Box and Microsoft merge for cloud content management with Azure



Box boosted its alliance with Microsoft on Tuesday to jointly offer Box cloud content management with Azure to enterprise customers. Box will use Azure as a strategic public cloud platform and the companies commit to shared go-to-market investments, including initiatives to co-sell Box with Azure. In addition, the partnership will enable future integration between Azure’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities with Box’s cloud content management platform.

The companies intend to collaborate on initiatives, including deliver businesses globally will be able to purchase Box’s cloud content management platform, as well as extended functionality like Box Governance, while choosing to store their Box content on Azure.

Box will explore integrating Azure’s cognitive services to extend the capabilities of Box’s cloud content management solution. Potential integrations might include advanced content processing technologies like video indexing, which uses natural language processing to generate metadata and power advanced search capabilities. Customers in media and entertainment, for example, could potentially use the technology to discover related content or make recommendations for their Box content.

Introduced in April 2016, Box Zones helps businesses address data sovereignty concerns by enabling in-region data storage. Currently, Box Zones is available in eight countries. Over time, Box intends to leverage Azure’s global footprint to expand Box Zones coverage to many more regions while also giving customers choice and flexibility in local storage options.

Azure has announced 40 datacenter regions around the world – more than any other cloud provider – giving customers the flexibility and scale needed to transform their businesses.

“Azure is a trusted partner in the enterprise and we’re thrilled to be integrating our technologies and going to market with Microsoft,” said Aaron Levie, cofounder and CEO, Box. “Microsoft shares our vision to transform how people and organizations work and Box and Azure together can unlock incredible opportunities for innovation.”

“Box shares our focus and commitment to empowering enterprises on their digital transformation journey,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division. “With this new partnership, we ensure customers can take advantage of Box’s platform on Azure, and look forward to future innovations using Azure’s intelligent cloud services.”

Box also announced Box Drive, its desktop application that delivers secure access to all files stored in Box with the familiar feel of traditional network shared drives. With Box Drive, people benefit from advanced capabilities of Box – including creating, editing, finding and sharing files – without leaving their desktop.

Available for Windows, MacOS and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Box Drive is the easiest way for businesses and teams to instantly collaborate on content and kick start productivity. Box Drive is available in public beta, and is free for all Box users.

The new Box and Azure offering is expected to be available later this year, with more information on pricing and geographic availability will be shared at a later date.

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