This morning Box announced a number of feature improvements to its file-storage platform, as well as corporate moves that the company says will help its customers better manage their employees use of the product.
As a company, Box wants enterprises of scale to adopt its technologies. Those contracts are lucrative but come with an implicit feature list: companies that large are accustomed to managing their denizens on a very granular level.
Maddening to your everyday Dilbert, certainly, but delightful to the micro-megalomaniacal IT guru. Box needs to make that person happy.
So, Box has introduced Content Manager, which, get ready for a surprise, allows companies to manage their content from a central hub. Firms will now be able to reach into the accounts of individuals, change permissions and the like.
Also announced today is a set new controls that can prevent a company’s employees from uploading sensitive information, such as payment signatures. And, all arms to whistleblower Edward Snowden, Box can now alert an admin if a user is sucking down huge amounts of the company’s data.
The company also formalized its services group into a unit called Box Consulting, which is designed, naturally, to help people get onto the cloud with more alacrity than they could manage on their own. Box has also signed a deal with Capgemini that will see the latter vend Box.
Box also has created an automation system that, akin to IFTTT, lets companies build processes around file varieties. So a firm that wanted to set it up as such could have files of variant x, that have been opened, placed in one folder and not the next, and so forth.
And finally, Box stated that its service is used by 200,000 businesses, which is up from 180,000 in September, implying an 11.11 percent growth rate of corporate usage (in terms of unique businesses) in a period of roughly one quarter in length. The company also disclosed that its customers that total more than 5,000 ‘seats’ grew 300 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.
The company needs to continue to press ahead, because it has rivals aplenty. Dropbox is raising a huge sum of money, and earlier today Egnyte announced that it had picked up a $29.5 million Series D round of funding. Box itself recently raised $100 million.
Box’s larger technology stack is maturing, and it is meeting an increasing percentage of the enterprise client wish list. May the enterprise file storage wars continue.