Dropbox, one of the most popular cloud storage solutions for consumers and businesses, has been around since 2007. Dropbox enterprise — also referred to as Dropbox Business — is their business-focused product, and while it’s also popular, it may not be right for every organization. Some companies may find the following to be shortcomings where their particular needs are concerned:
- It doesn’t have a centralized content repository that unifies all the existing cloud storage services (like Google Drive or Box) that different departments in the organization may use. Instead, if your enterprise is using Dropbox, everything has to be in Dropbox. So, switching to Dropbox for Business means a large organization-wide migration of content from all other sources into Dropbox.
- Its interface can’t be customized according to user workflows — it follows a traditional folder structure to store files. For example, the marketing team can’t have a separate interface than the HR team.
- Dropbox’s ability to give detailed analysis on content usage by its end users is minimal.
Dropbox has also been in the spotlight for some security issues, specifically the August 2016 incident where 68 million passwords were leaked on the Internet. Then in 2017, users claimed that long-ago deleted files mysteriously reappeared without users reclaiming the files in their Dropbox accounts because of a security issue.
If your organization is looking for Dropbox enterprise alternatives, this article will present four options: Bigtincan, pCloud, Google Drive, and Box for Business. We’ll start with Bigtincan, and discuss in detail how it compares to Dropbox in the following areas:
- Unified content repository/file management
- Advanced search
- User interface
- Content usage analytics
- Team collaboration
- Security features
Note: If you have any questions regarding how Bigtincan can help your enterprise with cloud storage, data security, and team collaboration, get them answered by booking a demo.
In large organizations, it’s common for hundreds of employees to create and share thousands of documents across many shared cloud drives like Google Drive or OneDrive. As a result, content becomes dispersed and finding the right file becomes tedious or impossible. Employees then resort to asking their colleagues about the location of the files on Slack or email and wait for a response and waste time or use outdated versions of the content that don’t comply with their organizational standards. Having a content management solution that can manage files that live on any cloud storage platform, not just their own, is critical to solving this “dispersed content” problem.
Aggregate content from 40+ repositories such as Sharepoint, Google Docs, Box, OneDrive and more
Bigtincan indexes files in any repository so users can find, edit, share, and update files that live in any other repository (of the 40 we connect to). That means your teams can continue using any of the above-mentioned repositories — they don’t have to necessarily use Bigtincan’s default repository, which is usually the case with most other file sync and share systems.
So the HR team can continue creating onboarding documents in Google Docs (without uploading them on Bigtincan), and Bigtincan will still search, index, and surface the most relevant documents and files to the end user.
Take the file ‘Sales Cycle Analysis’, pictured here, as an example. It could be a Word file, whereas ‘Increase Position in market share’ could be a Google Doc, and they still show up in the same interface.
All the content can be managed and accessed from one single place, regardless of where it lives.
This means employees don’t have to change their workflows and processes. There’s no need to blast announcements saying that “From now on, all of our content will be stored on Google Drive.”
Store information and data within a three-level hierarchy system — not within infinite folders
Most Dropbox alternatives require the users to store all content within folders, which is fine if you want to organize just tens or hundreds of files.
But when there are hundreds of teams with thousands of employees, there can be easily a million files to sort through and organize. It’s not reasonable at this scale to expect organizations with thousands or tens of thousands of employees to follow all file-to-folder rules and conventions. Employees will end up spending a lot of time searching for files and have to constantly ask around with questions like, “Where is the file again?” or, “Which folder should I look into?”, effectively wasting company time and resources.
In contrast, Bigtincan adopts a simple three-tier hierarchy of tabs, channels, and stories that make management, access, and data storage easier.
Tabs are the first level in the hierarchy. They are a group of channels. For example, an organization has a Product A, which has three product lines x, y, and z. So each of these product lines can be channels, and the main group of these lines could be the ‘Product A’ tab.
Channels come second, and they are a group of stories. Continuing the example above, Product line x may be a group of various stories, like product brochures, pricing plans, and customer testimonial videos.
Stories are the last level in the hierarchy system. Stories consist of documents, voice notes, PDFs, or images.
This three-tiered approach, combined with Bigtincan’s powerful search (discussed below) is a far simpler method of organizing large amounts of files than using an elaborate web of folders inside folders. The rules are far simpler (all Product A content goes in the Product A tab) and employees primarily use search to find specific files.
