boxcomIf your enterprise stores content in the cloud, you may or may not have heard of It has experienced a rapid rise to prominence in the cloud computing arena. Box is now a popular file sharing network where customers can save information by uploading it to the website. You might be wondering how this online file sharing service and cloud content management system came to be, and how it has become one of the major players in the enterprise cloud computing market.

A Rising Star

Founded in 2005, Box began as a college business entity before being incorporated later that year. The service received millions of dollars in funding over the next couple of years, and itself acquired Increo Solutions in 2009, developer of popular online document and media viewing tools. It was able to launch a content viewer and file embedding capabilities for customers in 2010. Another round of funding was closed in 2011 and later in the year Box received investor support from SAP and

The financial support is only part of the evidence to support the rapid rise of Box. The company launched OpenBox, a platform that connects content from it with other web-based applications, in 2007. Developers can formulate other services that interact with files uploaded to the site, while OpenBox Mobile came about in 2009 so developers could link mobile content with various apps and other online services. Enterprises can benefit from unlimited storage and integration with business-centric software such as Salesforce, Google apps, and more.

How It Works

Box has created a secure means for content sharing and access. Other unsecured systems like Dropbox and others are replaced by this one system for centralized administration and even reporting on data. At the same time, businesses can lower the demand on their IT resources, but increase the amount of storage they have. Also appealing to the contemporary enterprise is Box’s support for mobile content, which can be synced across all devices.

An integral security suite ensures that all data are protected, a common concern for cloud services and mobile computing. In fact, it has been issued an SSAE 16 Type II report, and has Safe Harbor certification, so data security is not a concern. By signing up, enterprises get support for an unlimited number of users, unlimited file storage, and file sizes up to 5 GB.

The Advantage over SharePoint

Businesses are increasingly choosing Box over SharePoint, a leading file sharing application, because it has a simpler interface that does not slow down the process with complexity. At the same time, its features and consistent navigation make it more accessible. The affordability and support for mobile computing are great for any progressive enterprise. Documents can also be sent to users of Box and those outside the system, adding to the cloud product’s flexibility. While it hasn’t yet overtaken SharePoint in popularity and functionality, Box is a strong contender in the cloud market for enterprises looking to streamline their cloud content sharing infrastructure.