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Box News & Analysis

Will Alfresco's New Round of Funding Generate Returns?

It’s hard to know if Alfresco CEO Doug Dennerline knew what he was getting into when he took the helm at the open source enterprise content management provider 19 months ago. He was brought in to take the company public, and needless to say, that hasn’t happened.

And while for companies like Box, which filed for an IPO in March but has not even started its road show thus far, the state of the stock market might be an impediment, with Alfresco, it’s something else. They don’t yet have the right stuff.

So it’s no surprise that today they announced that they have raised a new round of “growth funding,” $45 million “to increase velocity of its Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy globally -- focused on adding sales people, investing in marketing, and expanding development to drive the SaaS-ification of the content market,” according to a press release.

A Graceful Exit for Box?

2014-18-August-Exit.jpgJust a little more than two weeks from today, on Sept. 2, Box CEO Aaron Levie will host BoxWorks, the company’s biggest pep rally of the year. There’s a nice line-up of all-stars keynoting — Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, Disney’s Jeff Katzenberg, LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner and Aneesh Chopra, former CTO of the United States.

And then, of course, there’s Levie himself. Not only is he Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year, but he’s also got celebrity-like status in Silicon Valley. Never mind his Hollywood connections to the likes of Ashton Kutcher, who invested in Box, and Oscar winner Jared Leto who reportedly visited the company earlier this year.

Sync and Share Providers Change Their Games

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Take a good look at the leaders in Gartner’s quadrant for Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) and you’ll see some big differentiators. Box, for example, is a purely a public cloud play. Accellion’s kiteworks, at least up until now, has insisted that private cloud or on premise is the best way to go if you want to keep your information secure.

But things change.

This morning Accellion announced content connectors for Google Drive for Work and for Microsoft’s One Drive for Business. “It shouldn’t matter where you store your content, IT can track and manage it from anywhere,” said Paula Skokowski, Accellion’s Chief Marketing Officer.

While we might have seen this as an “about face” or even somewhat sacrilegious a few months ago, Skokowski insists that it has been in the works for some time.  “It’s an important next chapter for us,” she explains. With connectors to Google Drive and OneDrive, kiteworks can provide EFSS capabilities outside of the firewall. “Users need access to content regardless of where it is stored,” she added.

Dropbox for Business Raises Its Sync and Share Game

Dropbox isn’t particularly interested in what Box, Syncplicity, Citrix or any other of the 100 plus companies who are fighting for their share of the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market are up to.

“We’re the market leader, we don’t worry about what others do,” said Ilya Fushman, head of product, Dropbox for Business. Instead, he said, the company looks at the features and functions its customers request and builds and delivers those that the make the most sense.

And with 80,000 companies paying to use Dropbox for Business (Box claims 34,000 in the S-1 it filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission), it’s hard to argue with the strategy. It’s clear some buyers opt for the experience Dropbox has to offer vs. who Gartner rates higher in its Magic Quadrant (MQ).

AvePoint Bridges Box and SharePoint

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You have SharePoint. You have Box. Theoretically, you have all your enterprise information management, governance and collaboration bases covered. Right?

Well, yes … if all your content silos are connected and operating seamlessly. Unfortunately, that's rarely the case.

While there is a lot of patching and connecting to be done to pull all your silos together, it’s a job that’s rarely finished. To help enterprises with two of the most important silos, AvePoint has just announced the release of DocAve Cloud Connect, which bridges Box and SharePoint.

News Bites: Content for Marketing, Product Idea Tester, More

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This week: Forrester on content, AvePoint's content integration with Box, a product idea tester for consumer packaged goods and a report on mobile ads.

Can Box Overcome Its Bad Timing?

Thumbnail image for 2014-16-July-Jump.jpgBox, once a clear-cut darling, has had a rough 2014. It delayed its IPO due to a softening SaaS stock market. This forced another financing round that was less than favorable for it. Add in Apple and Amazon entering the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) world, and it's safe to say things are getting challenging for Box. Can Box weather these challenges and pull the entire EFSS market along with it?