Bigtincan offers over 100+ out-of-the-box integrations that enhance employee productivity.
It is also Apple’s Mobility Partner Program that helps Bigtincan take full advantage of the latest iOS updates. System updates can cause headaches to the IT team since many times, apps crash or stop working after an update. So it’s a big deal because it allows IT teams to focus on the work at hand instead of resolving crashing issues.
Check out Bigtincan’s complete list of integrations here.
Dropbox has an impressive list of integrations, but it doesn’t act as a central repository to aggregate and unify all the content from various other cloud storage services. This means, if different departments in your enterprise use various repositories like Google Drive or OneDrive, either the employees using Dropbox won’t have visibility to those files or all that content has to be migrated to Dropbox first.
The latter — migrating everything to Dropbox — often demands department wide behavior change. That means employees that have been used to processes that involve storing and dealing with files in one repository have to retool their processes to adapt to a new one (like Dropbox).
Any file share and sync or content management system has a basic ‘search’ functionality — but when there are thousands (or millions) of files to be searched from numerous folders, basic search doesn’t work. Large organizations need advanced features where employees can find the right file in just a few clicks.
Highly intuitive and sophisticated search
Bigtincan’s powerful search does a full-text search (even for PDFs and images) and surpasses the need to dig deep in a byzantine folder-within-folder system to find the most updated file within seconds.
Here are a few more advanced features of Bigtincan’s search:
- It always recommends the most updated version of any file. For example, if employees search for ‘Culture Handbook V2.0’, it will automatically suggest an updated version ‘Culture Handbook V3.0’ if it exists from any repository, even when employees have no idea that it was updated.
- Bigtincan can recommend similar kinds of files that might be of importance to the user. Notice in the image below, when the user searches for ‘Story Arc 1 for Bigtincan Experiences’, we see the related content is ‘Why Bigtincan 2020’ and other documents under the ‘Related Content’ bar.
- Because Bigtincan does full-text search (as opposed to only searching filenames), it doesn’t even require admins to add metadata. You can completely do away with tagging, though it is optional.
- To simplify search, Bigtincan offers ‘Bookmarks Stack’ where users can store content that they commonly and regularly need, which they can access from anywhere offline. For example, an insurance salesperson may have five files that they need to share with their customers on every visit. The sales rep can add these five files to the bookmark stack and use them whenever needed.
- Search results factor in which documents or files are performing well among the users (for example, the product e-book is contributing to more leads than product keynote) and surface assets accordingly.
- Because Bigtincan’s search is AI-powered, it suggests search results based on employee and CRM data. It takes into account all the files you’ve searched for in the past and uses advanced algorithms to intuitively suggest what you're likely looking for. The three-tier hierarchy (explained above) also helps in better search because there aren’t fifteen layers of folders to dig through.
Dropbox can also do a full-text search and can suggest recently updated versions of documents (though users may have to sort a list of options by ‘date modified’ to find the latest file), but as far as we’re aware, it doesn’t suggest related documents.
As discussed above, Dropbox adopts a traditional folder-based approach where every file is stored in specific folders. There are no restrictions on the number of folders users can create, and the interface can’t be customized. As a result, it looks the same across organizations, departments, and teams. At the most, users can pin, star or bookmark important content, but that’s it.
Bigtincan’s UI is infinitely customizable down to the last pixel
In Bigtincan, teams can create familiar-looking interfaces or custom-tailored layouts to match their team’s workflows which is impossible to do on Dropbox. In addition, they can entirely brand and customize the dashboard (and the entire UI’s look and feel) so that it looks like it was purpose-built for your enterprise.
The customized layouts and user interfaces means that even before employees search for any documents they want, the homepage of Bigtincan can be designed to display the most relevant files and sections. For example, retail sales employees (working in a physical store) may need a homepage that has a running feed of the latest product promotions and updates to be the most useful (example image below).
Because of the down-to-the-pixel level of customization, many organizations that are looking to build their own platform with a strong preference for an on-brand look and feel can instead opt for Bigtincan. This way businesses can avoid going through the long and resource-intensive process of developing and maintaining their own content management platform.
Here’s a look at the default Bigtincan’s homepage:
Here’s an example of a modified version of that homepage, still branded to Bigtincan:
In the image above, “Tasks” and “Calendar” sections are called micro-apps. Every micro-app helps to customize the workflow of the team. So say the budget head needs to calculate the total expense at the end of the day, they can add an expense calculator micro-app on their homepage.
