Dropbox sees travel as a key growth sector and believes its product will transform customer service. Lee Hayhurst reports
Online file hosting giant Dropbox is targeting travel as a key growth sector and is touting itself as the answer to delivering a truly connected customer experience.
Major travel clients already using Dropbox include Expedia, Tui Group and Hyatt, and talks are under way with other major brands.
The technology specialist believes the enterprise version of its service could help transform customer service in travel.
Strategic account executive Tal Pelta said the synching capability of Dropbox, enabling information to be accessed easily across locations and devices, is its main selling point.
He said: “We have talked for so long in travel about the connected travellers and we are still so far away from that experience. The industry is good at designing fantastic apps to allow the customer to do things like checking in online, but the whole journey the consumer takes is so disconnected.”
So why has travel been identified as a promising business sector by Silicon Valley-based Dropbox?
Pelta pointed to the disparate nature of the industry with employees spread out across locations, plus the fact that travel firms need to share lots of data with customers.
Tui came to Dropbox initially to use it as a cloud data storage solution but increasingly it will work with it on transforming the customer experience, said Pelta.
“We are doing a lot of interesting projects around digital concierge services,” he added.
“People can make a booking and the travel firm links it up to a Dropbox folder. Then lots of information about the holiday can be sent to that folder.
“Brochures are not the greatest retail experience. My vision is I walk into a travel agent and there’s an interactive table or iPad that has a map of the world.
“I click on destinations and can click on video or other relevant content, which can be synched to the latest available content by Dropbox.
“We are talking about how you change businesses that have operated in the same way for decades.”
Pelta said the advantage of using Dropbox as opposed to buying cloud storage is that as well as being a data storage solution, which reduces in-house IT infrastructure needs, its B2B product offers administrative controls, data back-up, auditing and security.
It has recently announced it is committed to hosting customer data in Germany by the third quarter of this year.
Pelta added: “We have done some major work around our infrastructure, and the big thing we have done is make our product enterprise ready.”
The service has 500 million subscribers worldwide and is often used within businesses to access and share files even if it is not officially sanctioned by companies. Since the launch of its B2B solution in 2014, Dropbox has been adopted by eight million companies.
In April, Dropbox unveiled Project Infinite, which is aimed at businesses and will give users secure access to all their files regardless of how much hard drive space they have.
Dropbox licences start at £11 per user regardless of the size of company.
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