Jun
01
2018
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Box acquires Progressly to expand workflow options

Box announced today that it has purchased Progressly, a Redwood City startup that focuses on workflow. All 12 Progressly employees will be joining Box immediately. They did not disclose the purchase price.

If you follow Box, you probably know the company announced a workflow tool in 2016 called Box Relay along with a partnership with IBM to sell it inside large enterprises. Jeetu Patel, chief product officer at Box says Relay is great for well defined processes inside a company like contract management or employee on-boarding, but Box wanted to expand on that initial vision to build additional types of workflows. The Progressly team will help them do that.

Patel said that the company has heard from customers, especially in larger, more complex organizations, that they need a similar level of innovation on the automation side that they’ve been getting on the content side from Box.

“One of the things that we’ve done is to continue investing in partnerships around workflow with third parties. We have actually gone out and built a product with Relay. But we wanted to continue to make sure that we have an enhancement to our internal automation engine within Box itself. And so we just made an acquisition of a company called Progressly,” Patel told TechCrunch.

That should allow Box to build workflows that not only run within Box, but ones that can integrate and intersect with external workflow engines like Pega and Nintex to build more complex automation in conjunction with the Box set of tools and services. This could involve both internal employees and external organizations and moving content through a much more sophisticated workflow than Box Relay provides.

“What we wanted to do is just make sure that we double down in the investment in workflow, given the level of appetite we’ve seen from the market for someone like Box providing a solution like this,” Patel explained.

By buying Progressly, they were able to acquihire a set of employees who have a focussed understanding of workflow and can help continue to build out that automation engine and incorporate it into the Box platform. Patel says how they could monetize all of this is still open to discussion. For now, the Progressly team is already in the fold and product announcements based on this acquisition could be coming out later this year.

Progressly was founded in 2014 and was headquarted right down the street from Box in Redwood City. The company has raised $6 million, according to data on Crunchbase.

May
24
2018
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Box expands Zones to manage content in multiple regions

When Box announced Zones a couple of years ago, it was providing a way for customers to store data outside the U.S., but there were some limits. Each customer could choose the U.S. and one additional zone. Customers wanted more flexibility, and today the company announced it was allowing them to choose to multiple zones.

The new feature gives a company the ability to store content across any of the 7 zones (plus the U.S) that Box currently supports across the world. A zone is essentially a Box co-location datacenter partner in various locations. The customer can now choose a default zone and then manage multiple zones from a single customer ID in the Box admin console, according to Jeetu Patel, chief product officer at Box.

Current Box Zones. Photo: Box

Content will go to a defined default zone unless the admin creates rules specifying another location. In terms of data sovereignty, the file will always live in the country of record, even if an employee outside that country has access to it. From an end user perspective, they won’t know where the content lives if the administrators allow access to it.

This may not seem like a huge deal on its face, but from a content management standpoint, it presented some challenges. Patel says the company designed the product with this ability in mind from the start, but it took some development time to get there.

“When we launched Zones we knew we would [eventually require] multi-zone capability, and we had to make sure the architecture could handle that,” Patel explained. They did this by abstracting the architecture to separate the storage and business logic tiers. Creating this modular approach allowed them to increase the capabilities as they built out Zones.

It doesn’t hurt that this feature is being made available just days before the EU’s GDPR data privacy rules are going into effect. “Zones is not just for GDPR, but it does help customers meet their GDPR obligations,” Patel said.

Overall, Zones is part of Box’s strategy to provide content management services in the cloud and give customers, even regulated industries, the ability to control how that content is used. This expansion is one more step on that journey.

Mar
01
2018
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Box shares fall over 20% on slowed growth

 Cloud storage provider Box started out the day Thursday down over 20% on the stock market. Shares traded as low as $19.11 in early hours of trading, down from a previous close of $24.07.
The company reported quarterly earnings after the bell on Wednesday, and while its losses of six cents per share surpassed analyst expectations of negative eight cents, investors were concerned about the… Read More

Dec
12
2017
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Box launches new consulting unit to help customers struggling with digital transformation

 Box announced a new consulting organization today called Box Transform. It is designed to help companies understand that transformation requires a new way of working and thinking as an organization, beyond simply adopting new technologies like Box. Box CEO Aaron Levie says that as his company has grown, they see their mission as more than selling software. It’s about helping change… Read More

Oct
12
2017
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Box’s dalliance with AI foretells a broader shift in content management

 As Box CEO Aaron Levie pointed out at his BoxWorks keynote this week, content management has been an evolving field since it came into being as an enterprise software concept in the 1990s. Back in those days, the state of the art was network drives. As content spread across the organization, we saw the rise of enterprise content management. Later file sharing tools developed and finally the… Read More

Oct
11
2017
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Box Graph unleashes relationships between content and users

 Box has vast amounts of content in its stores, and as it begins to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to make it easier to surface, it also wants to expose each piece of content and how it relates to other content and users. To help achieve that, the company announced the Box Graph today at BoxWorks. “The Box Graph enables customers to predictively recommend content… Read More

Oct
11
2017
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Box Skills applies AI and machine learning to growing multimedia content

 Box CEO Aaron Levie has always had a vision for the company that extended well beyond its earliest use case as way to transfer files between machines online. His company has continually kept looking to the future at ways the Box toolset could adapt to the changing needs of the market. More than a decade after launching the company and almost three years after going public, the company continues… Read More

Aug
30
2017
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Box shares down 4% despite what Levie calls “one of our strongest quarters”

 Cloud storage company Box reported second quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday. And although the company beat expectations on revenue and losses, it wasn’t enough to please Wall Street.  The stock fell almost 4% in after-hours trading.
It seems that part of the issue related to the company losing its cash flow positive status for the quarter, coming in at a negative $14.7 million. Read More

Aug
30
2017
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Dropbox Paper gets document previews and some other small updates

 Dropbox continues to tune its products as it tries to tap a bigger audience within larger companies with some updates today to its collaboration tool Paper, including the ability to preview documents before loading them. As a blank slate, Paper is increasingly popular with designers you might talk to in Silicon Valley. It basically turns the process of designing and building a product spec into… Read More

Aug
26
2017
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AI will fundamentally change how we manage content

 Content management is about to undergo a foundational shift as AI and machine learning bring long-sought order to enterprise content. As the volume of content has increased, the ability to manage it all seems to have alluded us. Ironic, since Content Management Systems were supposed to solve the enterprise content organization problem and help prevent your employees from reinventing the wheel. Read More

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