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Box News & Analysis

Build Your Own Dropbox-Like File Server with ownCloud 8

Mention the phenomenon called Shadow IT — and someone will likely mention Dropbox. 

Shadow IT happens when departments or individual employees use technologies that aren’t sanctioned by IT — something that has been increasingly easy to do since cloud-based services arrived. And Dropbox is often the service of choice.

Employees, left to their own devices, provision Dropbox file sharing folders, often violating company policy.

Why don’t employers stop this wild and flagrant behavior?  The simple answer:  Dropbox just works better than many enterprise solutions.

What Does Box's Lousy Showing Mean to the Enterprise?

Box CEO Aaron Levie better have had an extra cup of coffee before he arrived at his company’s Silicon Valley offices this morning. Chances are he was staring at the NASDAQ ticker all morning -- his company’s shares are down a whopping 15.64 percent (as of 3:03 EDT).

How Salesforce Builds Its Ecosystem, 1 Company at a Time

John Somorjai was the corporate counsel at Oracle 18 years ago when an opening popped up in the corporate development group. He's never looked back.

Starting as a manager, he found he had a knack for spotting good companies and cutting deals. Within 18 months, he was named the group's senior director.

For the past decade, he's been at Salesforce.com, where he's now executive vice president for corporate development and Salesforce Ventures, the company's investment arm. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 100 enterprise cloud companies since its inception in 2009, including Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Evernote, Gainsight, Apttus, HubSpot and recently, SteelBrick.

"We have a great advantage of being on the corporate side. You really understand the trends of the independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrator (SI) partners who are building an ecosystem," Somorjai told CMSWire yesterday.

We asked him to share some of the strategy about the company's investments and to peek into the future of the marketing technology vendors out there today. 

What You've Been Missing: A Standard for Enterprise Apps

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If you’ve ever tried to set up Box, Workday, Oracle, SAP or one of many other Enterprise apps on an Enterprise Mobility Managed (EMM) device, you know it’s not fun.

In fact, chances are good you’ve downloaded a handful of apps you’ve never used — just because you couldn’t properly configure them.

“Public apps often get stuck on the device,” said Kabir Barday, lead product manager, application development at AirWatch by VMware.

Would-be users frequently become frustrated entering user names, passwords, server URLs and ports. Sometimes it’s cumbersome. Other times, they don’t have easy access to the required information.

The result? Error messages like “App can’t be displayed." But that’s not the biggest difficulty. The real problem is the loss of productivity.

Will 'Cloud-Only' Cast a Shadow on the Box IPO?

Box CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie is obsessed with the cloud. He wears cloud socks, the license plate of his car said “Go Cloud” and he tweets about “cloud” constantly.

Back in 2010, he asked if it was a “problem to judge girls you meet by how much they know about cloud computing?”

In 2011 he predicted that “for everyone in cloud and the enterprise, this is going to be a very big year for us all.” We guess you could say Box had an exciting year: it landed Proctor and Gamble as a customer.

In 2012 Levie reported “I'm just struggling with a world where #Tebow is more exciting to the general population than cloud computing.”

In 2013 he suggested that a book about cloud storage would be a blockbuster: ”There's a Facebook book. And now a Twitter book. Shocked that no one wants to write about the cloud storage industry. #bestseller”

In 2014 he told the world that a win for Box (after gaining 300,000 employee GE as a customer) is a win for “cloud, user-centric IT, enterprise mobility and more. There is a real sea change in software adoption happening.”

So far this year he’s had to put a muzzle on it (and we’ve missed his stream of jesting tweets) as he waits for its company to go public, which should happen tomorrow. It's expected to open at $14 a share.

FaceBox at Work: The Newest Collaboration Solution?

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We are hardly out of the 2015 gate and the enterprise collaboration market is already experiencing a shakeup.

Facebook released Facebook at Work on Jan. 14, the same week Box resuscitated its delayed IPO event, slated to launch tomorrow. While seemingly unrelated, these two events underscore the continued significance the "consumerization of the enterprise" trend will continue to play in 2015, especially as it relates to collaboration.

Can Egnyte Snuff Box's IPO Fire?

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Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain makes no apologies. He handpicked today to reveal that his company is raising the stakes in Enterprise Sync and Share (EFSS), just a few days before Box’s IPO. The latter is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the week -- on Jan. 23.