Bigtincan offers pre-set templates that your teams can choose from or our Global Services team can help design a home screen that fits your use-cases, needs, and branding.
Plus, Bigtincan is made mobile-first, in contrast to other apps built for desktop and web use and then adopted for mobile. This means Bigtincan’s file browsing is simple, presentations and Google Slides look beautiful and work exactly the same way they would on desktop and web.
Finally, we’ve noticed that users often need the best offline functionality. So we designed our AI engine that automatically puts old or unused files into the cloud and downloads the most important files you may need regularly so that the Bigtincan app runs smoothly even without an internet connection.
Case study: How American Express Global Travel adopted Bigtincan to create a custom HTML experience for its sellers
With 18,000 employees spread over 140 countries, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is a travel management company that sells end-to-end business travel solutions like:
- Quick and easy booking technology for business trips
- Travel consulting which includes negotiating the best terms with suppliers
- Venue sourcing services that provide the perfect venue for business meets at affordable rates
- Air, car, hotel, rail, and ground travel transportation booking functionality available on a single interface
GBT offers 20+ travel technology products that simplify travel solutions. When GBT’s salespeople had to do demos for these 20+ products, they faced two specific challenges.
- They had to do a lot of pre-demo setup — check the WiFi, connect the laptop to the client’s presentation setup, and manage other logistics.
- Sales reps had no centralized location where they could store all their sales content. Because of this, they had to manage a lot of different passwords and ask for access, all of which took too much time.
In addition to this, they had to constantly switch between different programs (e.g. PowerPoint, videos, PDFs) while presenting which was frustrating. In fact, since there was no standardized location or format for video files, some sellers would even upload videos to a private YouTube channel and then present those in the demos.
How Bigtincan’s customizable interface functionality helped GBT overcome its challenges
With Bigtincan, American Express GBT built a customized and interactive HTML experience for their sales reps, where they were able to:
- Create a beautiful UI for their sales reps that provided important information and content on GBT’s travel technology’s products. This also benefited GBT because the HTML experience seen by clients during the demo and an on-brand presentation made more impact than putting together some information on a PPT and presenting it.
- Avoid the hassle of creating a custom website for their sellers (which was the organization’s initial thought so that all the content could be uploaded on the website itself). A website would have been too resource intensive (e.g. maintenance and development costs). In addition, a custom home-built website wouldn’t have been able to work offline and not measure content usage (which we cover below) that Bigtincan was able to do.
- Have a single location to find information and content on all 20+ different products quickly (because the HTML experience was exclusively made for sales reps, they didn’t have to ask for permissions and manage multiple passwords).
- Easily find any file in any format (PDFs, Videos, or Images) across laptops, smartphones, or tablets and hence not spend too much time in switching to different formats while doing demos.
Overall, American Express GBT has loved using Bigtincan for content management for their sales team. They feel they’ve won more business, improved at resonating with their clients, and now they can provide an easy environment for their sales reps to find what they need and create interactive demos.
Bigtincan’s dynamic reporting
Bigtincan provides granular data on how teams use the content. Engagement analytics help team leads and managers understand what works and what does not — all in an easy-to-read format.
For example, Bigtincan’s dynamic reporting can give data on:
- When a file/document was opened by users?
- How long did they spend on each document or a video?
- How much time did they spend on each section of the document? (Say, the HR team sends a document on ‘Policies’, they can know that maximum employees are spending most time reading the ‘Leave Policy’ amongst all other policies)
- Which day of the week saw the highest consumption of a particular file?
- What were the most viewed and most shared files?
These analytics help team leads, content management teams, and marketers create specific assets that are truly valuable for the employees.
So, for example, marketers can know which documents star reps use so that other sellers may also benefit from those assets. Likewise, HR teams can look at detailed insights on employees spending time on ‘5 ways to present ideas’ or ‘Company Success Stories’ and create similar material to keep employees engaged.
Bigtincan’s gamification system: Social IQ and Content IQ
Social IQ measures actions taken by users to engage with the content, for example:
- Creating content
- Consuming/viewing the content
- Rating content
- Subscribing or unsubscribing to content and many more
Each of these actions is given ‘scores’ or ‘badges’. So for example, an admin can decide that creating content will be measured by 5 points. Rating content could be 2 points. The total Social IQ score helps admins understand the level of interaction of a particular employee.
