Box’s New Platform Product Is Now Generally Available

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Update: I got some of Box’s product lineup mixed up. I’ve edited the post not just for clarity, but also for Being Frakking Wrong. Apologies from your humble servant.

Box’s platform product, the aptly named Box Platform, is now generally available, as the company promised at its recent conference. Box recently hired Jeetu Patel away from EMC to run the new service.

If you thought Box already had a platform, hang tight. Box now comes in two flavors. There is Box proper, a SaaS product that Box hosts and that companies can purchase on a per-seat basis.

And now there is Box Platform, which takes Box technology and allows developers to deploy it as a content management backend inside of their own applications. So just as a company might use Braintree to manage payments inside of their app, Box Platform is a way to handle content and the like.

Key to the difference between Box Platform and the company’s other offering is that it can disappear into the background. A user of an app that employs Box Platform might not know that they are using Box at all.

Why slip into the background? We can answer that in reverse by using a Satya Nadella concept: Revenue is a lagging indicator. That’s to say that if you are driving usage, you will see revenue pop out the other end. And if, in this case, Box can bolster usage of its technology by allowing itself to fade into the bushes, who really cares.

Box, which has seen its share price decline in recent months, has consistently raised its revenue forecasts for its current fiscal year. Perhaps this product’s forthcoming availability was component to those estimate revisions.

The company certainly intends to charge for the product, which, aside from a free tier for experimentation, starts at $500 per month. If you need more than 100 users, prepare to pay more. And that’s before add-ons like increased encryption and the like. That’s not to say that it’s an expensive product per se, but merely one that Box appears set to monetize from the get-go.

It will be interesting to see if the company discloses financial performance of Box Platform at its next earnings call. Strap in.