Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Box enhances its enterprise chops - FierceContentManagement

Last week, Box announced a new upgrade to its service specifically geared toward giving IT more control over the back-end of the Box system. In a case of interesting timing, the enhancements were announced the same week that EMC announced the purchase of its own file syncing and sharing service, Syncplicity, at its EMC World conference.

In a comment, Box CEO Aaron Levie called file syncing and sharing "table stakes" for content management systems--an interesting analogy considering EMC World was taking place in Las Vegas.

But EMC officials stressed one of the things they hoped to achieve with this purchase was to provide some enterprise class control over cloud file sharing, stating one of the reasons they bought this particular service was its back-end security controls.

It was also one of the reasons Levie said in a statement, Box was enhancing its security controls. "Enterprises are realizing transformative gains by adopting the cloud, but there is a need for technology that provides deeper visibility, control and data security," Levie explained.

As Box has grown more successful over the last couple of years, it clearly is a target for established content management companies like EMC. That's why it's essential that Box enhance its own IT chops--and that was the point of this upgrade.

The interesting contrast between these two announcements is that EMC's makes it more like Box--more flexible and simple, while Box's makes it more like EMC, more secure and enterprise-friendly.

Among the new tools are an enhanced administrative console that gives IT visibility into the types of content users are sharing and where they are viewing it. It also provides a global search tool to search across users to find a particular one or all of the content that matches one search term.

In addition, there are new mobile controls, which let IT apply a passcode lock to ensure device-level security and a new control to give permission for off-line access to content.

And Box has added granular archiving to follow activities like comments, tasks and shared files by user, giving regulated industries the audit trail, the law might require.

Finally Box is now offering an enterprise licensing agreement to provide companies with a more predictable pricing model.

These enhancements certainly go a long way toward providing enterprise customers with the comfort level they need to work with  Box tools. One feature missing, which was demonstrated by Syncplicity at EMC World is the ability to revoke access to a file or folder from a particular user instantly.

Box Spokesperson Ashley Mayer indicated there are third party partners that provide this functionality and that it is on the road map for a future enhancement to the core Box product.

The new tools are available in Beta for for Box Enterprise accounts upon request.

For more information:
- see the Box press release

Related Articles:
Box announces unified cloud approach
Box adds security enhancements and announces new partners
Google online storage shouldn't threaten Box

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