbox as a collaboration platform which helps them have conversations beyond server migration and backup/data archival.
“The New Zealand market is very forward thinking when it comes to cloud and we see this a real positive for channel partners who have ‘cloud first’ conversations with their customers.”