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Box Retools Shuttle Content Migration Service
Last week, cloud content management vendor Box relaunched its managed data migration service, Box Shuttle, with enhancements that make it easier for organizations to transfer large amounts of content to the Box Content Cloud. Box Shuttle tackles complex and large-scale content and the relaunched offering costs 30 to 50% less than it did previously, depending on the level of service.
The pandemic has certainly driven up the level of digital collaboration to the point where most workers can’t live without it. However, most people have a narrow view of collaboration and think it's only tools like Zoom and Cisco Webex. While these are important, content management is equally important. We meet, work offline, present to small and large groups, and in all these cases, we share content.
Many people think of Box as an online storage company, and they certainly do that well, but the company has rapidly shifted to a complete cloud content management company. In addition to file sharing, Box enables better security, simplifies workflows, makes policies consistent, and integrates with a wide range of applications like Microsoft Teams, Share Point, Google G-Suite, and more. In fact, Box integrates with Microsoft and Google better than One Drive and Drive do, respectively.
Box has offered managed data migration via Box Shuttle for five years and revamped the service at a lower price point to make it more accessible, explained Kelly Millsaps, VP of Box Consulting, the unit in charge of implementation. The investments Box made over the past year focuses specifically on migrating mission-critical content with complex requirements, such as legacy enterprise content management (ECM), SharePoint on-premises, and application data.
Box Shuttle has been overhauled to perform petabyte-scale migrations from more than 15 on-prem and cloud source systems to the Box Content Cloud, which approximately 100,000 organizations rely on today. The cloud source systems include file shares, SharePoint, OneDrive, Google Workspace, Egnyte, Documentum, OpenText, FileNet, and more.
Organizations already struggle with content that lives in different file shares and legacy systems. Centralizing content in the cloud is an even bigger priority for organizations with data dispersed across remote work environments due to the pandemic, said Millsaps.
A large portion of the Box Shuttle customer base consists of organizations that have unsuccessfully attempted data migration on their own using free tools. Some of those customers have challenges understanding what kind of data they have in their portfolio. Some are struggling with permissions, while others are frustrated with the entire experience, including migrating existing metadata.
Box Shuttle has a feature that lets organizations re-map content to different owners or modifies permissions during migration, so they can avoid downtime. Organizations can also migrate existing metadata and file version history into Box Content Cloud with simple configurations. Finally, organizations can see what is happening in real-time with reporting, visualization, and event monitoring capabilities built into Box Shuttle. These are the key benefits of a managed data migration service versus a free self-service tool.
Self-service tools are best suited for low-to-moderate volume migrations with simple requirements. Box has such a tool in the pipeline, launching later this year. The self-service offering will give Box customers the option of executing their own migrations by “shifting the labor model away from a service and into the customer’s hands,” said Kyle Croft, senior solutions architect at Box Consulting. Use cases for the self-service tool include archive file shares and home drives that need basic permissions.
“We'll be offering this option, so customers that do have simple requirements can get their content into Box. It will be a separate kind of web app that customers can log into, but it will also serve as a gateway,” said Croft. “If customers have more complex requirements, then we can shift them from self-service to a managed migration offering.”
In the longer term, Box plans to integrate that technology into its core platform to create a complete in-product experience for migration. For example, a Box administrator will have one migrate tab in their admin console, and everything they need to facilitate a migration will be available within the Box platform.
Facing competitive pressure from Google and Microsoft, Box wants to establish itself as a data migration leader. Google offers free migration tools that organizations must deploy and manage on their own, and it doesn’t provide an option for services support. Microsoft also offers free tools but limited free services for users. Organizations that have complex use cases typically incur tooling and services fees when using Microsoft’s migration tools.
With the introduction of a lower-cost migration service via Box Shuttle — coupled with other recent additions like the Box Sign electronic signature tool — organizations can now manage their entire content lifecycle in the Box Content Cloud. That’s where the true value lies for organizations.
There are certainly cheaper options than Box, and there are free services. But with free, you don’t get what you don’t pay for. In fact, free products often get expensive very fast, as companies have to either buy separate tools or risk putting an undue burden on users. The revamped Box Shuttle ensures customers can start using Box faster with greater accuracy of data.
*This article has been updated since publication.