Dropbox team folders gives Silicon Labs the confidence to move files to the cloud

Silicon Labs switched from on-premises file servers to Dropbox for the majority of its document storage in 2013, and the launch of a new 'team folders' feature will allow the company to move even further towards the cloud.

Silicon Labs CIO Everett Plante tells Computerworld UK: "Before, Dropbox folders were tied to the employee, but with team folders we were excited by its mirroring the access rights and controls you have with on-prem systems."

Silicon Labsis a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Austin, Texas. It focuses on designing silicon, software and tools for the Internet of Things (IoT). This business model places intellectual property at the heart of what the company does, so secure collaboration and document storage are of massive importance.

Team Folders

Team folders give admins more granular controls – who can be invited, who can manage access, whether links can be shared externally – when it comes to who can access what in folders that are owned by the business, not the individual employee.

Senior product manager at Dropbox, Marcio von Muhlen, gave Computerworld UK an example: "Imagine a marketing team using a folder. They will have sub-folders with projects for internal or external sharing, and with these permissions they can have all content in the team folder and only share relevant content with collaborators."

Plante can now integrate the folders with their in-house Active Directory, meaning access controls are automated as people move from department to department.

With these new controls comes a new level of confidence for Plante. "Our goal and strategy now is to move more into the cloud with Dropbox," he explains. "It will never be 100 percent because we have intellectual property and sensitive information that we are worried about access rights to. But 80 percent of documents and departmental files will all be migrating to Dropbox."

Plante says he decided to opt for Dropbox for file storage and collaboration, instead of say Microsoft or Box, because it "flat out works".

He says that adoption among the 600 or so engineers Silicon Labs employs was a non-issue and "if we had gone with a more cumbersome system [the engineers] would have just worked around it."

Read next: Dropbox Enterprise vs Box: Which cloud storage platform is better for your business?

By getting all staff on the same system his team can keep files more secure. He explains: "We felt it was something we could get our heads around with security and admin and we could enforce via policy that it was the corporate sanctioned file source system and we could restrict employees from storing Silicon Labs data anywhere else."


Aside from team folders, Dropbox has launched a raft of improvements to its enterprise-level file sharing and collaboration tool aimed at IT administrators, which it calls AdminX.