Last week, at Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s enormous customer conference, Salesforce personnel talked at great length about how everything they did was in the service of the customer. If it wasn’t about the customer — like ERP — they weren’t interested.
In a similar way, today at BoxWorks at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the Box team made it clear their mission was all in service of the content.
To that end, Box made a series of announcements that enhance the Box platform and provide ways for you to share content, connect content to workflows, view different content types, work seamlessly across other cloud services and even operate as content services on the back end without it being apparent that it’s Box.
While Box went a bit long with this message, it really wanted to bang it home with each and every speaker, that it was about delivering content to anyone, anywhere in virtually any format. To that end, they introduced a couple of new viewers. One was a 3D viewer where users can share design documents, 3D printer designs or anything that needs to be viewed in 3D.
In a nod to the healthcare industry, Box introduced a new DiCOM viewer. This may not sound terribly sexy, but it’s huge for the healthcare industry because this is the standard way of viewing medical images. The viewer enables users to view, share and collaborate around these images, and that could have growing importance as we move forward and share healthcare information in a mobile context.
These viewers are both built in HTML5 and don’t require any additional code or plug-ins, which means they are essentially cloud-native.
In addition, they introduced Box Capture, a tool built using Box’s own mobile SDK, which connects your camera directly to the Box platform. Again, this may not sound terribly innovative, but consider that you can take a picture and share it directly to the Box platform and all that entails. That means, it inherits the rules of the folder where it is stored and gets distributed through any workflows associated with that folder automatically. What’s more employees can communicate around that tool in real time.
Finally, Box has exposed all of these services in a new tool called Box Platform. As Jeetu Patel, who came on board from EMC a few months ago explained, they want to make Box the center of content services in the same way that Stripe is the center of payment services.
You can get to the Box content services, the viewers, the Capture tool, the communications methods, the folder technology, the workflow, the security and so forth and you can tap into these for your application. Users will probably never know that Box is on the back end.
The platform will be generally available next month.
Box has worked for a long time to get the message across that is much more than content storage. CEO Aaron Levie has said in the past, storage is a feature, not a business model. With each passing year, the company delivers new capabilities that create greater separation from its sync and share roots, and place it squarely where Levie has always aspired to place his company — in the content management space.
If you had any doubt before, Box made it crystal clear today. It’s about the content, baby and nothing else matters.