We’ve been talking about cloud deployment a lot this week so it’s appropriate that we finish up with an example of how rapid this market is developing. According to figures released by cloud content management vendor Box.net, the company now has 5 million users with enterprise revenues more than tripling over the course of the year.
Most of the new deployments, Box.net says, were in large enterprises, with 73% of Fortune 500 companies using its platform in some shape, means or form, a total of 60,000 businesses, and some significant wins including Skype and ABC News.
That’s what Box.net (news, site) says, but again, like last year, it hasn’t provided any details to back all these claims up. At the end of 2009, the SharePoint competitor announced they had 3.5 million customers and an increase in revenues of 535%.
Box.net and the Cloud
However, 2010 was the year in which Box.net really got out of their box.
2010 was a breakout year for Box, as larger enterprises recognized the cost, maintenance and productivity benefits of moving their content and collaboration to the cloud,” Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box said.
And this is what is really important in these figures. While it has been clearly a very successful year for Box.net, it has built that success on changing enterprise attitudes to the cloud, largely it would seem because many firms feel a lot better about cloud security than they did before, and they’ve also been looking at deployment times and cost savings too.
Only recently, for example, we saw in a MarketBridge survey that even across the SMB sector adoption of cloud-based information technologies is speeding up with 44% of SMBs claiming to have at least one business application located in a private or public cloud.
New Products, Releases
It wouldn’t be fair though to attribute the company’s success merely to increased cloud deployment across the industry generally. Box.net has been really pushing the boat out this year in terms of new products, releases and partnerships, creating the growing market share that they currently enjoy.
It launched integrations with several leading cloud business solutions in 2010, including Google Apps, NetSuite, SugarCRM, Intuit and DocuSign.
It made several major product enhancements over the past year, including integrated content viewing for most file types directly within Box as well as introducing Box Sync, which enables business sync their desktops with their cloud deployments.
It increased storage allocations across all sales plans, increasing free web storage to 5GB for individual users, starting the business plan off at a collective 500GB and providing unlimited storage for enterprise customers.
And then there’s the other major area that Box has been working in and which, it says, has made a major impact on its business -- its mobile portfolio.
Over the course of the year, it added customized applications for the iPad and Android devices to its existing support for the iPhone.
In both the iOS and Android space, it has achieved major tractions with more than 200,000 iOS downloads and 70,000 downloads of its Android app since it was launched in the Fall.
Box attributes this to a rapid increase in the demand for access to mobile content with the expansion of the tablet market continuing to drive demand for extensible content management and collaboration.
And finally, while Box could be accused of just the tiniest amount of bragging about the past 12 months, the money-men, who only ever really look at the bottom line, gave Box the thumbs-up in April with an additional capital investment of US$ 18 million in funding bring the total since its creation in 2005 to US$ 31 million and doubling the size of the company from 65 to 125 employees.
It’s really impossible to say how this year will go for anyone, but the two areas that Box has made significant upgrades over the past year -- mobile apps and cloud computing -- are definitely on the rise, and it is likely Box will continue in the way it has for at least the next 12 months.
And just to get the ball rolling, it has also told us that it will be announcing “big news” in the coming weeks, although it hasn’t said what.