Box CEO Aaron Levie: Why We’re Not Afraid Of Google Drive

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Box has become a major player in the tech world since its launch some six years ago. The company, which provides cloud data storage and enterprise collaboration tools, has more than doubled its headcount in the past year alone to a staff of more than 400, attracted more than $150 million in venture capital, and currently counts more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 as customers. But it’s not time for Box to rest easy just yet: Google is widely understood to finally be on the brink of launching its own long-rumored file storage service, Google Drive.

But in an interview held this week at Box’s Silicon Valley headquarters (which you can watch in the video embedded above), Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie said that while Google will no doubt make a splash with the launch of GDrive, he is not in panic mode about the impending arrival of a new big-name competitor. That’s because he’s confident that Box’s singular focus on cloud storage will continue to make it the top choice of many users, and particularly paying enterprise customers.

He explained the situation like this:

“We’ve seen the rumors about GDrive — for the past six years of running Box, we’ve been paying attention to Google and GDrive. And I think finally it’s about to come. We think it’s actually going to be a meaningful player in market. I wouldn’t discredit what it’s going to be able to do.

We’re very, very focused on the deep enterprise use cases of how do you manage information at scale, how do you get information from any device, whether it’s a Google-powered device or a Microsoft-powered device or an Apple-powered device. And so we think the enterprises are going to value platform-agnostic players that are very, very, very focused on security and the enterprise depth that we offer.”

This will by no means be Box’s first time competing with a major multi-billion dollar company. Box has counted Microsoft as a direct competitor for years (he’s been known to say that Box is “like SharePoint, if SharePoint actually worked.”) In general, Levie says, when going up against the tech industry’s Goliaths, Box can punch above its weight because it doesn’t have the distractions that larger companies have.

“We have exactly one motivation, and one goal inside of businesses, and that is to power the best sharing and collaboration and information management experience that there can be. And for Google, there’s a lot of different things they’re doing.

And so we think that our level of focus is going to be the huge competitive advantage that we have against any player in the space, whether it’s Google, or Microsoft, or Apple or IBM or anyone… they’re going to be competing with one company that is just entirely focused on this proposition.”

Of course, there was much more to discuss with Levie than just GDrive. Please watch our full interview above to see Levie discuss the launch last week of Box’s new OneCloud platform, why the iPad has changed everything when it comes to enterprise-level IT, how Box has been focused on mobile since the days when flip phones and SMS were as smart as cellphones got, the ongoing tech IPO wave (and Box’s own public offering prospects), and lots more.

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