IBM is going Levie.
This evening, Box and IBM announced a partnership that will see their technologies integrated, and their cloud products commingled. As part of the arrangement, Box will also offer its customers the ability to store their data on IBM’s cloud, which will have — I checked with the firm — 46 data centers around the world by the end of the year.
The deal has a number of facets, including the integration of Box with IBM’s content management technology, the application of IBM data tools to information stored by Box, use of IBM security tech by Box, and a set of promised mobile applications building on the tech of both firms.
So what does all that mean. In short, Box just linked up with a company worth around 80 times its own value, that has inroads into enterprise space that, as a far younger firm, Box is still creating. Box also picked up access to technology and data centers that it now doesn’t have to build on its own.
For IBM, driving greater usage of its cloud is likely a welcome result, and the larger firm now also has a window into one of the more quickly growing enterprise-facing software companies, the very market that it wants to grow its share in.
IBM isn’t Box’s first love. The enterprise file storage and sharing company has announced a number of integrations with Microsoft, tying its storage functions into Redmond’s Office environment.
I asked Box’s CEO Aaron Levie if the partnership will lead to Box increasing its full-year revenue guidance. Unsurprisingly, he demurred.
The deal matters as it represents another Fortune 500 company publicly endorsing Box with their actions. Box has long traded, and fairly, for example, on the chit of its broad deal with General Electric — if GE is investing into Box, surely it’s safe for our team, and so forth.
Box has worked to extract its product from its storage roots, even offering a build of its software — Box Developer Edition — that customers can spin up inside their own data center. Combine that with the increasingly important data storage rules in place in various markets, Box at the least has a good shot at snagging