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Box Adds to Features for Enterprise Cloud Storage, Sync
Posted December 11, 2013
Box Adds to Features for Enterprise Cloud Storage, Sync
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By Barry Levine. Updated December 11, 2013 1:55PM

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Once again, online storage and sharing service Box is adding features that appeal to its business customers. The additions include an expansion of its Partner Program, a new administrative console, and an updated sync client.

The Box Services Partner Program is the first major expansion of the company's existing network of channel partners. It adds system integrators and other consultants, including Capgemini, to help businesses utilize its cloud-based services. The service providers will assist client companies in such efforts as integrating new and existing ERP systems or individual apps, or building custom apps for such uses as content-based activities for mobile workers.

Chris Penner, vice president of Channel at Box, said in a statement that the partner ecosystem is "crucial to ensuring that businesses of all sizes across all geographies have the resources and expertise required to transition to Box's content collaboration platform." An earlier Box Partner Network was launched last year, with such initial channel partners as CDW, Ingram Micro and Softchoice.

Box Sync 4.0

Box provides the example of service partner Volo Solutions, which has developed a custom FTP connector called skyBRIDGE that automates the movement of files, along with their context and searchability, from legacy systems to Box.

The newest version of its desktop sync app, Box Sync 4.0 for Windows and Mac, has been completely rewritten. It allows all files in the cloud and on desktops to be synced and accessible through Box mobile apps. New features include the ability to selectively sync or unsync any Box folder or subfolder, sync-on-save that uploads a file or a file's changes just by clicking save, and a share link function for quickly sharing through a right click on desktop files and folders.

Sync 4.0 also automatically updates, provides notifications if files can't be synced, and the company said it requires "significantly" less memory and CPU processing. The new version is optimized to handle 100,000 files, and sends logs directly to the Box support team to speed up resolution of any issues.

Admin Console

The new features for the enterprise admin console include a policies tool that allows customers to protect against uploading or sharing confidential data. A new automation tab is designed for the creation of basic workflows for managing such tasks as invoice approvals, and a new content manager provides the ability for central management of all content in an organization, including enterprise-wide file searching and easier user/folder permission management.

Box has been on a tear in recent months. While its expanded partner network is targeting enterprises, the company announced a new effort aimed at small- and medium-size businesses in late summer. That effort included a new Starter plan for teams of up to 10 users.

Earlier in the summer, Box launched an ambitious educational ecosystem involving hundreds of K-12 institutions and more than 100 universities that use its services, as well as app partners who are creating new educational software.

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Eric:
Posted: 2013-12-20 @ 11:49am PT
I love DropBox and have used it for years both personally and in a business environment. The biggest challenge that they face is they provide a service that is easily replicated by any number of companies, including powerful ones like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. The services are a dime a dozen right now and the way I see it, there are two things that can set a company apart: 1) tight integration with multiple platforms and 2) lots of storage space. Dropbox is doing a great job on the integration front. It couldn’t be much easier to use, whether on a Mac, PC, or cellphone. But right now, they are getting pressure on the storage space issue. I keep getting emails that Norton wants to give me 50GB and Google wants to give me 100 MB. So right now I am making the switch to a product by Barracuda called Copy. They start you out with 20GB of space (more than I have on DropBox after years) and with referrals of 5GB a pop it can go quickly from there.

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