Secure collaboration and file sharing specialist Box has announced a deep integration with Microsoft Office Online that will transform collaboration for joint customers. The update extends the reach of Box’s existing integrations with Office 365 for the desktop, and Office on iOS and Outlook.
The new integration with Office Online allows users to browse, open and edit Office Online files directly from Box, and syncs changes automatically back to Box storage in real-time. The enhancements eliminate the need to upload or download files or move back-and-forth between applications, simplifying workflows and mitigating the security risks that come with locally stored content. Previously, users would have to download a file, make changes, and then re-upload the altered file.
For Microsoft, it marks the company’s on-going drive to the cloud. It’s own cloud storage service, OneDrive, is not as popular as Box, which claims over a billion Office documents are stored on its platform, and the new deep integration is also an attempt to head off the popularity of its rival Google Docs.
“Box and Microsoft are working together to help businesses and individuals be more productive, collaborative and successful. We’re thrilled about this latest offering to give our joint customers more choice and simplicity for how they work together with documents and digital content,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VPfor Office at Microsoft.Box for Office Online is just the latest example of Box and Microsoft collaborations, following Box’s inaugural membership in the Office 365 Cloud Storage Partner Program and integrations with both Office for iPad and iPhone. Prior to that, Box announced integrations with Office 365 on the desktop and the Outlook for iPhone and iPad applications.
Later this year, the companies intend to further collaborate on integrations with native Office clients on iOS, Android, and Windows.
“The new model for enterprise productivity depends on creating seamless, device agnostic connections between the core applications that people use to get work done,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO, Box, adding: “Over a billion people around the world use Office for creating content – this makes Microsoft a crucial partner for Box as we progress on our mission to transform the way people and businesses work.”
The integration will be available to Box business customers with an Office 365 license and to all Box personal users.