Can Brother Printer Beat Dropbox At Online Document Management?

Brother International, best known for printers, has launched yet another online offering for small businesses – BR-DOCS which is an online document storage solution. From what I can tell similar to Box and Dropbox.

BR-DOCS is optimized to work with Brother Printers, a plus for those using Brother Printers and enables three broad capabilities:

  • Manage all files in one secure location. Users can control and create groups, provide access and conduct key word searches to find files. Users can also assign tasks to automate workflow management
  • Collaborate with colleagues by creating specific workspaces to invite users, add documents, assign and manage content. Users can also initiate discussions across the entire organization
  • Digitize documents by scanning and saving searchable files and provide access to clients who are not BR-Docs users

Dropbox and Box hold commanding leads in the online file storage market. Like Microsoft Word, “everyone” is using Dropbox which further pushes an exponential number of MORE users to use Dropbox – to be compatible.

So what’s the upside of BR-DOCS over competing services?

BR-DOCS offers the ability to tag documents, thus searching for them more easily and it appears to enable great control over how the documents are shared.

If you’re simply looking for a file sharing tool – just about any online file sharing service will work. But if you’re looking for a document management solution – you should consider BR-DOCS and other robust solutions such as those from Neat, Fujitsu, Epson and Lexmark.

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

  • http://www.TheMarketingSpot.com Jay Ehret

    I guess that depends on how you define “beat.” If your definition is “have more users” then the answer is no. Brother is starting out at a disadvantage for a couple of major reasons.

    1. They are introducing a me-too product. Maybe they have an advantage in a feature or two, but nothing that makes a major difference. And as Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative says; “Cover bands don’t change the world.”

    2. The service is tied to the Brother brand. BR-Docs? Yikes. They would have been better served had they launched it as a separate brand and then made a special deal to tie in with Brother Printers, with that aspect only being promoted by Brother Printers.

    …that is, if they want to beat Dropbox and Box.

    • http://linkedin.com/in/raymond Ray Sidney-Smith

      I completely agree with Jay here. Brother needs to repackage this as a separate product, lift several former Apple UX designers and several Google security developers/specialists, then they have a fighting change. Maybe get Guy Kawasaki to adopt it too! ;)

      On a more serious note, isn’t it Google Drive’s collaborative and file sharing capabilities to challenge? In essence, if Google’s ecosystem can start to allow cloud access (Adobe CC comes to mind) to these independent software platforms, they’ve “won.” If someone can disrupt that overlapping market, they’ve got the ability to challenge Dropbox, Box (who has tried but still not really succeeded in that space), and Google Drive.

      • http://www.TheMarketingSpot.com Jay Ehret

        That’s a great formula, Ray. Let’s get a Kickstarter going! I like your use of “disrupt.” That’s the key, the new tool must be strong enough to disrupt usage habits of the current tool.

  • Eric Haubert

    Dropbox and Box are just a few among a lot of cloud document management solutions available today. When a new company starts a similar service, it should provide a lot more than the existing ones to make it successful, especially when bigger companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple are also offering it with lots of features. Nowadays a lot of companies are choosing outsourced document management solutions from companies like Ash conversions in Weston. So it will be difficult to make a new cloud document management service targeting business clients successful.