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Box And IBM Simplify Cloud Workflows With Box Relay

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Boxworks 2016: Box and IBM continue partnership and promise Box Relay will reduce dependency on IT without sacrificing securirty

Box and IBM say their new add-on for the Box platform will reduce employee dependency on IT and make them more productive by being able to build, track or manage custom or pre-existing workflows.

The two companies entered into a wide-ranging partnership last June, the most notable product of which has been Box Zones – a feature which lets customers choose to store their data in a number of selected IBM Cloud regions across the world. However, Box Relay is the first joint-product to be rolled out.

Available for an additional fee to business customers, Box Relay runs directly from within the Box platform.

Box Relay

 

Box RelayBox says its emphasis on ease of use means any employee can use it, and take advantage of content already stored on the platform as well as integrations for services like Office 365, Adobe and Salesforce.

Workflows, such as training programmes, budgeting or content approval, can be shared internally and externally, and the idea is that groups of employees spend more time managing projects, with real-time dashboards and email notifications helping to keep track of deadlines and assignments.

Administrators might be wary of giving end users too much control, but Box stresses that all its platform security features such as KeySafe encryption key management, Box Governance and the aforementioned Box Zones are fully compatible and an audit trail is also provided.

Ahead of the BoxWorks 2016 conference in San Francisco, where an “all new” Box is set to be shown off by the company. Box Relay will be available in beta later this year and with a full release to its users expected at some point in 2017.

“Workflow in the enterprise is broken – complex, fragmented software and manual processes are getting in the way of productivity,” said Aaron Levie, Box CEO. “The all new Box is a place where all of your work comes together. Box Relay delivers on this vision by providing anyone with an easy way to create, track and manage routine processes without ever having to leave Box. Box Relay is enterprise workflow made simple.”

Box growth

Box has added numerous features in the past few years in a bid to attract more paying customers and prove it offers more than just storage. It has added more security and privacy tools for firms in regulated industries, alongside usability improvements and tailored packages for individual industries.

It has secured major partnerships with Cisco, Apple and Microsoft and competes with the likes of Dropbox, which is seeking to secure more of the business market to complement its strong performance in the consumer space.

Box went public in 2015 after a protracted initial public offering (IPO) and has spent significant amounts on sales and marketing to boost its customer numbers. The company now has 66,000 paying customers, 4,000 of which were added in the most recent quarter, and accounts Electronic Arts, Eurostar and Western Union among its clients.

In Q2 it recorded revenues of $95.7 million, up 30 percent year-on-year, while losses narrowed from $50 million to $38 million. Sales and marketing costs are now largely stable, increasing from $58 million to $60.1 million.

Quiz: What do you know about the cloud in 2016?