STORES Magazine - December 2014 - (Page 30)

n BUSINESS OPERATIONS Collaboration Made Easy Retailers turn to a popular file hosting service to simplify document sharing by PETER JOHNSTON P eople tend to have three computers today: one on their desk, a tablet to carry around and a smartphone. We're mobile, and increasingly so are our jobs; for many, the workplace is wherever they happen to be at the moment, and their principal tool is whatever device they happen to have with them. This creates an issue: Working on a file on an iPad creates a different version from that on a laptop - which in turn is quite possibly different from the version sent to a colleague yesterday with a request for comments. Seven years ago, a couple of tech entrepreneurs in San Francisco founded a company called Dropbox that allows users to create a special folder on their computers that Dropbox then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder are accessible via the folder, through the Dropbox website or a mobile app. 30 STORES December 2014 The idea caught on; Dropbox now has about 300 million users around the world, including about 100 million in the United States. Many of these customers are individuals who use the system for things like storing and sharing photos. "It makes it real easy," says Ilya Fushman, head of product, business and mobile at Dropbox. "You can synch them all to your devices and have them available anywhere." ENTER IT Many of these people have the same need for file sharing and syn- "Our chief creative officer travels a lot, and we have been able to get her comments in real time from almost anywhere in the world." - Christiaan Gunther, BCBG Max Azria Group chronization at work, especially when collaborating with colleagues in disparate locations. Sharing large files - spreadsheets, photos, PowerPoint presentations, computer-assisted design files - traditionally has been a challenge. Given this, it's not surprising that Dropbox has been developing and marketing a business version for the past couple of years. "The idea behind it," Fushman says, "is to allow companies to let their employees use Dropbox in a way that gives the company control over its own data. It provides IT departments with hierarchical access. It gives them the ability to audit activity - what's being shared with whom - and it gives them the ability to transfer ownership of a Dropbox account to someone else when an employee leaves." ACCEPTANCE BY RETAILERS Retail has moved quickly to embrace this capability. BCBG Max Azria Group has 19,000 employees in 550 locations globally and, before NRF.COM/STORES http://www.NRF.COM/STORES

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - December 2014

Forward Focused
Retail People
Editor's Page
President's Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
Business Operations
Inventory Management
Customer Relations
Store Operations

STORES Magazine - December 2014