15 Million Users Strong, Box Debuts New Partner Network To Expand Cloud And Collaboration Service

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All things point to 2013 being a big year for cloud storage and collaboration startup Box. The company will be readying itself for an IPO and expanding its core product in a number of ways. Another strategy that Box has in its game plan is to become more of an ecosystem, and today, the company is debuting the Box Partner Network, which has been developed to bring together its channel, platform and other partners.

CEO Aaron Levie tells us that the idea behind creating this new structure is to create a more unified vision for how Box is rolling out its platform strategy. Box now has more than 150,000 active businesses using its products, including 92 percent of the Fortune 500 and 15 million total users, which is double from last year. And 17,000 developers are now using Box’s open platform, with the company now seeing well over 500 million API calls each month.

The Box Partner Network is composed of Box’s strategic alliances (which includes technical integrations with other enterprise companies), the Box Channel Program and the Box API. Strategic alliances include special integrations with companies like Autodesk, Marketo, Tidemark and others. These companies actually integrate the complete Box content and collaboration experience into their applications to make the transfer of content a seamless experience.

The Box Channel Program, which is relatively new, indicates partners that resell Box’s services. Ingram Micro, CDW, Ahead, Insight, Forsythe and SoftChoice all fall into this category, in which partners refer leads to Box and earn a commission for the first-year contract or resell Box entirely.

The Box Platform is basically Box’s developer framework and API. In the past year, Box has more than doubled the number of apps available in the Box app store and ended the year with more than 300 OneCloud applications across iOS and Android. Further, the number of weekly users accessing third-party applications through Box OneCloud grew by more than 200 percent.

2012 was a big year for Box. Along with raising $150 million in new funding, the company says it is growing its verticals. Sales in construction and engineering services grew 103 percent, education grew 119 percent, manufacturing grew 233 percent and media and entertainment grew 200 percent.

As for 2013, we hear that Box will be making movements in targeting healthcare as a vertical and unveiling a number of new security features. Stay tuned.