IBM and Box extend partnership to offer greater flexibility on data residence

Partnership hand holdingIBM has extended its partnership with Box to provide enterprises the choice to store data regionally in Europe and Asia on the IBM Cloud.

The IBM cloud will be available as part of Box’s new Box Zones technology, and is the first time that Box customers will have the choice of where to store their data. IBM will also utilize the Box Zones offering to extend its hybrid cloud proposition.

“Organizations want to tap into all of the benefits of the cloud while retaining the security, performance, control and other attributes they might achieve with local data centre infrastructure,” said John Morris, general manager at IBM Cloud Object Storage. “With Box Zones and the IBM Cloud, enterprise customers across Europe and Asia will soon have the choice to leverage the IBM Cloud global footprint locally, and uniquely support hybrid cloud and on-premises deployments, integrating data between Box Zones and on-premises content repositories”

Since the launch of the partnership in June 2015, the pair has integrated a number of different products, including a new version of the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Expert Seller app that is built on Box Platform.

“Box and IBM are focused on bringing world-class technology to enterprises across the globe, and on building dynamic content and collaboration solutions that transform the way our customers do business,” said Aaron Levie, CEO of Box. “Box Zones enables us to combine Box’s rich, intuitive content management experience and collaboration tools with IBM Cloud’s powerful global infrastructure to overcome many of the data storage concerns faced by businesses in Europe and Asia.”

The launch would appear to be well timed as transatlantic data movement and residence has been under continuous scrutiny following the European Court of Justice’s decision to strike down Safe Harbour last October. While EU-US Privacy Shield has been put to the industry, receiving backing from Microsoft in the process, industry insiders have told BCN that the new policy is unlikely to have much impact on the concerns of EU citizens and businesses. As the EU-US Privacy Shield is a policy, not law, companies are likely to refer directly to national legislation as opposed to any European directive.

IBM’s and Box’s partnership could be perceived as a shrewd move to counter any arguments that potential customers have with regard to their data residence and overall compliance.