Content IQ measures two important factors:
Popularity of the content: For example, a file titled ‘List of Holidays 2022’ may receive many likes. A newsletter on ‘Enhance your soft skills’ may receive a lot of subscribers. ‘5 ways to present better’ may receive maximum ratings and a lot of bookmarks. This in turn helps enterprises create similar assets for better content engagement.
For example, notice the yellow bar title ‘Viral’ (top left corner of all files) in the image above. These stories have earned the ‘viral’ badge because of a combination of various user interactions (likes, comments, etc., measured via the parameters of Content IQ score).
Value of the content: The Content IQ may measure that only 29% of content was determined useful, organizations may decide to improve or enhance the content that’s under-utilised. Or remove it from the system altogether. Or refresh outdated content that might still be used by employees.
In the Content IQ settings page, admins assign weights to various actions that can be taken like viewing a file or authoring a document may get badges or assigned points. Bigtincan considers all these actions, uses sophisticated formulae and calculates the Content IQ score. These scores are used to recommend stories and rank them on the Bigtincan platform.
Though Dropbox enterprise provides an audit log on data like total storage space used by your team, the total number of people who took action on a file for the last 28 days like viewing, editing, and sharing a file, and from which devices where members logged in — it may not be granular enough for your needs.
If you want to know specific data on which day the file was viewed the most, you would have to calculate it manually. Also, Dropbox can’t yet measure how many minutes of a video was seen by the user.
Finally, there is no gamification, rating method, and labeling system like Bigtincan to understand how much value the content is creating for an employee or how employees are engaging with the content.
Team collaboration is a strong point for both Dropbox enterprise and Bigtincan.
Both have in-built chat options, the ability to tag/@mention team members on files, co-author and co-edit documents (especially with Dropbox Paper), add tables, embed links, annotate directly on files, and even have video conferencing meets.
Dropbox offers users the ability to preview files without opening them, which is a favorite feature for many Dropbox users.
Microsites: Personalized content pages that help customize shared content in an easy-to-navigate interface
In addition to the above features, Bigtincan allows users to create their own microsites. Say the marketing department wants to make a news portal — it can create a microsite with recent company updates that employees can consume from one place whenever they want to.
For example, if you are a sales-based organization, your sales rep can create a personalized microsite for their buyers that they can consume in a non-linear way. Here the seller can bundle up essential content like PDFs, white papers, and videos for the buyers to view.
After the microsite is created, the sales rep has to just create a link and share it with the buyer. Bigtincan will notify the seller whenever the buyer views any content or how many minutes they spent with the content.
Bigtincan’s microsite is similar to Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs) where sales teams can store their sales assets that a potential prospect needs and share these assets with one simple link.
Though designed for sales teams, DSRs can be used by all departments and teams to avoid endless email chains with multiple attachments. They also provide in-depth data on how users are engaging with the data sent to them via a DSR link.
Video call hosting and advanced analytics
Bigtincan has a built-in video meeting software similar to Microsoft or Zoom. Attendees can join the meeting without downloading any app — they just need a link. In addition, the meeting host can record the call and even view engagement analytics.
With Bigtincan Engagement Hub, hosts and admins can view who’s engaged with a video presentation in real-time.
For example, if you are presenting and an attendee opens another tab or checks emails, Engagement Hub sends you a notification about which participant is unengaged so you can get their attention back.
Even post-call, hosts or presenters can see how many people were engaged via a visual engagement graph as shown above. The engagement graph measures average engagement levels as well as engagement levels of every participant at each moment during the entire call. The above mentioned video calling analytics aren’t currently offered by Dropbox.
Share files of any size
Both Dropbox business and Bigtincan offer unlimited cloud storage but while Dropbox has a limit of 100GB per transfer, Bigtincan can transfer files of any size.
Bigtincan offers three plans for enterprises: Bigtincan Enterprise, Bigtincan Ultimate, and Bigtincan Ultimate Plus — available information on all three plans here.
After Dropbox enterprise’s multiple security issues, it has taken severe measures to provide strong security to its users. For example, with its acquisition of HelloSign, Dropbox lets you e-sign and send important documents critical to your business and even store them for further use within the app.
