Box cosies up to Apple with new app, and ‘fireside chat’

0

Cloud collaboration pure-play Box announced a number of new products and platform updates at its annual BoxWorks customer conference – and made significant advances to Apple, whose CEO, Tim Cook, shared the stage.

Among the announcements made by Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie was a new iOS app, Box Capture, which instantly links content captured ‘in the field’ to core business processes. The app allows users to collect images, videos and documents on their iOS devices and share that content securely with a distributed network of knowledge workers – useful in sectors such as healthcare, energy, and retail, among others.

Box is certainly making overtures to Apple at a time when Apple is unveiling a more collaborative, enterprise-centric focus to its own products and services. Levie – who has credited Apple’s iPhone and iPad with transforming enterprise communications – shared the BoxWorks stage for a Valley-style ‘fireside chat’ with Apple’s Cook.

“We don’t have deep knowledge of all the verticals that the enterprise deals with to do great [in the enterprise],” admitted Cook, adding that to succeed in the space means partnering with other companies because “that’s what the customer wants”.

It’s certainly time to take Apple seriously as an enterprise provider, especially in an era when the once-clear divisions between consumer are enterprise technologies are tumbling: Cook used the BoxWorks stage to reveal that Apple’s enterprise sales in the year to June 2015 topped $25 billion. That may be less than 14 per cent of Apple’s annual revenues, but it’s more than SAP’s revenues across its entire business in the same timescale. Apple has partnered recently with IBM and Cisco, among others.

Cook certainly seems to be presenting a more open, collaborative Apple, in the spirit of the BoxWorks event – even when it comes to some old rivalries. “Apple and Microsoft can partner on more things than we can compete on,” he added. “I’m not a believer in holding grudges.”

Meanwhile, Box revealed that it has now passed the 40 million registered users mark, and has more than 50,000 customers, including 52 per cent of the Fortune 500.

At the event, Box also introduced two Box Platform offerings – Developer and Enterprise – to help customers build their own experiences for customers and partners, and unveiled upcoming support for HD video, DICOM images, and interactive 3D content, together with enhanced partner integration, including support for Adobe Document Cloud, Autodesk A360, and DocuSign content.

“The last decade of IT has focused on driving innovation and productivity inside organisations, but cloud and mobile are also completely redefining how businesses can deliver new services and experiences to customers and partners,” said Levie. “Now is the time for enterprises to build new digital experiences that transform their business, and at Box, we’re building the platform to power this transformation.”

About Author

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton is a widely respected business and technology journalist, author, and magazine editor. In recent years he has been Editor of Computing (where he remains Consulting Editor); co-founder and Managing Editor of Professional Outsourcing – a magazine he developed from scratch and grew to be the leading magazine in its field; Editor of CBR in its most successful year; and co-founder and launch Editor of Sourcingfocus.com. Today, he is co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, and founder, designer, and Editor in Chief of Strategist magazine (UK), the boardroom magazine that provides strategic insight for business leaders, and of its mobile-first digital edition at www.iamtheStrategist.com. He is also co-founding Editor of Child Internet Safety magazine, and a contributing Editor of Diginomica.com. Over the years Chris has also written for, among many others, The Guardian, The Times, the BBC, and Computer Weekly. He is the author of several successful books on digital media, and a commissioning editor of more than 50 books.