On Tuesday, the San Francisco file hosting service announced the launch of Dropbox Education, a version of its service designed for educational institutions. The new service has most of the features of the company’s offering for business customers, but at a much lower fee. Priced at $49 annually per user, it comes with volume-based discounts based on deployment size.
The cloud storage provider said that Dropbox Education is designed to help staff and faculty at colleges and universities “stay productive”. The notable feature of the service seems to be the ability to retrieve deleted files or older versions of documents at any time within a year. According to PC Magazine, the company said that as educational institutions deploy the service, they will benefit from features that have made the file hosting service essential for thousands of institutions.
The San Francisco, California-based cloud file syncing and sharing service has already been investing in the education sector with some 4,000 institutions using its service. Previously revealed partnerships with Synnex and Ingram Micro will help deliver the solution into colleges and universities worldwide. Computer World notes that Dropbox Education is customized to closely track to the security, management and collaboration needs of educational institutions.
The new service is focused on higher education, specifically faculty, though the firm says it will be working on ways to roll it out to students in the future. There are also reportedly talks of extending the service for K-12 institutions as well.
The cloud storage provider has long been split into two primary services: one aimed at businesses and one aimed at consumers. Dropbox is now launching a third offering just for educational institutions and their staff. At $49 annual fee per user, the service includes one year of version history and deleted files; compliance with security standards and regulations; sharing permissions and activity supervising through an Admin Console; and 15 GB of storage per user.
Venture Beat notes that the move is unusual for the company. It has previously directed users to Enterprise, Pro and Business tiers, but has not offered services for individual industries with special prices. Jason Katcher, director of Dropbox Education said that with this new industry-specific effort, the number of educational institutions that use the company’s service will only increase.
Katcher said that this is just the first version of the cloud offering and it is focused at a pretty small niche. ESG Senior Analyst Terri McClure said that the cloud storage provider is in a strong position to sell to institutions, since a large number of consumers are already using it.
Dropbox has introduced a new service to help college faculty, graduate students and staff collaborate on files when they are at school. The company is making it cheaper for schools to live in the cloud. It is making universities and colleges its target with the new offering. The new service could give the company a stronger foothold in the lucrative education market at a time when it is working hard to broaden its presence beyond a huge user base of its free service.
By Anila Maring
Photo Courtesy Dropbox