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Box CEO Aaron Levie: The post-PC era and our partnerships will help us win

John Gallant and Matt Rosoff, CITEworld | April 5, 2013
It's no surprise that Box, the content management and collaboration company born in the cloud, has met with so much success among small-to-medium businesses. The service provides SMBs with the kind of enterprise-class content capabilities that they didn't have the money and resources to deploy before.

JG: You've talked about the enterprise software companies that people are familiar with today, and typically they started off in a particular area, whether it's database, financial or human resources. Then they expand the product line to cover a lot more of the waterfront. What is the ultimate expansion strategy for? What will and won't you do?

AL: We're very focused on staying true to our mission and making it easy to store, share, and manage information. What I think you'll see us do is focus more on what are the implications when end points like mobile devices change that proposition, rather than us getting into different vertical product areas. We think a lot about what content and collaboration looks like when you are doing it in a mobile-only environment. Imagine if you will, there is no PC in the picture of your workflow. What would it mean to create and share information? What kind of technologies would we want? What kind of capabilities would we want to make that happen? That's one dimension that we're putting a lot more focus on.

Another dimension is that we're thinking a lot about how to move into different industries and different spaces. We're a horizontal product that's focused entirely on making it easy to store, manage and share information, but in the healthcare space that is done slightly differently than in the financial services space, which is done slightly differently than the pharmaceutical space and so on. You're going to see us verticalize our partnerships and our go-to-market and our alliances as we want to move into more of these industries in more of a concerted way. You'll see more kinds of capabilities like that will begin to emerge. We have an announcement coming in the next couple of weeks specifically around the healthcare space that we're very excited by. So it's not so much that we'll move into different application categories. It is that we're trying to evolve and add to the concentric circles around content management and collaboration to be able to support more types of use cases for customers.

MR: I know you've talked in the past about how devices like the iPad Mini can expand your overall market [13] by giving people who previously didn't have a PC with them access to a computer. Have you seen any other new devices, new form factors that you're similarly excited about? Is there anything on the horizon that you think has a lot of potential in terms of mobile devices?

AL: The super far out one is obviously Google Glass. I applied to be an explorer, whatever that means. So I think...


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