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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.

AL: The evolution that we've gone through is, in 2005 when we started the company the entire premise was it should be really easy to share and access your files and your data from anywhere. Then in 2007 we decided to focus that entirely in the enterprise market. Ultimately the space that was being disrupted was the enterprise content management space. How we were disrupting that was, on one hand, enabling the technology to be used by an order of magnitude more businesses because it was cheaper and faster and simpler to implement. The other piece was that all of a sudden everybody in business had way more people to share with. You have contractors and clients and vendors and partners and colleagues, and so it wasn't just about how you manage the content. It actually really turned into how do you share and collaborate and move information throughout the business to get it to the right people? What we do today is, we think, a pretty neat mix of how do you collaborate and how do you manage information in one simple platform that works both for end users and for IT?

JG: There are a lot of companies in content management. There are a lot of companies in collaboration. What makes you guys unique?

AL: The way that we've traditionally seen this space is there's a little bit of a bifurcation in the ecosystem. You tend to have the consumer companies which build technology that makes it incredibly easy to get access to your files and your data from any of your devices. In the enterprise space you have incredibly complex yet secure technology that helps you manage your information at scale. What we haven't seen is a lot of companies that can blend both of those worlds together. We try to bring the ease of use and the elegance that you see from consumer technology into the enterprise in a way that allows large-scale organizations to implement the technology very easily.

One example is we work with Schneider Electric. They're deploying Box to 50,000 employees. That's the kind of customer where we are uniquely suited to serve just because of that mix of end-user simplicity and enterprise scale that really is unmatched at this point. We will continue to innovate along that dimension of fusing those two worlds together. At the same time, we're also building a fairly differentiated platform. We don't think it's just about how do you synchronize or how do you share or how do you store your data, but rather, how do you use your content in a variety of contexts that you can't get from any other kind of platform? We work with 17,000 developers that have built applications on top of Box, whether that's an internal application for a large enterprise or a commercialized partner that's building apps. We have a horizontal platform that makes it really easy to organize, manage and share data within all of these environments.

 

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