Ahead of his appearance at TechWeek Frankfurt, Dropbox’s Marc Paczian discusses the company’s new smart workplace application
When Dropbox first launched its groundbreaking file sync and share app in March 2008, it was just over a year since Apple launched the first iPhone. Just as the iPhone heralded a now-ubiquitous feature of our daily lives – the smartphone, Dropbox represented one of the earliest examples of a SaaS application aimed squarely at improving workplace productivity.
Fast forward to the present day, and there is a bewildering assortment of cloud-based software applications vying for employee attention and promising to make their lives easier. Firms are swimming in a sea of applications and each on average relies on over 150 to stay productive, according to Okta. Because of this oversupply, productivity is, in fact, being hamstrung. Employees have hundreds of tabs open, each bombarding them with notifications and forcing them to switch environments.
There are countless studies that quantify the detrimental effect of ‘app overflow’. To take one, in 2012, McKinsey discovered that more than 60 percent of knowledge workers’ time is spent performing ‘work about work’ – including finding information, sending emails and coworker coordination. All important, but none expressing their distinguishing skills. This effectively means that for three days of the week knowledge workers are not utilising the knowledge that gets them hired to begin with.
For Dropbox, whose whole raison d’être is to improve the workplace experience, enough is enough. In a significant departure from its file hosting origins the company is entering the market with a new ‘smart workplace’ product called Dropbox Spaces, announced last month, which it hopes will consolidate today’s complexity.
“What we are saying is that we’ve reached a point where we just have to do something about it,” explains Marc Paczian, solutions architect at Dropbox.
Space for change
Spaces, also the first foreground app Dropbox has created, ultimately aims to be an intelligent alternative to Windows Explorer, integrating every workplace application in your toolkit to your files and folders (and vice versa). The application has three core elements, each serving to, as Marc says, “bring your content to life.”