SAN FRANCISCO: Box will begin offering customers the ability to run its service on other firms' cloud platforms, starting with IBM SoftLayer.
The plan is a notable change from the current set-up in which Box customers have to store data in Box’s data centres in the US, and could mean that Box will not have to open data centres in other regions, at least for several years.
The first cloud platform on which Box will be offered is IBM SoftLayer, which will go live in 2016. Box general manager Whitney Bouck said that support for other cloud platforms, expected to be AWS and Azure, will take place over time.
“It will be a select few that we vet and integrate with, starting with SoftLayer,” she told V3.
The move makes sense for Box as it will allow the company to secure deals with customers that had previously not been comfortable with having content stored outside their area.
“This is a fabulous step in the right direction and satisfies the majority of customers in Europe that have maybe been uncomfortable with a US-only data centre approach,” added Bouck.
While Box is broadening its support for other cloud platforms there are no plans to let customers run Box on-premise.
The move to use SoftLayer first is not surprising as Box has a strong partnership with IBM already. During the BoxWorks 2015 event the firms also unveiled more outcomes from this partnerships, with four IBM products now integrated for Box.
The first product released is Content Navigator with Box. This allows staff to search through content stored in numerous data silos, including in on-premise systems, from the Box environment.
“This means you don’t have to tell your knowledge workers they have to switch UIs to use these tools, they can just access everything from within Box,” said Rich Howarth, vice president for enterprise content management products and strategy at IBM.
The second tool is IBM StoredIQ with Box. This is a governance tool that lets firms understand the types of data they have and where it is stored so they can assess what needs to be kept for legal or HR reasons and what can be deleted.
This means that firms can work out what data they have and then move it to Box.
“With this integration you can assess what the content is, clean it up and move it into Box in a structured way, with the metadata, so you don’t end up putting all your junk data in the cloud, just the stuff you actually need," said Howarth.
These two products are available now.
The second two new products are Case Manager and Data Cap with Box. The first is used to share documents like a loan application or contract negotiation with external parties via the Box platform.
Finally, Data Cap allows staff to extract key data from documents and store it in Box so that it can be accessed more easily by having it stored in the cloud.
Box unveiled several new features and updates to its platform at the conference, including security features such as watermarking and device trust, and support for 3D image files and medical images.
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