Dropbox reseller program launches in company's bid for business customers

The new formal Dropbox reseller program features dedicated account managers, lead registration and margins as high as 25%.

With 150 partners in tow, Dropbox Inc., the online file storage, sync and sharing vendor, today launched the Dropbox Partner Network Reseller Program for U.S.-based managed service providers, IT consultants and value-added resellers. The company has future plans for expansion outside of the U.S.

Dropbox has been working with a community of partners to build a program that includes dedicated partner account managers (PAMs); a partner portal for lead registration, purchasing and e-management; and training, sales and marketing resources. The goal is to meets the needs of both the Dropbox reseller community and business customers -- a market the company is aggressively pursuing.

"We've built this program with an integrated approach from Day 1 and view our channel as an extension of our sales team," said Kevin Egan, vice president of sales at Dropbox.

Egan said that with 2 million unique business customers worldwide and adoption in 95% of Fortune 500 companies, there was increasing demand from resellers to offer the product.

Over the past few months, Dropbox has been lining up its ducks for a bigger move on the business market. In February, the company introduced an administration console and sharing controls for simplified management of its Dropbox for Teams, which was launched at the end of 2011. In April, the company announced single sign-on (SSO) and changed the product name to Dropbox for Business. SSO became available last month.

In addition to the administration and management tools for IT visibility, and security and data protection features, the product also touts Active Directory integration for account provisioning and SSO.

Beverly Wyman, president of The Top Floor, a business computer solutions business in Middlebury, Vt., said that in the past she cautioned customers about putting critical data in the public cloud, even when answering inquiries specifically about Dropbox.

"I've loosened up my advice since then as I [become more trusting in] the cloud and services like Dropbox. It's so convenient," she said.

How does a Dropbox reseller program sound to Wyman? Worth checking out, she said.

Solution providers can join the Dropbox reseller program online. New partners are required to undergo training that entails meeting with a PAM to learn about the program, company and product. Dropbox will make a product demo available for new partners.

Adam Nelson, Dropbox channel partner lead, said that partners can earn between 15% and 25% margin on product sales, depending on a partner's standing in the program. Standing will be based on the number of end-user seats sold or the number of account sales. There are currently no quota levels.

The company is building its sales team internally to accommodate partner growth, but Nelson said it has enough capacity to handle additional partner sign-ups. The company wouldn't say how many partners it hoped to bring into the new program.

While Nelson didn't specify the company's rules of engagement, he did say that partners made it clear from the get-go that they wanted to own the client relationship. "All deals registered to a partner will go to that partner," he said.

In terms of existing business user accounts, Dropbox will transfer an account to a partner at the request of the customer.

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