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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: Just quickly as an add-on to that, talk about Box Embed. What is it and what are people doing with it?

AL: Box Embed is the manifestation of this, which is we developed an HTML 5 embeddable object, which basically lets you pull up content from Box from any third-party system -- whether that's or Jive, or even your intranet or extranet where you can embed Box within those environments. Our view, again, is that once you have your content stored in the cloud that content should follow you to wherever you are. You shouldn't have to log into different systems to see the same information. So we have Box show up in contextual ways inside these third-party platforms. If you're looking at a Salesforce customer record, you see the content that is explicitly associated with that customer. I might be looking at a specific kind of customer that we're working with and I can see all of the presentations that I did for that customer. I can see all of the products that I shared with that customer. I can see the specific contract that we've been working on. That's what Box Embed is all about. We have about 20 partners right now that we work with. You'll be seeing us open that up quite a bit more throughout the year.

This is also how we'll enter into a lot of different kinds of verticals and industries. It's not just about the sort of job function applications like sales or support or finance, but also how do we get into different industries. How does the legal industry use Box Embed within applications in the legal industry? How do customers in the healthcare space use Box Embed to help different medical providers or insurance companies? We're going to make sure this content and this platform extends into lots of other kinds of services beyond just the names that you'd expect.

MR: What is the biggest unfinished task, or what's the thing that you're focusing on most right now, or for the next few months?

AL: Well we haven't created a monopoly yet, so that's unfinished. I generally go to sleep every night thinking -- what can we do to do that faster?

I'd say something that's pressing right now is... I think like everybody else we recognize the opportunity that mobile has created. This idea that there's going to be, I don't know what the latest figure is, over a billion smart devices, smart phones, probably two billion. But mobile devices are outselling PCs three to one, two to one, and at a rate that is really unstoppable at this point. We think that fundamentally changes how businesses are going to work. Not just the fact that now I have another device that I can access information from, but more importantly, this becomes a primary computing device for a whole new set of job functions.


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