By Barry Levine / CIO Today. Updated October 09, 2012.
Cloud-based file sharing and storage service Box is stepping up its game. The company has made a series of announcements in recent weeks that are intended to increase its appeal to businesses, both large and small.
On Tuesday, Box unveiled an HTML5 framework that better enables integration of its content and collaboration capabilities with Web sites and enterprise applications. Called Box Embed, it provides code that can be implemented with an iframe, so that the service can be integrated on screen with existing applications.
Functions that can be delivered via Box Embed include file preview, comments, tasks and search. Box Embed is currently offered at no cost to Box customers.
The company, which is seeking to make its service the storage and sharing location for a variety of Web-based applications, also announced that Box Embed is being supported by 10 enterprise software companies -- Concur, Cornerstone OnDemand, DocuSign, Eloqua, FuzeBox, Jive, NetSuite, Oracle, SugarCRM and Zendesk. Relationships with more than 100 other software vendors are reportedly in discussion.
Aaron Levie, Box co-founder and CEO, said in a statement that, "by extending Box's enterprise content and collaboration across today's leading business applications, Box is transforming the way people and organizations access, share and manage their business information in the cloud." Box Embed, he said, makes it "incredibly simple" for businesses and developers to use the service as a "content layer."
'Ahead of the Curve'
Last week, Box introduced new security features, management tools and partner integrations designed to make the service easier to implement and manage at large organizations.
At the time of that announcement, Whitney Bouck, general manager of Enterprise at Box, told news media that, with the new security and management features, the company "continues to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring enterprise-grade security in the cloud without compromising user experience and productivity.
Those added features included business intelligence integrations through its reporting API with business-intelligence partners, such as GoodData. Activity logs are reported, and unusual activity, such as a user downloading a large number of files in a short period of time, will trigger alerts.
Box also launched an enhanced search functionality that is intended to offer more granular searches across the enterprise. In addition, administrators can now see how files are shared, both inside and outside an organization, and can save the most common queries.
There's also a new relationship with security service provider Proofpoint, via the Box API, that offers enhanced security, compliance, and control over documents. This includes scanning uploaded documents to see if restricted content is present. Box also added two-step login verification to its multi-factor authentication.
Several weeks ago, the Los Altos, Calif.-based company launched Box Accelerator, which is intended to boost the service's performance worldwide.
Box said that its service is used by about 14 million workers in 140,000 businesses, which represent 92 percent of the Fortune 500.