Because enterprise security has to be stringent, most enterprise cloud storage options offer a complete and robust set of security features to protect critical corporate data, and so do Dropbox and Bigtincan.
Some of the common security features between them are:
- Remote wipe
- Version history and file recovery for 180 days
- Advanced sharing permissions and the ability to disable downloads
- 2FA (Two-factor authentication)
- Expiry links
- Granular permissions
- HIPAA compliance
- 256-bit data encryption (AES)
- Single sign-on & SAML support
In addition to the above, Bigtincan also has SOX, HIPAA, PCI, and FISMA compliance.
Other features of Bigtincan
Bigtincan’s document automation functionality easily pulls data from connected sources to generate customized, data-driven documents and presentations on the fly and places them into dynamic templates.
Sales presentations, pitchbooks, proposals, client reports, and many other documents take just a few minutes to create with intelligent document automation instead of days and weeks. Users can also add automated charts, images, texts, and graphs.
There’s more to Bigtincan’s document automation software that you can read about here in detail.
Mobile-first and offline functionality
All the features mentioned above are available offline across mobile devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets in Bigtincan. This means that employees can interact and work with any file they want, including access to the fully-functional search features, from any location even when there’s no internet available. Read more about Bigtincan’s mobile app and its content management features here.
Want to know more about Bigtincan and see if it’s the right fit for your organization? Request a demo now.
Other Dropbox alternatives
pCloud is a cloud storage, file sharing, syncing, and collaboration platform for securely sharing files amongst colleagues.
It comes with the following functionalities:
- File storage in one secure place and accessible at any location from any device.
- Real-time file syncing and unlimited file size transfers (that only a few cloud storage platforms provide).
- Various access levels to different team members.
- Security features:
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Two-factor authorization
- Backup of deleted files for thirty days
- TLS/SSL encryption
- Files are encrypted with client-side encryption (which means only the enterprise will have the keys for file decryption)
- Integrates and syncs with third-party repositories like Google Drive (also the whole G-Suite), Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox to search, surface, and access files.
- Collaboration features like ‘Invite to folder’ where users can collaborate on file without downloading the file.
- Digital Asset Management where businesses can store assets under their exclusive branding.
Many users comment positively about its affordable business plan’s pricing, storage capabilities, and data security, which you can read on pCloud’s G2 reviews.
Box Business offers businesses content sharing and collaboration features and has around 41 million users.
Box Business comes with the following features:
- Native integration to Google Suite, Office 365, and other major integrations that you can view here.
- In-built task manager and note-taking software through which employees can collaborate directly on the notes/docs.
- Synchronization options like block-level sync, selective sync, and ‘sync any folder’ that work on Android and iOS platforms.
- Folder hierarchy to store and manage large files but an intelligent UI that helps users find files quickly.
- Simple and secure file sharing with sharing link options to control access.
- Set automated tasks (For example, create reminders to view documents and leave feedback or approve certain regulatory documents).
- AES-256 encryption, SSL/TLS security, granular permissions, and BoxShield that easily detects threats.
- Offline access to content on Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows (but allows only folders to move offline, if a file has to be moved, it has to be copy-pasted).
- Unlimited storage plans for two products: Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.
Users seem to particularly like Box’s drag and drop feature and its ability to create automated workflows, as seen from their G2 reviews.
Google Drive is an offering from Google Workspace which also offers Gmail, Google Meet, GCal, and Google Sheets as a part of its comprehensive business suite.
Features of Google Workspace:
- Vault for drive helps in data retention and offers audit trails like document views, shares, and exports.
- Quick Access, a powerful ML-based search feature that helps users find the right file based on drive activity and workday patterns.
- Shared spaces or shared drives that help users have access to files in an easy-to-manage and secure way while also enhancing productivity with project management tools.
- Essential integrations like DocuSign for e-signatures, CloudCharts for enhanced security, and LucidCharts for mock-ups, Adobe InDesign for design, etc.
- Data loss prevention, expiry date on files, ability to keep files private, powerful access controls on file shares, and other security features that you can read about here.
We’ve also written an in-depth post about the pros and cons of Google Drive for enterprises. Read it here.
From many G2 reviews, Google Workspace is liked by large-sized organizations and is often praised for the entire ecosystem it provides for its collaboration features and affordable pricing.
Want to learn how Bigtincan can work for your organization? Book a demo today.