Box.net (news, site) has taken steps to up the battle for supremacy over SharePoint. They have acquired Increo Solutions, adding some capabilities to their online document management solution that SharePoint does not have.
What Increo Adds to Box
Increo Solutions is a provider of document and media viewing solutions. Specifically they have two services:
- Backboard: Allows you to collect feedback on your document, web page or just text
- Embedit.in: Embedding documents into your website or blog, mark them up and view usage analytics on those documents
Right now, Box says the two products will remain separate, although they will change slightly as they get integrated. Increo customers will continue to be supported, but it's Box's customers who will get the best of this deal.
Although they won't say how, the solutions will be integrated in the future and Box will have a little more functionality that it can use against SharePoint.
According to TechCrunch, both Box and Increo have a little bit of cash floating around to improve their offerings: Increo Solutions raised US$ 500,000 in venture capital and Box.net US$$ 12.5 million.
In a TechCrunch interview with CEO Aaron Levie, Levie pointed to backboard's collaboration and annotation capabilities as a key reason for the acquisition.
What Else is in the box
Box has been steadily increasing the capabilities of their document management solution for a while now.
The Future of Box
Increo's co-founders, Kimber Lockhart and Jeff Seibert Jr. have signed on to Box's development team. The plan, according to Box's website, is to provide customers with a richer collaboration experience and the ability to take content stored in their document management service and embed it in other websites and services.
From the sounds of it, they continue their march to beat out SharePoint. This has been an ongoing battle that has seen some interesting t-shirts and billboards from box. And while we doubt that Microsoft is all the worried, especially with SharePoint 2010 making its way to the forefront, we do think Box is a solution you should look at closely if you are an SMB.