Box brought its World Tour to London earlier this month. We were, in part, treated to a re-run of some of the things I wasn’t able to tell you about (due to the NDAs in force) at Box’s Analyst Summit in February (happily much of that can now be shared in the forthcoming MWD On the Radar report on Box, due for publication shortly)… but in the meantime the World Tour event was interesting for the chance to hear directly from more of Box’s enterprise customers.
Some (like Peterborough City Council, SKF, and Royal Haskoning DNV) appeared in person on the stage, and even helped lead the breakouts; others (like Schneider Electric and Network Rail) were only able to join us through the medium of PowerPoint.
Peterborough City Council is another feather in Box’s UK local authority cap, following in the footsteps of the London Borough of Hounslow—and clearly keen to learn what it can from the borough’s experience (of designing cloud-based services for residents). However, each has subtly different motivations for coming to the cloud. In Hounslow’s case, top of the list, as it strives to go ‘infrastructure free’, were a move to the next generation of collaboration capabilities and mobile BYOD for staff; whereas Peterborough had a pressing need for storage, as its current data centre had begun to wear out.
France-based energy company Schneider Electric is Box’s largest international customer (with 70,000 users across 121 countries, and with 15,000 external collaborators). Its main driver was to provide all these tens of thousands of people with a more connected, productive social collaboration space around its content—and to that end it deployed Box integrated with Tibbr and Salesforce. Swedish engineering company SKF envisaged similar use cases, with a significant mobile angle (for its sales and engineering people in the field to consume content). Where SKF has gone one further, though, is in a hearty embrace of Box as a platform upon which to develop custom apps and drive its mobile strategy forward (via its dedicated Connectivity Room app development team) for the company, its partners and its customers.
It’s interesting to see how customers come to secure SaaS file share / collaboration solutions from different angles. All are legitimate uses, but everyone has a different tipping point that first places them in the game, and points them in the direction of whichever major player seems best aligned to their initial needs. What often tends to happen though is that once they’re made comfortable, customers reach out and explore what else their chosen solution can do for them—and with help are able to refine and re-imagine all sorts of process enhancements which may well not have been on the cards at all when it came time to sign on the dotted line. It’s a bit like finding out what other music your spouse likes after you’ve got married. It’s a gamble that seems to be paying off for a good number of Box’s customers, whose relationship with the company has started to grow well beyond sync and share as adoption rates soar and people take a longer, harder look at what they’ve bought.
For now, I’ll leave you with the trifecta. Box dedicated a session to how all the elements of the ‘Box Trifecta’ (of web, desktop sync, and mobile) work together to help customers get the most out of the content they store, share, collaborate with, and build on. It’s not a term I’m familiar with so I confess I looked it up. It seems it can be used to describe “three related things that often cause problems” (which seems apt when considering collaboration scenarios). Another use refers to “the attainment of three important achievements”; well… if you get web, sync and mobile nailed then you’re well on the way to a decent collaboration space.