Likelihood to Recommend
Dropbox Business is an excellent tool for organizing files transmitted among multiple people. Users can upload files to an uploaded folder, protected by the service’s high security. Its stability allows us to be more productive. Intuitive system integration and numerous sharing options are provided. Dropbox Business streamlines and organizes my file-sharing, storage, and saving procedures. It has also been updated to make adding and removing users easier. My experience with Dropbox Business has been nothing but positive since I began using it. For the price, it’s better than
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IBM Connections is well suited for larger organizations that need an internal social networking tool and are willing to deal with IBM and the complexity of the software. It is less appropriate for smaller organizations and those who don't want to deal with the complexity, or IBM's awful customer service and prices.
Read full review Pros It enables us to share documents and workflow to all employees for whom access is allowed regardless of where in the world they may be located. Dropbox Business provides a means to safely store our documents without having to have physical copies. Dropbox also allows for easy organization of our documents in folders and such in the system. Read full review The plugin for MS Office/Explorer has made saving and sharing working documents extremely convenient for me and my close colleagues The newsfeed feature conveniently aggregates updates from the communities/people you follow. It's nice not to have to jump from community to community to see what's going on in the organization The various apps can be used for several purposes. A little creativity goes a long way when establishing what type of information the apps can be useful for communicating Read full review Cons I deeply dislike the navigation. I find it very clunky and hard and not intuitive. A few years ago Dropbox redesigned its navigation and I'm frequently at a loss to figure out where to access the option I need. It should be quicker and easier to figure out how to send a file. I wish I could do that from the drop-down menu in my taskbar under the Dropbox logo. I wish I had the option under the same drop-down menu in my taskbar under the Dropbox logo to go to where the files are on my laptop, which I find much easier to navigate. Read full review The lack of a note-taking tool became a bigger and bigger issue as time went on. Our pilot users felt Connections was a natural place to take and share meeting notes – including photos, drawings, recorded audio, etc. – and were always frustrated that there was no easy, organized way to do that. We tried using a Blog, Wiki, etc. but nothing really resonated as a good solution for this. The Wiki tool is weak, providing rigid structure but with few options. A Community can only have a single Wiki, for instance. Wikis are weak in the mobile app as well; they’re not even easy to navigate. Users ended up ignoring Wikis completely despite our efforts to get them to convert documents like guidelines, policies, procedures, handbooks, etc. into Wiki form. The Windows Explorer plug-in was useful but required a lot of manual intervention to setup. For instance, once a user joins a Community in Connections, the Community also has to be manually added to the Explorer plug-in so the user can find, open and edit files with it. We felt this process should be much more automated. Tagging is only relevant in the web UI and, to a lesser extent, in the mobile app. However, in the Windows Explorer plug-in, Tags are not usable at all making it difficult to find things that were easy to find in the web UI. IBM Docs was not included in the on-premises deployment; it was an additional license so we did not test it. Documents, mainly Microsoft Office files, are still the single most common way our user community creates, shares, edits and presents information. That proved to be a major gap for our users, and slowed user adoption considerably. We considered testing it, but IBM Docs would only work for about half of our users so we found ourselves wondering if we really wanted to support two document editing platforms. IBM Docs also offers no way to work offline as far as we could tell. This also meant we would need to keep licensing Microsoft Office which is not cheap. Consulting costs are high because the back-end environment is complex. Installing, administrating and even patching Connections is a fairly complex process. We needed to hire consultants to install our test environment and any major upgrades would’ve required additional consulting fees. Any 3rd party add-ons we looked at were highly technical in nature meaning…you guessed it, more consulting costs. Administrating IBM Connections requires editing XML files in a specific, secure way that is typically done in a console. I love consoles as much as the next admin, but when you only use a console once every 2 months it means looking up all the documentation and re-educating yourself. A single change could take me 2 hours to implement. 3rd party admin dashboards do exist, at an additional cost, but IBM really should provide a much easier way to manage the environment. The lack of in-person or online training courses, materials, videos, etc. really discouraged a lot of users. The only decent training we could find (marketing videos aside) was a single video series on Lynda.com which, of course, was an additional cost. In the end that video didn’t really help our users much beyond introductory concepts. IBM includes reporting, but it’s a massive Cognos system requiring some serious hardware and Cognos expertise. We had neither, and would have ultimately opted for a 3rd party add-on for reporting and statistics. An often overlooked concern is eDiscovery. Our contracted eDiscovery service extensively works with various ECMs, but had no idea how they would handle Connections data. The cloud version of Connections offers an add-on for eDiscovery, but as far as we could tell IBM offered nothing for on-premises deployments. Read full review Likelihood to Renew
Dropbox is very expensive and its price is not as competitive as it was. We are looking for an alternative that will enable as to subscribe more users at a more affordable cost. Also, we did not like Dropbox customer service, and felt that they should have found a way to compensate us for some of the damage they were responsible for when restoring our data.
