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Box Extends Enterprise Push with Added Security and Content Pacts

Box is looking to break out of the box, so to speak, as it continues its push to offer an alternative to traditional document sharing and collaboration.

Box is looking to break out of the box, so to speak, as it continues its push to offer an alternative to traditional document sharing and collaboration. While it's not the only cloud provider striving to do so, it clearly is the poster child with 14 million users among 140,000 businesses.

The company is addressing the most significant obstacle to corporate use of cloud-based document sharing and collaboration services -- security and compliance. Box released a new reporting API that will enable third-party business intelligence partners, such as GoodData, to create dashboards that will let administrators detect unusual activity such as an individual downloading an excessive number of files. The API lets developers link Box activity logs into those dashboards to track unacceptable actions.

Box has also inked a pact with Proofpoint to use its "security as a service" to add a layer of security over documents shared over the Box service. By using the Box API with Proofpoint's service, it can recognize if content is uploaded in violation of a security policy and will result an admin being notified of the suspicious activity.

Security is one barrier but making content accessible is another key issue among would-be users of software a service (SaaS) offerings. At its annual BoxWorks customer conference this week in San Francisco, Box said it is moving to make it easier for customers to access data from various other SaaS-based services.

The company's new Box Embed is a framework based on HTML 5 that allows customers to access features from Box such as the ability to preview files, add or view comments and incorporate Box-based search into applications developed in house or by partners. Box revealed 10 partners that are using Box Embed within their cloud-based apps including Concur, Cornerstone OnDemand, DocuSign, Eloqua, FuzeBox, Jive, NetSuite, Oracle, SugarCRM and Zendesk.

Box Embed will let users securely and centrally store content, though they can access it from partner apps. For example, in the case of Jive, Box users will be able to incorporate enterprise social networking into its document collaboration service.

Customers can also use Box Embed to embed content from the service to their Web sites, intranets or services provided by third parties. NetSuite and SugarCRM launched Box Embed-supported features this week and Box said others will follow suit in the next quarter.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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