Box has integrated into Microsoft’s Office Online product, burrowing the enterprise file storage and sharing company deeper into the latter firm’s cloud productivity offering. Previously, Box integrated into Microsoft’s Office 365 product.
The move is a win for both firms: Box is now an easier sale to potential customers, presuming that those potential users are also Office users. And for Microsoft, anything that drives usage of its products is desirable — the company’s CEO Satya Nadella calls revenue a lagging indicator of performance and usage a leading indicator, for example.
The integration allows users to open files from Box into Office Online, and have changes made to the document, or spreadsheet sync back to Box. Also coming later is a ‘share’ feature that will mimic how Box currently manages the function.
It’s very much not surprising that Box is trying to better unite with the Office stack. I recently interviewed Aaron Levie, Box’s CEO, about Office, and whether it was something that his firm intended to take on. He essentially said no. And if you deal with content but don’t want to build full-service editing tools — Box created Box Notes, a lightweight editor, but it doesn’t compete with Word in many senses — you want to make sure that your tools play nice with the most popular editing suite.
It will be interesting to see if the new integration can help Box accelerate its revenue growth. The company recently raised its financial guidance for its current fiscal year.