Box announced a huge customer score this morning with General Electric agreeing to use Box across the entire organization.
According to Box, this will involve rolling out the service to 300,000 GE employees across 170 countries. GE is betting that Box will help them collaborate internally and externally with partners and take advantage of mobile and the cloud.
In a time when companies are under intense pressure to change the way they do business and exploit technologies like mobile, social and the cloud; GE is using Box as a catalyst to attempt to do just that, providing a way for employees to store, share and discuss content across devices and platforms.
In a blog post this morning announcing the deal, CEO Aaron Levie, wrote that this isn’t the first time that GE is using new forms of technology to transform its organization. Levie pointed out that GE was one of the first Fortune 500 companies to try to take advantage of the iPhone and the iPad and GE CIO Jamie Miller has been a progressive leader when it comes to trying new technologies to change the way the company and its IT department does business.
Box has been getting beat up pretty badly the last couple of weeks, stuck in the no-man’s land that is the quiet period after filing its pre-IPO S-1 paperwork. That has left a communications void and many have stepped in attempting to define the company, mostly in a negative light. In fact, Box went from cloud poster child startup to doomed inside of a week, but the reality is probably somewhere in the middle.
The fact is that Box has to prove to investors that it’s more than the hype that has surrounded it over the last several years, driven in many ways by the charismatic CEO Levie. It’s one thing to talk about being a change agent, but it takes real-world customers to create proof points for investors and cynical journalists.
General Electric is a huge score of course, but they also have a 65,000 seat license with Schneider Electric and another 30,000 with Proctor and Gamble, and it’s going to take more deals like this with large organizations to drive away the cynics and convince investors that Box is a good bet.
PHOTO BY FLICKR USER BOB JAGENDORF. USED UNDER CC BY 2.0 LICENSE.