Cloud Storage Company Box.net Launches Cross-Platform Sync; Salesforce Chatter Integration And More

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At the company’s first customer conference today, cloud storage platform Box.net is revealing a number of new features and products. The company is debuting a cross-platform enterprise sync solution for both Mac and PC devices, additional security features as well as new social capabilities.
 
For background, Box, which has 7 million users and stores 300 million documents, is a cloud storage platform for the enterprise that comes with collaboration, social and mobile functionality. Box has evolved into more than just a file storage platform, and has become a full-fledged collaborative application where businesses can actually communicate about document updates, access the platform via the mobile web, and even add features from Salesforce, Google Apps, NetSuite, Yammer and others.

Box.net had previously offered a Sync desktop client, which allowed users to sync Box.net folders with their PC desktops. But Box has totally rebuilt the sync engine and is debuting a new version of Box Sync for Windows and the first-ever Box Sync for Mac. This allows users to access Box files from their desktop, work offline in native applications, sync edits back to Box, and access synced content from any mobile device. Customers including Turner Construction, TaylorMade, Pandora and LinkedIn are early users of Box Sync.


Box Sync for Windows and Box Sync for Mac will available as free downloadable desktop clients for Business and Enterprise customers in October. Additionally, Box and HP has announced that they’re working together to distribute Box Sync on future PCs to HP’s business customers later in 2011.

Box also unveiled a number of security features that will roll out to Business and Enterprise customers in Q4. A new Trusted Access section tracks which browsers, applications and devices are connected to Box. And sharing controls will make it easy for organizations to define sharing permissions by domain and user group. Additionally, Box announced a strategic collaboration with cloud identity provider Okta to help customers better manage identities in the cloud, adding to existing integrations with VMware and Ping Identity.

In terms of social, Box has already added a number collaborative features to its cloud-based platform but today is announcing that it will be brining new social capabilities to users over the next few quarters. These include making Box updates more personalized and intelligent, helping surface and discover more relevant content, and social commenting.

But Levie tells me that Box isn’t gunning to win social space, and wants to actually work and cope with existing social enterprise platforms like Yammer, Jive and Salesforce Chatter. In fact, Box is also announcing an in-depth integration with Salesforce Chatter using Chatter Connect. This will allow Chatter and Box users to collaborate in Chatter with content stored on Box. Salesforce also announced its participation as an investor in Box’s newly announced $50 million funding round.

It’s no secret that Box has seen tremendous growth in 2011 thanks to a growing acceptance of the cloud by businesses and large companies. Box says it is seeing consistent 3x year-over-year revenue growth, and has been adopted by 100,000 businesses, including 77% of the Fortune 500. And the company is even a pricey acquisition target. To help expand even further, Box just raised another $50 million in growth capital. And Levie says we can expect more product announcements from Box in the future.