The UK Competition and Markets Authority has managed to get a promise from BT, Dropbox, Google and Mozy that they will not try to screw over cloudy punters with dodgy terms and conditions.
Apparently the four were compelled to take the pledge after the CMA started peering into cloud service providers’ contract terms and tutting that they discriminated against consumers.
After making its pledge, BT had promised that “free accounts will not be terminated due to inactivity during the first 365 days of the contract”. It has also promised to give 90 days’ notice in writing when it wants to zap unused cloud backup accounts. It also “agreed to amend” its terms and conditions, which at present give it the right to unilaterally change prices on a whim.
Dropbox has promised not to kill customers’ accounts without notice. Apparently that right existed in the terms and conditions and no one spotted it.
Google has agreed to “ensure consumers are given an opportunity to remedy their breaches” before terminating their accounts, as well as giving 30 days’ notice of a price increase “or storage plan decrease”.
The search engine outfit will now ensure that consumers can bring legal proceedings in their local courts and under their local laws if it breaks the terms of its own contract
Mozy, which provides Windows and Mac OS X backup services, made much the same promises as BT and Dropbox.
Ingram Micro has announced an expanded distribution agreement with file sharing and collaboration outfit Dropbox.
The move will see it extending availability to channel partners across Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
The scheme has been operating over the pond in the US and Canada. Ingram Micro said that the expanded agreement will make it the ‘premier distributor’ of Dropbox in the new regions.
Renee Bergeron, vice president, Global Cloud, Ingram Micro said that Dropbox is one of the most widely adopted collaboration platforms on the market, with unique business-focused capabilities that we expect will deliver significant value to our cloud portfolio and global partner community.
“Dropbox and Ingram Micro’s strengthened relationship reaffirms our joint commitment to meet the growing demands of channel partners and their customers for secure and controlled file sharing and collaboration environments. Through this expanded agreement, we will leverage our combined technical capabilities and expertise to build a value-added solution for strategic customer segments and vertical markets.”
Dropbox has been pushing into the enterprise market lately and Ingram Micro says that its channel partners will have greater cross-sell opportunities by attaching Dropbox to Microsoft Office 365 via Ingram Micro’s productivity suite.
Online document-sharing outfit Dropbox has acquired US-Israeli firm CloudOn.
CloudOn is a developer of tools to simplify creating and editing documents on mobile devices.
Financial details were not disclosed but money is believed to have changed hands.
CloudOn will become Dropbox’s first Israeli office and will focus on R&D. Dropbox plans to hire more engineers in Israel following the purchase.
Dropbox is waxing lyrical about what CloudOn brings to the company. It says that the CloudOn team will help build collaboration capabilities into Dropbox.
This means that Dropbox might be moving into end user content creation tools. So far it has Mailbox, a mobile email client, and Carousel, a mobile image viewing application. But nothing like compare to Google Docs or Microsoft’s mobile Office.
CloudOn customers have been told that the service will shut down in the next two months and that no new users will be accepted after today.
What is not clear is where this leaves Dropbox’s developing relationship with Microsoft.
In November, Dropbox teamed up with Microsoft to allow Office software users to manage and share files through Dropbox’s website and mobile app.
Microsoft has its own file sharing solution, OneDrive and did not really need Dropbox. However if Dropbox is heading into application land, one wonders why either side would find a relationship attractive.
Dropbox and Microsoft have signed a deal to integrate their services including Microsoft Office on phones, on tablets and on the internet.
Dropbox currently hosts over 35 billion Office files and 1.2 billion people use Office.
The deal means that you will be able to access Dropbox from Office applications, edit Office files directly from Dropbox and synchronise them across different kinds of devices. You will also be able to share new or edited files from Office apps using the Dropbox sharing features.
Microsoft said it will include the features in its next updates to Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems. These are due in a couple of weeks.
Web integration won’t be available until the first half of next year and Dropbox will make its applications available for Windows Phone and Windows tablet devices.
Dropbox for Business customers need an Office 365 subscription to use the features.
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, said both companies will provide their shared customers with tools to create, share and collaborate across most nearly all devices.
Printing company Canon is offering partners the use of Nuance Scan to Cloud as part of its Imagerunner Advance Multifunctional Devices (MFDs).
This software lets customers turn paper documents into forms that can be edited digitally, which can then be uploaded to the cloud using services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Salesforce. Canon promises that the technology will nicely complement other already available scanning software in the Imagerunner Advance platform, such as Scan Kit and eCopyShareScan.
Scan to Cloud is available to partners from today – and is offered on three, four or five year contracts. Partners can pick whether they want a limited or unlimited amount of scan-to-edit conversions.
Partners will be able to install the software on the MFD’s multifunctional embedded application platform – remotely and without needing access to a server. As a result, according to Canon, installation is cheap as chips and easily scalable for customers. Devices at an organisation can be configured with an all in one utility tool, cutting down on installation times.
Canon exec Daniel Seris pointed out that, as more organisations plan on pushing their businesses to the cloud, there will be loads of physical documents lying around that firms will need to hold onto. They “expect partners to be able to provide them with the best technology to support this trend,” Seris said. “Employees need to access and edit documents whenever and wherever they want, in the office, at home, or on the go,” he added.