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Network World - Looking to broaden its scope in the enterprise market, Box Tuesday rolled out a "point and click" ability for third parties to integrate the Box cloud sharing platform directly into their applications.
Box CEO Aaron Levie made the announcement this morning at the company's second annual BoxWorks event and revealed a cadre of 10 partners that will have initial integration with the Box platform, including collaboration tool vendor Jive and customer relationship management tool vendor SugarCRM.
One analyst says the move is really about opening up the Box platform to work with a diverse group of applications, giving customers a choice to use a "best of breed" model as opposed to single, integrated hardware and software options that competitors such as IBM, HP and Oracle may use. "This really allows organizations to not be siloed into a single platform stack," says Alan Lepofsky, of Constellation Research, who tracks the cloud storage market. But he says it will be a choice for enterprises: They can use cloud-based versions of their enterprise apps from a variety of providers on the Box platform, or they can have a single set of apps from Oracle, for example, running across their organization. Box is betting on companies choosing its cloud, and a newly announced ecosystem of partners' applications on it.
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Box Embed enables the integration of Box's platform with third-party apps through HTML5. While Box had APIs that would allow integration, this new system requires much less coding to set up the integration. Initial partners that have already tied Box into their apps include Concur, Cornerstone OnDemand, DocuSign, Eloqua, FuzeBox, NetSuite, Oracle and Zendesk, in addition to Jive and SugarCRM.
The move comes a few weeks after Salesforce.com launched its own file storage system named ChatterBox, which provides Box-like sharing and storage functionality within the leading CRM platform. Not to be outdone, a couple of Box competitors released their own news today, including Egnyte and SpiderOak.
Egnyte markets itself as a hybrid cloud solution, combining a company's on-premise storage with a public cloud option. Today it announced a series of partnerships with storage vendors that offer customers a choice for the on-premise portion of their cloud that would be integrated with Egnyte. These include IBM N and DS Series Storage, NetApp FAS Unified Storage, Netgear ReadyNAS and ReadyDATA and Synology DiskStation.
Meanwhile, SpiderOak, another cloud platform that touts its security features, announced that later this year it will roll out its own platform for applications to integrate with SpiderOak. The big difference, says CEO Ethan Oberman, is that SpiderOak has a "zero-knowledge" policy for its cloud platform, meaning that customer data is encrypted on-site, then sent up into SpiderOak's cloud, with the vendor never having access to the keys. Oberman even pokes at Box's slogan for its conference this week, "Business without boundaries," in making its announcement. "Cloud technology companies, including Box, demand and expect enterprises to inherently trust them with their most valuable possession -- their data. However and as we have seen time and time again, this proposition is fraught with risks in security and data privacy from both internal and external threats. Ultimately business does in fact need boundaries," he says.