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Why We’re Excited About the Dropbox Showcase Announcement

by Gary Fisher

6 October 2017

Dropbox recently announced Showcase, a new capability within their Dropbox Business offering. In their words, Showcase is “a new way to share that puts your work in the best light”.  As Ziflow is singularly focused on helping marketers deliver their best work, we were interested to see how we might help our joint customers make the best use of Showcase.   

This is a Marketing Technology Story

At first glance, the Dropbox announcement may seem like a design or creative production story, but there’s a larger story which could evolve in the near future. Given Dropbox’s prominence in the cloud storage world, Showcase has the potential to disrupt the longstanding Digital Asset Management (DAM) segment, by providing a lightweight, yet ubiquitous platform for creative teams to share and distribute their work.

For the uninitiated, DAMs can take many shapes and forms, but there are two deployment models which are most common:

  • Work-in-Progress (WIP) DAM - this type of DAM is usually adopted by creative agencies and brands as a central repository with rights-controlled web access allowing a central view into the assets being developed at any given time. WIP DAM’s are owned on the creative side and accessed by creatives, designers, account/project managers along with external suppliers and the client themselves.
  • Distribution DAM - these DAMs tend to have less churn but much more data as it is a final resting place for all the creative work across all the different campaigns. These types of DAM’s are usually in place for distribution and re-purposing of assets from previous campaigns. Typically these DAM’s are owned by the brand owners themselves and are accessed by various team members in marketing, PR, account management, sales & external agencies.

Showcase could blur the lines between a traditional data repository (disk) and WIP Dam, as users are able to create and store data inside Dropbox and then create a branded showcase, which can be shared with users (clients, team members, customers, etc.), which includes the usage tracking of those various users.   

Here’s Why We’re Excited - It Highlights the Need for Ziflow

Showcase on its own is an interesting development, but as anyone who has worked in the creative production space knows, there are literally hundreds of hours logged before a piece of creative can make its way to a system like Dropbox Showcase.

This is what excites us here at Ziflow. To unlock the full potential of Showcase, you first need to produce, review and gain approval for those finished assets.

From our perspective, Ziflow can provide two key areas of value for those organizations who are thinking about adopting Dropbox Showcase as a means of sharing or distributing their work.  

1. Online Proofing

By moving the creative review and approval process to the cloud, Ziflow’s online proofing application makes it easy for your team to provide clear feedback on all types of creative content.ziflow-online-proofing

Online proofing streamlines the sharing and collecting of feedback during the review process, helping to avoid time-costing miscommunications and missed feedback, while accelerating decision making.  

Specifically for Dropbox Showcase users, Ziflow online proofing also allows you to also initiate a collaborative proofing session from within Dropbox, giving your users the ability to markup and comment on files instantly, accelerating the path to approval. You can even compare proof versions allowing you to check changes have been carried out between the versions.

That’s not the only value we can add to Dropbox Showcase.  

2. Workflow Automation

For creative campaigns, production cycles include critical processes which need to be ziflow-workflow-automationdone before the work is ready to be shared. Ziflow provides lightweight, yet powerful workflow automation tools which enable users to automate repetitive tasks, accelerating production. Some of these tasks might be:

  • Creating PDF outputs
  • Image conversions
  • Video & Audio transcoding
  • File delivery (FTP etc)
  • Renaming files
  • Automatically creating job bags (Folder structures)
  • Sending notifications via email or Cloud Storage links  

These tasks can be executed as discrete steps, for example,

“If I place a word document in this folder create a PDF to the settings I specified”

or as part of a multi step process;

“If a video is placed in this folder then automatically transcode the video to my specifications and then send it via FTP and email my supplier” (These are three discrete processes; Transcode, FTP & Email all activated in sequence triggered by a single event)

Ziflow integrates with Dropbox Business (and Personal) and also allows marketing teams to easily create “Flows” using our “Zibots” or create proofs for review.

Zibots are workflow automation tools that can monitor your Dropbox folders looking for triggers that you have specified (eg. any video placed in this Dropbox folder) before executing the automation you’ve created (eg. Transcode to HD).

Our workflow automation tools allow marketing teams to spend less time on mundane administrative tasks, and more time on creating great brand experiences.  

For existing Dropbox users, Ziflow is a logical, path-of-least-resistance way to enhance your existing workflow and approval cycles, which in-turn will have a dramatic effect on your productivity and bottom line costs.

The bottom line for organizations looking to take advantage of Dropbox Showcase: For you to put your work in the best light, Ziflow helps ease the administrative burdens of creative content production, so that you can do your best work.

You can get started with Ziflow with a risk-free 14 day trial.  

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