Box had a really good year last year. And it's aiming for an even better one this year. Given that Box is planning an IPO next year, this is hardly surprising. To create business and boost company value in the run up to the IPO, it has announced the creation of Box Partner Network.

Box Content Sharing

The individual elements in the network are not new, but from today’s announcement it seems that Box is pulling its channel and platform partners together to push its cloud computing and collaboration functionality into markets where it doesn’t exist already.

According to Aaron Levie, CEO and co-founder of Box, pulling the channel and platform partners together is a response to fundamental changes in the marketplace that has seen a shift to agile and rapid content management as well as collaboration abilities at the heart of all business processes:

We are witnessing a once in a generation transition -- post-PC devices and cloud applications are profoundly changing both the ways people work and how businesses buy and deploy technology, and it’s happening faster than anyone could have predicted,” Levie says. 

"Content and collaboration sit at the heart of almost every business process. With our growing network of partners and developers, Box has a huge opportunity to help businesses navigate this massive shift.”

Box Partner Network

Not a new idea, but many companies have been slow to act and respond to these changes. Box’s response is the Partner Network. This consists of Box’s strategic alliances (which include technical integrations), the Box Channel Program, and the Box Platform and API.

Box has been building  strategic alliance partners over the past year and today it is also announcing that nine vendors are joining the alliance including Autodesk, AtTask, Fonality, Marketo,CollabNet, Clarizen, Tibco, Tidemark and Xero.

Of those, CollabNet, Clarizen, Fonality, Tibco and Tidemark are all to start using Box Embed, which it introduced in October 2012. Box Embed is an HTML 5 framework that makes it easy to integrate Box content and collaboration features into a number of best-of-breed applications.

The Box Channel Program has also been busy over the past year and in the last four months has signed up 50 resellers globally as well as a new North American distribution relationship with Ingram Micro, which Box says is the world’s largest technology distributor. Other key partners include CDW, Ahead, Insight, Forsythe and SoftChoice.

While partnerships can be quite restrictive, in this case it seems that partners choose their own terms around the agreement, in keeping with the agile business culture that Box has pursued since its start in 2005.

In this respect, Box gives two examples: 1) Partners can choose to refer leads to Box and earn a commission for the first year contract 2) They can resell Box and earn revenue for life.

This is only the start of a year that should produce some interesting highlights as Box pursues its IPO ambitions.

Already over the past year it has grown at quite a staggering rate given the economic conditions we are living through, and now says it has 17,000 developers building custom apps, while the number of weekly users accessing third party applications through Box OneCloud grew by more than 200 percent.

More on Box as it happens.