Category Archives: Aaron Levie

US Department of Justice taps Box for file sharing and collaboration

The US DoJ is deploying Box as the company pushes forward in the public sector

The US DoJ is deploying Box as the company pushes forward in the public sector

The US Department of Justice is deploying Box in a bid to improve content sharing and collaboration. The company also said it will shortly receive Agency Authorization to Operate, which means the solution can be deployed across all DoJ agencies.

The DoJ said it is deploying Box to simplify internal and external collaboration between other federal government agencies and third-party organisations, improve support of mobile devices for content sharing and collaboration, and reduce its increasingly fragmented landscape of document storage and the tools used to manage content.

“There is an increasing need to securely connect and enable processes across agencies and jurisdictions as well as to connect government employees with their data, content, and stakeholders,” said Aaron Levie co-founder and chief executive officer at Box.

“Innovative government agencies, like DOJ, are deeply committed to leveraging emerging cloud technologies to better serve the American people, while ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive information. We are thrilled to support the DOJ’s technology efforts, helping to transform the way they manage and share information,” Levie said.

Box said it has over 40 federal government customers, over 34 million users and 45,000 organisations globally using its service, and the company is planning a big push into the public sector. The company recently brought on Sonny Hashmi, former chief information officer for the US General Services Administration to help it penetrate further into the public sector, and it is also currently pursuing FedRAMP compliance in a bid to certify the service for use across all US federal government agencies.

Box touts new customers as the battle to differentiate continues

Box co-founder and chief executive Aaron Levie briefing journalists and analysts in London this week

Box co-founder and chief executive Aaron Levie briefing journalists and analysts in London this week

Cloud storage incumbent Box announced a slew of new customers this week as the company, which was recently taken public, continues to nudge its balance sheet into the black. Despite strong competition in the segment and the added pressure that comes with being a public company Box continues to differentiate from both traditional and non-traditional competition, said co-founder and chief executive officer Aaron Levie.

Box announced this week it had inked large deployment deals with home and body cosmetics brand Rituals Cosmetics, the University of Dundee and Lancaster University, which cumulatively total close to 50,000 new seats on the cloud storage and collaboration platform.

“You’re seeing all of this disruption from new devices, new employees entering the workforce, new ways of working, new customer and consumer expectations about how they want to interact with your services. Customers really have to go digital with their enterprises,” said Levie said.

“From the inside, companies need to get more collaborative, move more quickly, make decisions faster, be able to have better technology for the workforce. It also means you’re going to have all new digital experiences to create your products, and offer an omnichannel customer experience – if you’re in retail, healthcare, this will drive fundamentally new business models.”

The company said it now has over 34 million users and 45,000 organisations globally using its service, with those companies belonging to a broad range of sectors – transportation, logistics utilities, healthcare, retail, the charity sector, and many more.

It’s planning a big push into Europe. Its UK office its fastest growing outfit with over 140 employees, and it recently hired former Microsoft cloud sales exec Jeremy Grinbaum to lead the company’s commercial expansion efforts in France and southern Europe. It’s also looking to deploy international datacentres to power its services outside the US within the next 12 to 18 months.

One of the big areas it’s trying to break into is financial services. The company recently introduced Box for Financial Services as part of its Box for Industries offerings, a growing portfolio of vertically-integrated cloud-based storage and collaboration platforms that bake industry-specific data management, security capabilities and workflow management requirements right into the service.

“Financial services has been slower to adopt the cloud, mostly because of an unclear regulatory environment,” Levie told BCN. “We’ve been working with financial services customers around the regulatory and compliance aspect, and with our encryption key technology we’ve gotten much farther along in terms of giving financial services firms the ability to adhere to their data security controls.”

Levie said the company has recently had some fairly big wins in the financial services space – none that he can mention publicly yet, of course – but some of the company’s customers in the sector already include US AA, US Bank, and T. Rowe Price to name a few.

Box for Industries (it already offers Box for Healthcare and Box for Retail) is central to how the company intends to differentiate itself among a growing sea of competitors – that, and its security investments. Levie said Box is more enterprise-y than Dropbox, widely viewed as one of its largest competitors, and more vertically-integrated than UK-based Huddle. But when asked about competition from non-traditional competitors like banks, some of which are using their substantial datacentre, security and digital service UX investments to provide their own cloud-based storage services to customers, he said he sees Box as more of a partner than rival.

The company recently launched Box Developer Edition, a software development kit that lets partners and customers use APIs to integrate Box’s technology into their own applications, Levie said banks can become Box partners and effectively white label its offering.

“Box ends up being a natural back-end service in that process. So instead of them having to build out all of the infrastructure, manage all the systems and then essentially recreate what our hundreds of engineers are doing,” he said. “The value proposition for [banks] is going to be the digital experience that allows them to interact with their customers.”

Box eyes retail manufacturers, engineering, construction firms with Verold acquisition

Box is looking to bolster its pitch to niche verticals

Box is looking to bolster its pitch to niche verticals

Box has acquired Verold, a Toronto-based 3D modelling and WebGL specialist, in a bid to bolster its appeal to retail manufacturers, engineering and construction firms.

Verold, which was founded in 2010, offers WebGL-based 3D modelling technology that lets users preview and edit 3D content without much computational overhead.

As part of the acquisition Box will move to integrate Verold’s technology into its platform. Verold’s teams with also become Box employees.

“At Verold, we believe interactive 3D web content has the power to transform a wide range of industries and applications, from manufacturing to ecommerce, and we believe the tools to build the 3D web should be broadly accessible,” said Ross McKegney, chief executive officer of Verold.

“Box’s incredible success in building an enterprise content platform that already reaches 45,000 businesses presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to bring the future of 3D content to millions of people around the world. We’re thrilled to be joining Box and can’t wait to get started,” McKegney said.

The cloud-based storage incumbent said the acquisition would enhance its ability to provide more solutions specifically tailored to various industries. Last year the company launched Box for Industries, a collection of Box offerings tailored to a range of niche verticals.

Box chief executive Aaron Levie discussed some of the drivers for the acquisition on the company’s blog, and hinted at where the next Box for Industries solutions might appear: “We’re finding that nearly every industry is experiencing information-driven transformation in unique ways, and the acquisition of Verold will allow us to go even farther than ever imagined.”

“Take for example a commercial construction contractor, faced with the challenge of collaborating on multiple projects at once with partners and contractors, or previewing detailed design drawings when in the field. Or an athletic wear retailer tasked with delivering the latest product design iterations across geographically dispersed teams. Being able to perform these workflows, right from a web browser, without having to download any additional software is a game-changing proposition in many industries,” he said.

The move comes just one month after Box’s latest acquisition. It recently purchased Subspace, a mobile security startup, for an undisclosed sum.