Will Box.net PC Cloud Storage Work In A Mobile World?

Box.net have had a good run so far, managing to squeeze out of very difficult positions to emerge…
Box.net

Box LogoBox.net have had a good run so far, managing to squeeze out of very difficult positions to emerge on the other side glowing like the sun. Perhaps this is owing to the leadership of eccentric co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie who happens to believe very strongly that the cloud storage space is now owned by startups and not the big guns such as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. But Box also have some turf wars of their own to contend with.

Started off as a cloud sharing and collaboration platform, Box has had to refine and rethink its offering multiple times owing to the influx of new players into the market. But according to CEO Levie, Box is an enterprise cloud storage and collaboration solution rather than a mass market product. This is why Box has invested heavily in integrating deeper tools into their platform to appease the very picky IT managers in Fortune 500 companies, which Box claims to serve 77% of.

However, Box has not been left behind in the mobile computing scene. Box initially teamed up with HP to offer a whooping 50GB free storage to purchasers of the HP TouchPad but this did not take off as intended. Next, Box partnered up with LG to offer buyers of the Android powered smartphone a similar amount of storage on purchase of an LG smartphone. Other mobile device partnerships include iOS and the Amazon Kindle Fire, both of which give the end-user a free 50GB worth of storage in the cloud.

But Box seem to be feeling the heat of rivals Dropbox, a hugely successful cloud storage startup that recently closed a quarter billion dollars round of funding to expand its services. Dropbox has the unique appeal of having a fanboi following on Silicone Alley and this has seen the company receive the love and adoration of both media players as well as Venture Capitalists. But Box say that whereas Dropbox is a consumer offering, Box have a different market in mind by going for users who require more sophisticated tools than just a simple cloud sharing and permission-based collaboration platform, which the Box.net PC cloud storage service will offer.

Nevertheless, to ramp up their defenses, Box is going all out after partnerships with hardware manufacturers. Their latest collaboration being a deal with HP that offers purchasers of the HP Compaq Pro 6005 and 6200 Series a free Box account with 10GB storage and those who purchase the HP Compaq Elite 8200 Series unlimited storage and syncing free for one year. Taken as a bold foray into the enterprise cloud domain of big players Microsoft, Box CEO Levie was quick to dismiss Microsoft and Google by saying they missed the bus because they were too busy chasing after mobile and social respectively.

In addition, the Box.ner PC cloud storage strategy seems to be targeted at creating a more robust and locked-in ecosystem through which Box can channel their future offerings. Whichever way the pendulum swings, Box are playing both sides by ensuring they have a good foothold in both the mobile space as well as the PC space, a marked advantage it wields over other competitors in the cloud storage space.

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