File Sync and Share Vendors Innovate, Businesses Win

Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) vendors keep making news. And regardless of how brilliant some of it is, we can’t devote a single article to each new development that emerges every day. So while we covered Box earlier today, there are other notable developments that we don’t want you to miss.

Box Takes Storage Limits Off the Table

The file storage wars are over, at least for businesses leveraging Box’s Enterprise Content Collaboration platform.

“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.
 

Amazon Wants In on the Enterprise Sync and Share Action Too

Just yesterday we wrote that the file storage, synching and sharing market may be as big as one trillion dollars. When Amazon found out about it, they went and built their own EFSS offering.

OK, maybe it wasn’t our article that inspired AWS, but they did introduce an Enterprise Storage and Sharing service today. Its name? Zocalo.

Available in limited preview starting now, its primary functions seem to be primitive versions of what the Leaders and Challengers in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for EFSS have to offer.

Microsoft Moves to Win Cloud, EFSS and Other Markets

Storing, synching, editing and/or sharing files in the cloud has suddenly become big business. Startups like Box, Dropbox, and Syncplicity (now owned by EMC) sensed this long ago because their founders rightly predicted that the knowledge workers of the future wouldn’t want to be emailing files to themselves and keeping track of various versions any more than they did. Ditto for carrying thumb drives around.

Fast forward a few years and the market cap for enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) services may be as big as a trillion dollars. It’s no wonder giants like Citrix, EMC, Google and Microsoft all want part (or all) of that action. Winning is critical to their ability to gain, or even retain, Enterprise market share.

As we’ve written before, Microsoft isn’t sitting back and watching as Google and Amazon race to the bottom on the price of cost storage. And while part of the reason they are doing this is to sell the Azure platform, the other part is retaining Microsoft Office, Office 365 and SharePoint market share. After all, as Enterprises map their cloud strategies, they’ll likely look at all of their options versus simply lobbing what they have on the ground to the sky.

Cha-Ching! Box Gets More Cash

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It’s raining money, at least in Los Altos, Calif., that is. Box has reportedly received a $150 million round of funding, which the Wall Street Journal reports will be used to hold the company over until IPO waters get warmer.

This comes only hours after the Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) vendor was publicly announced as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

The investors, we can now confirm, are TPG Growth, which will appoint a director to Box’s Board of Directors, and Coatue Management, which incidentally just lost an incoming executive to Twitter, where he is now the CFO.

Gartner Rates Enterprise File Sync and Share Vendors

As anyone who reads CMSWire regularly already knows, the Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) market is hotter than hot. The 100+ players within it introduce new features and new releases almost as often as soccer's Tim Howard saves goals.

So it’s no wonder that Gartner, in its newly released Magic Quadrant for EFSS, notes that the market is maturing and that vendors are working hard to differentiate themselves.

Showdown at the Mobile Enterprise Corral

2014-07-July-Cowboy-Graffiti.jpgWhy have so many mobile enterprise companies made financial announcements within the last few weeks? In the mobile device management (MDM) space, Good Technology has filed an S1 to go public and MobileIron successfully executed an IPO. In the File Sync and Share (FSS) space, Dropbox announced a $500M line of credit after having raised $325M in funding only months earlier, and Box just announced another $100M investment.

Why these companies … and why now?

Will Dropbox's New Feature Be Enough?

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Dropbox wants legitimacy in the Enterprise, and it’s racing to get all the boxes (no pun intended) checked that will win it official entry through company doors. 

To be fair, according to Dropbox for Business product manager Anand Subramani, they already have 4 million users in businesses. We haven’t called any of them to ask if they’re spending a dime on the service; in fact, it would be interesting to know how many of them are personal accounts or shadow IT.

But as we’ve asked workers at large enterprises to try to create accounts on the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) service, the most common response we get is “it’s blocked.”

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