SAN FRANCISCO: This week we're at Boxworks, the annual user event for users of one of the more evangelically loved over-the-top platforms, which has transformed in the past ten years from a simple file-sharing platform to an entire over-the-top operating system capable of managing entire businesses with a single application and the right plug-ins.
We caught up with Box's senior vice president of EMEA, David Benjamin. He's already enthusing about his second Boxworks, after taking-up the post just over a year ago.
"I've never come across such a passionate, dedicated group of users as I have at Box" he tells us, reflecting the genuine sense of excitement in the air.
The big news for Box in Europe is that the company, which already operates in four markets, including the UK, is about to head back to Germany, and that has repercussions for everyone.
"Germany has very particular security requirements and we've just got our certification to show that we are up there with the best," he says.
"Of course it makes sense for us to head into one of the biggest markets in Europe. We've always prided ourselves on the levels of security that Box has to offer, but to trade in Germany is a message to the rest of Europe that we're up there with the best of the best," he says.
We ask about the challenge of explaining how Box differentiates itself. He tells us: "We relish the challenge and opportunity of showing people what it can do. Of course, we started with file sharing, but have scaled up and now can pretty much do whatever a customer wants thanks to a strong framework, a bunch of APIs and some superb partner developers."
Because Box is offered as a system-as-a-service, Benjamin explains that part of the differentiator is that continuing relationship with the customer.
Trust remains easy to build, he says. Benjamin still personally approves all staff for his region, and everyone attends a Box Bootcamp when they join, so they should all 'sing from the same hymn sheet' and have a level of interpersonal understanding with each other, and therefore the customers.
We finish by asking David what he's most looking forward to this week. After some thought, he says: "I think the thing I am most looking forward to is catching up with you at the end of the week and seeing how much there is to say about what we're announcing this week."
There's a lot. And it's big. The Boxworks keynote kicks off at 9am Pacific Time.
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