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Dropbox Channel Chief: Monetization 'More Rapid Than Expected'

By Craig Galbraith
April 28, 2016 - Article
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Craig GalbraithOn the job for almost a year, Hank Humphreys, Dropbox’s channel chief, has some big goals. You can set the bar high when your service is being used in 8 million businesses every day and your number of partners is growing at an exponential rate.

The file hosting provider is making a huge push in the channel.

Dropbox's Hank Humphreys“Originally, when Dropbox started its partner program in June of 2013, we were out recruiting partners focused mostly on MSPs, small VARs and the like," said Humphreys. "It took a couple of years to get any kind of scale. In the past 10 months, the number of partners that we have worked with has almost doubled — and it’s all inbound. So we are continuing to get interest, and that to me that is an indication that they’re seeing demand in the marketplace for a file-sharing type of solution."

We sat down with Humphreys earlier this month at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit (where he gave a stage presentation) in Phoenix. The following is edited for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: You talked on stage a little bit about the ways that partners can make some significant money with Dropbox through integrations, not to mention your rapidly growing client base.

Humphreys: Dropbox is inside 8 million businesses a day and Dropbox itself has been working over the past three years to look at how we can monetize that. Monetization of the consumer product is happening at a much more rapid pace than we anticipated.

So, we’ve added 150,000 paying customers in three years and we’re adding to that tens of thousands of new customers every quarter. That’s an opportunity we’re passing on to the channel. And so to support that with multi-tier distribution, we’re putting margin into the ecosystem – which we feel is best in class – allowing some really good upfront margin. Even beyond that, I think one of the core values for monetization comes in services. So we have services around data migration, services around product implementation, support training, etc.

A lot of partners are seeing success by adding managed services simply just on top of Dropbox in combination with other products. The product sets that we will be releasing in the near future require even more services, so we are looking at how we take our knowledge of the services we provide to our customers today and package that and give it to our partner ecosystem for them to provide the services on our behalf. So the first example of that is in November of last year, we announced Dropbox Enterprise, which is a version of our product that has a lot of the services bundled and wrapped along with ...

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