Dropbox Extensions another sign that walled gardens won’t fly in enterprise SaaS

Dropbox co-founders Drew Houston (left, center) and Aresh Ferdowski ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq on the day of their March IPO. (Dropbox Photo)

Dropbox plans to unveil several new ties between popular document formats and enterprise-software applications later on Tuesday, part of an overall product design trend that acknowledges how software-as-a-service customers want flexibility from their work tools.

Dropbox Extensions will allow Dropbox users to tap into other formats and services from within the Dropbox console, such as editing a PDF or sending a document out for an e-signature. Initial partners include Adobe, Autodesk, DocuSign, and Vimeo, and others will follow in due course, Dropbox plans to announce in a post.

A new generation of office workers expects to use the tools that make the most sense for themselves and their co-workers, after a decade of poorly designed enterprise software packages forced down their throats. The SaaS revolution, which made it possible to access a well-designed and performant application on a subscription basis, allowed dozens of specialized tools to flourish, and we’re not going back.

An overview of Dropbox Extensions. (Dropbox GIF)

However, while this flexibility is nice, there’s still a need to collaboration across tools without logging into several different services to complete a task. That has led to projects like Dropbox Extensions, which will join similar efforts unveiled earlier this year from Google, Box, and Seattle’s Azuqua to give customers a way to access other popular apps while staying within the workflow that works best for their situation.

The new extensions will become available on November 27th.


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