Box-Salesforce Partnership Demonstrates Power Of Cloud Connectivity

Salesforce and Box announced a partnership today in which Salesforce customers can access Box content or content management services directly in Salesforce without switching applications or creating elaborate workarounds.

The partnership involves two pieces. First of all, there is Salesforce Files Connect for Box, a plug-in that allows for a smooth integration of Box content directly inside of Salesforce. Whether on a smartphone or a computer, Salesforce users can access and share Box files as part of their normal workflow inside Salesforce without having to explicitly��move between the two systems.

What’s more, Box handles the file-access permission and security and all of the underlying behavior in the same way as working inside the stand-alone Box application — except it’s built right into the Salesforce interface.

The second part is the Box SDK for Salesforce, a software development kit that enables developers on the platform to build applications that embed Box content management features inside the application. For example, instead of building a file manager from scratch, something most developers are not equipped to do without great effort, they can use the Box file manager inside the applications they are building.

After announcing the Box Developer edition in April, the company brought on former EMC executive Jeetu Patel to head up the effort. This announcement is part of expanding the Box Developer usage. Patel says he sees this partnership as part of a significant change in the way we have traditionally thought of content management.

“The reason the content management market hasn’t had standardization happen in a good way is that most systems don’t allow content to be accessed from whatever you happen to be using,” he explained. This partnership demonstrates how two companies can work together and play to one another’s strengths, he said.

“We are leader in content and collaboration. Salesforce is the leader in customer success. It wouldn’t make sense if we didn’t make sure that the two systems interacted with one another. It’s a natural motion,” he said.

He’s right.

Back in the 1990s companies bought proprietary on-premises enterprise software and sharing data between applications was a huge challenge. Today with the cloud, companies can collaborate much more easily and that’s good for customers.

“What we are showing you is only possible in cloud world. It would be impossible in an on-prem environment,” Patel said.

While Salesforce works with other content companies, this partnership makes sense for the cloud CRM vendor because it makes life easier for its customers. “By integrating the two products, you can put the content where the customer needs it. It unlocks it across the ecosystem,” Mike Stone, Salesforce SVP of marketing for Community Cloud told TechCrunch.

The Box SDK for Salesforce is available today on Github. The other piece will pilot in February with a target release date sometime next summer.