Last April, Dropbox tapped telecommunications giant SoftBank as the primary sales channel for its software in Japan. That relationship is just getting off the ground, but the online file-sharing company will emulate the model to win share in Mexico, Austria, and dozens of European nations including Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the U.K.
Most notably, according to Dropbox COO Dennis Woodside, on Tuesday the company will disclose an exclusive relationship with Telmex, Mexico’s largest broadband, Internet and telephone services provider. The deal will provide some Telmex customers with five gigabytes of free Dropbox storage space for 12 months, with others entitled to a much larger amount, up to 35 gigabytes.
What’s more, Telmex (part of the America Móvil telecommunications group) will become a sales partner for Dropbox Pro, with a commitment to sell up to 100,000 licenses over the next year. If all goes well, the relationship could extend into other Latin American countries. “We think this will be part of a broader partnership with Telmex,” he said.
“At America Móvil, we’re excited to partner with Dropbox because our services complement one another and provide additional benefits for our customers,” said Mr. Carlos Slim Domit, chairman of Telmex and co-Chairman of America Móvil. “It will allow us to offer preferential terms for an important service to Infinitum users in Mexico and Claro in Latin America, with a tool that allows them to store, collaborate, and access files online. This allows Dropbox to pair its very valuable services with the best telecommunication infrastructure in the region.”
Across the Atlantic, the online storage company has also extended an existing relationship with Vodafone (VOD) into 20 additional markets. Aside from the countries already mentioned, the new terms will introduce the cloud storage service to potential customers in Albania, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, and South Africa.
In Austria, however, Dropbox will gain an entrance into Austria through a separate relationship with another America Móvil company, A1 Telekom Austria. Under that deal, Dropbox will offer varying amounts of free Dropbox cloud storage space to its customers, depending on the type of account, up to a maximum of 100 gigabytes.
More than 70% of Dropbox’s 400 million users live outside the United States, and the company has spent the past year building its footprint to better support global growth locally, Woodside said. Three key locations: Paris; Hamburg, Germany; and Herzliya, Israel.
Dropbox’s cut of sales generated through telecommunications partners varies, depending on the specific contract. In the United States, one of the company’s biggest sales engines is Dell, which has been a strategic partner since late 2013. Woodside hints that we’ll soon hear more about similar arrangements, as former Microsoft executive Thomas Hansen (hired in July) brings on new partners.
As for the SoftBank relationship, Woodside said the focus since April has been on training, now the focus is on sales outreach. The goal is to bring in an additional one million new Dropbox for Business licenses over the next several years. At last count, Dropbox had approximately 10 million users in the Japan, including free and paid accounts.
Based on Dropbox’s last public count, there were approximately 130,000 companies worldwide using Dropbox for Business—which costs $150 per user, per year.