University of Cambridge researchers share data via Dropbox

Cambridge plans wider rollout after initial success with astronomy and public health teams

Landscape picture taken in the UK city of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge has signed up to Dropbox to help 250 staff and students collaborate more effectively.

The university decided to look into EFSS and collaboration tools when conducting an audit into the technologies its staff and students required to boost productivity.

"We want to ensure that our staff and students have the best choice of technology solutions available to them at their fingertips, and therefore offering Dropbox has given everyone the opportunity to work more effectively with co-workers both here and elsewhere," said Mark Ferrar, chief architect of the university's information systems.

The organisation decided to use Dropbox for Business because it met the widest range of requirements from across the establishment's departments. For example, the Institute of Astronomy wanted a platform that would enable it to share files and folders easily, across time zones and with remote researchers.

Because the astronomy team uses different platforms - such as iOS, Mac, Windows and Linux - it was imperative the University of Cambridge could deploy a tool that worked across all operating systems. Smart Sync, which only downloads the files you need to your device, was also an attractive feature for the astronomy team, allowing them to edit and collaborate on research from various locations.

The university's Department of Public Health and Primary Care wanted a platform that could enable the department to communicate and exchange information. The team members used to send datasets to one another using secure file transfer protocol (SFTP), with each transfer requiring a separate login to keep the data secure.

Many of the departments are already using Office 365, so Dropbox's integration with the productivity suite made it a natural choice for the university, and it is now offering Dropbox to all staff and students as one of a range of collaboration tools.

"We now offer a choice of tools to aid collaboration for all staff and students at the university," Ferrar stated. "Its scalability and ease of use are key factors in us making Dropbox available to everyone at the university. We want to offer the best choice of collaboration tools for our staff and students so they can focus on their important work, and Dropbox fits perfectly into this."

Picture of the University of Cambridge/Credit: Bigstock

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