Jain said Egnyte initially planned to make its announcement on Jan. 27. But he didn’t want to chance Egnyte getting grouped in with Box should its IPO disappoint. “We don’t want to be defined by the way the market reacts to Box,” he said.

Of course Jain, whose company might be seen as a Box competitor (they are both named in the same Gartner MQ report as well as Forrester Wave), made it clear that though both companies provide solutions around file sharing, they are quite different.

“EFSS is table stakes,” he said. Box co-founder and CEO, Aaron Levie has said this too. Ditto for the CEO’s of a dozen other competing vendors.

Does Box's IPO Pricing Spell Trouble or Humility?

Understated is not a term anyone would use to describe Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie. The Silicon Valley whiz kid who does magic tricks on stage, speaks at every conference on the planet (we’re only slightly exaggerating) and is quoted on Twitter as if he were a seer of some sort had his company’s IPO priced today. The Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) provider has officially begun its road show.

The company, which originally filed to raise as much as $250 million last March, today revealed that it expects to raise somewhere between $137.5 million to $162.5 million. It will offer as many as  12.5 million shares at $11 to $13 a share.

6 Predictions for Information Management in 2015

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Last year wasn't dull in the world of information management and if even half of these predictions come true, we're in for some interesting days ahead. From the world of enterprise file sync and share, to big data's IPO dreams, to the future of some of the heavy hitters in the industry, there's a little something for everyone.

Box Has a Problem and a New Trust Initiative

First off, let’s get one thing straight: Box is not in the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) business.

“We certainly do that,” says Box executive Whitney Bouck, every time I ask her if Box is an EFSS provider. “But that’s not where the value is,” she always adds “that’s table stakes.”

So what does Box do? According to its SEC S-1 registration it is “a cloud-based, mobile-optimized Enterprise Content Collaboration platform that enables organizations of all sizes to easily and securely manage their content and collaborate internally and externally.”

How’s that for an elevator pitch?

Not too good. But, to be fair, it probably wasn’t crafted to be one.
 

451 Research's Scoop on Enterprise File Sync and Share

Surprise.

That’s what you’ll find in 451 Research’s latest survey on the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) market.

“The research presented in this and subsequent reports will be divisive -- welcomed and indeed lauded by some, but very uncomfortable reading for others,” writes analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe, author of the study. 

Box Cops to Bad IPO Timing, It's Time to Unbox

Aaron Levie finally admits it -- the timing for Box’s IPO filing was bad.

“What is obvious is that we should not have filed when we did,” he told Bloomberg West’s Emily Chang. And though he points to the “bit of market correction” that was happening with SaaS and other high growth tech stocks at the time as the reason, he seems to have sobered up a bit about his company’s “horrid financials” and the fact that he’s had to “deal with a lot of distraction because of the filing.”

Hats off to Levie for stepping up to the plate and dealing with the market on the market’s terms. It’s one of the first times we’ve seen him put aside his charm and sense of humor to show that he can trudge a rocky path and not just a yellow brick road.

What's Going On in the Marketing Suite at Alfresco?

Hats off to Sydney Sloan, who nabbed the top marketing slot at Alfresco Software. The company announced her appointment this morning though, according to her LinkedIn profile, she started her new gig last month.

She is, at least, the third female to land a role in the company’s marketing suite this year. According to their LinkedIn profiles, two of the other executives have parted ways with the company since July.

Sloan joins the open source enterprise content management vendor at an important time in its growth; it’s not only trying to gain market share but to also displace Enterprise Content Management (ECM) incumbents like EMC Documentum, Open Text, and IBM from well entrenched positions at some of the world’s largest companies.

Box Wraps Enterprise Files in Snazzy iOS Features

Stop the presses. Box built a new user interface (UI) for its enterprise sync and share apps. Perhaps it’s a little rude to say so, but who cares?

Those of us who have been watching the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market for a few years know that one vendor innovates and in the next few weeks another catches up or comes up with something compelling of their own.

New features cause us to drop our jaws at first. Then they become ordinary.

Is it the Market or is it Box? More IPO Woes

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Everyone from Bloomberg to the Wall Street Journal to TechCrunch is reporting that Box has delayed its initial public offering (IPO), yet again. Most cite market volatility as the reason.

It’s the same rationale the company has (reportedly) used in the past, though we don’t know for sure because at this stage of the game Box isn’t offering much more than boilerplate answers like, “Our plan continues to go public when it makes the most sense for Box and the market. As always, investing in our customers, technology and future growth remains our top priority.”

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