The file storage wars are over, at least for businesses leveraging Box’s Enterprise Content Collaboration platform.
Some say the cloud storage wars are escalating. We think they're ending. http://t.co/60q3hhziat— Aaron Levie (@levie) July 15, 2014
“It’s no longer about how much content you can store, but what you can do with it,” says Aaron Levie, Box’s co-founder and CEO.
Truth be told, it was always about that, but file storage wasn’t always dirt cheap. Now it is. Levie says that the price has dropped by a factor of over 20,000 over the past two decades.
While enterprises using EFSS solutions, like Box, haven’t had a cap to deal with for the last several years, businesses have. And for them that often meant selectively pushing files to the cloud and/or limiting the numbers of users who use EFSS services.
That’s no way to compete in a world in which a company’s ability to leverage its information might be as critical as the value of the products and services it has to offer.
And because Box is committed to putting its customers in the best possible position to win, it’s taking storage limits off of the table.
Forget About Storage Caps, Focus on Content
Beginning today, there is no cap on storage for Box’s business plan customers, which is a big win considering that before today they were limited to 1 GB.
“Just as businesses don’t worry about databases when using Salesforce, or bandwidth when using WebEx, enterprises shouldn’t worry about storage when using Box,” says Levie.
Instead they should focus on getting content (and Box) deployed enterprise-wide as opposed to a select number of information workers.
In Box’s view of the world, it will be the platform where content lives, is shared and collaborated on. Not just that, but BI solutions like Good Data, CRM solutions like Salesforce, Mobile Solutions like AirWatch and Productivity tools like Microsoft Outlook and Office 365 will also leverage content stored in Box.
This, in an oversimplified way, is Box’s vision of the next generation of Enterprise Content Management. While it shares many of the safeguards of existing ECM solutions, it is reimagined and engineered anew for today’s Cloudy, Mobile, Social, Collaborative world.
It is a world that, it should go without saying, is already here. Whether we have the tools to capitalize on its opportunities and manage its inherent risks is a question that Box, and its many competitors, are trying to answer.
The Integrations Workers Need
It’s nearly impossible to have a conversation about content in an enterprise or a business setting without thinking about the productivity tools we’ve come of age with, namely the Microsoft Office Suite. And if you’re going to create, edit and share documents and other kinds of content with your coworkers, customers and business partners, chances are good that it’s what most everyone involved uses. (Mind you there are other good options, they’re just not nearly as popular.)
So it goes to follow that Box has built integrations between Box and Microsoft Office 2013 for Microsoft customers. Box says that they will provide secure, mobile collaboration and content management that's tightly tied to where users are creating content, including:
- Box for Office 2013 Desktop: Users can easily open, edit, share and save any file from Box seamlessly within Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
- Box for Outlook 2013 Desktop: Box streamlines email workflow, enabling users to share links to files already stored in Box and convert document attachments to secure Box shared links.
Levie says that Box users will be able to beta test the new features this fall and that Office Online integration should happen soon after.
No More Obstacles
In the hyper competitive EFSS or Enterprise File (Storage, Synchronization, Sharing, Collaboration -- whichever terms you choose to use) market, Box strives to take ridiculous conversations, like storage, off the table and to focus instead on providing elegant and non-disruptive end user experiences as well as powerful tools that help IT keep businesses safe and compliant.
Taken separately, or even together, these announcements aren’t drop your socks innovations, but they do offer something that may be as, if not more, important: they remove the obstacles of working with content and free users to leverage it to the hilt.