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Connections has continued to more than meet our needs from a collaboration point of view and we are currently working on integration with our IBM Websphere portal platform to provide an integrated collaboration solution. This scenario will provide our users the best both products have to offer in a single interface.
Read full review Usability
Well-designed, smart, packed with functionality without being overwhelming—Dropbox knows what they are doing and they do it well. They know what users want from the service and they make sure that all the normal use cases are intuitive and at your fingertips. I have never had a hard time finding things with Dropbox and I think their usability is excellent.
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Connections combines all the most useful abilities from various social networks. This makes it useful of course, but it also reduces user adoption time initially by allowing users to get comfortable with basic features. Once they are comfortable, it's easy for users to start exploring. They find new people in the organization to contact, new sources of information, etc. Before you know it, about half of the users are contributing back in some form -- and all with little or no training needed by IT.
Read full review Reliability and Availability
At least once a week the app crashes on my computer and causes files to stop syncing. It is an easy fix to re-open the app, however I have to notice the app stopped working to realize it needs to be reopened.
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Once Connections was installed, patched, etc. it was ALWAYS up. We only had to bring it down for OS updates to the servers. That seems to be typical of anything that runs on WebSphere; it's bulletproof and could probably run for months and years if the underlying OS didn't require constant patching.
Read full review Performance
The Dropbox site and tools load in a reasonable amount of time. I don't feel like their site and app performance is any better or worse than any other paid product that I've seen offered by any other large company. Compared to a competing product like
, the performance is probably about the same.
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IBM Connections web UI, mobile app (data sync to / from the device), and file transfer speeds were almost always very fast. It was rare for a slow-down of any kind, even when doing searches.
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I give it a nine because I haven't ever had to use the support or help. I would give it a ten but since I've never had to use them, I can't really give a full review of how their support works. I've talked to market research teams from Dropbox about new features, but have not had to get any assistance with a problem yet.
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IBM Support has ALWAYS been quick to respond, regardless of the product. Even first level techs seldom provide "canned" responses and they really try to help. If they can't help, they don't wallow around but engage the right person immediately. It's very rare that the first level tech needs to escalate, and even more rare when they do escalate and the next person engaged cannot solve it. We have been more than satisfied with IBM support's quick and professional responses to our issues.
Read full review Implementation Rating
The implementation was actually very simple. Again, as stated previously, the most intriguing part of the entire exercise was the implementation of the directory structure for each account. Once you design and implement it for one, it becomes quite simple to replicate for each account you implement thereafter. You just really need to take time to ensure you implement the first perfectly and those that follow on will be likewise work efficiently and easily.
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Try to understand you will never find a product which suites all your end user for 100%. IBM Connections is the best of all breeds but if you go look on each functionality on its own there are better example out there. But as IBM COnnections delivers it all in just one platform makes it the best example about integration of different functionality into one platform.
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Dropbox Business just works better across multiple platforms without taking up too many resources locally. I use iCloud for my personal stuff as well, but would never even think of using it across an entire organization. The access and navigation to documents is way easier in my opinion and I've never been convinced of the security integrity of Box.
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From the few times that I have used
, I can say that it doesn't seem to hold a candle to the robust features of IBM Connections. The out-of-the-box capabilities of IBM Connections are amazing and are more easy to access and use than what I've seen with
Read full review Scalability
We've used this when we were 2 users and when we were 20. It did not make any difference. Even when we've had to scale down and fire 10 employees, it was still easy to salvage all the material and keep it organized within Dropbox.
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Scaling UP is never an issue with IBM's core technologies like WebSphere, DB2, etc. as long as you have or can find the technical resources to implement it. Where IBM seems to fail is scaling DOWN for smaller organizations. Connections 5.0 on-premises would have required us to create 7 servers -- yes, they would be virtualized, but still that's 7 OS licenses, 40 virtual CPU cores, 80GB RAM, and a few TB of hard disk space. All to replace Quick which runs on 1 server with 1 OS license, 4 cores, 8GB RAM and 600GB of disk. Granted, there are major differences in capabilities between the two, but how do you get a CFO understand why features like a mobile app, file sync, and social sharing require 10x the back-end resources?
Read full review Return on Investment Improved risk mitigation - know our files are encrypted. Expiring Shared Links are a must have. Positive impact from Happy Customers. No more trying to send cumbersome encrypted emails that customers struggle with. Dropbox makes it easy for them to retrieve their files. Collaboration makes it faster for us to complete plan documents with our customers. Read full review Positive - Using IBM Connections has reduced the number of directories and file share repositories previously used for collaboration. Positive - The direction is to stop relying on email for the only method of communicating and sharing knowledge. IBM Connections is in the right step. Read full review ScreenShots