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Box Bolsters Collaboration, Security Capabilities at Digital Event


A computer connecting to the cloud
Image: AndSus -
As businesses become more distributed in a hybrid, post-COVID-19 world, they will need to find a better way to manage content. To that end, content management provider Box shared its vision for the future of content collaboration at its digital conference for IT leaders BoxWorks 2021 last week.
The traditional file-sharing approach, which often had content scattered across multiple systems, is neither sufficient nor secure. The inability to manage content effectively creates disjointed workflows, frustrates users as they are constantly searching for the right documents, and puts businesses at compliance risk.
During the event, Box Co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie outlined how the company is working to address these issues and fulfilling its vision to build a platform that powers the entire lifecycle of content in a single, highly secure architecture. Something it calls the Box Content Cloud.
For background, Box integrates with more than 1,500 apps, including Salesforce, Slack, Zoom, Okta, Microsoft Office 365, and Google Suite. More than 100,000 organizations use the Box platform today, including 67% of Fortune 500 companies. The initial platform centered on collaborating and storing content on the Internet. Over time, Box repositioned the platform around the Content Cloud — a central place to collaborate, communicate, and store content both internally and externally.
Today, Box has more engineers working on the platform than ever before, Levie said. In fact, the company is boosting both engineering and product innovation efforts to keep pace with the changing nature of work. Levie explained that three trends are shaping the Box platform: work from anywhere, content-driven digital customer experience, and cybersecurity.
“We see these trends transforming every single industry. The way organizations work with their content is going to be fundamentally at the center of many critical business processes,” said Levie. “There needs to be a new approach and a new era of content management in the cloud.”
Box has been making major investments in its platform over the last five years, especially in workflow and security capabilities, explained Box Chief Revenue Officer Mark Wayland during a recent ZKast interview. The company just launched several new and enhanced capabilities at BoxWorks, geared toward hybrid work and collaboration in the cloud.
With Box Notes, a tool that allows teams to collaborate from anywhere, users can create a table of contents and anchor links for simpler navigation. Users can also create call-out boxes to highlight content and use in-line cursors to keep track of edits in real-time. Moreover, Box Notes has security enhancements like granular permissions and access stats. The enhanced Box Notes will be GA in January 2022, included in the core Box platform at no extra cost.
Next, Box announced changes to its mobile app to help teams-on-the-go add content directly into Box. Box Mobile features an updated Capture Mode for iOS and Android, which transforms a mobile device into a tool for taking, scanning, and uploading photos, audio, and documents. Optical Character Recognition is a new capability built into Box Mobile that recognizes text and turns scanned documents into searchable PDFs with multi-language support.
BoxWorks also showcased a new tool called Sign, which Box rolled out in July. Sign enables unlimited electronic signatures (e-signatures) on files stored in the Box platform, including vendor agreements and purchase orders. Included with Box Business and Enterprise plans, the tool provides additional security through e-signatures.
Additionally, BoxWorks attendees got to preview a new Box integration with Zoom and expanded integrations with Microsoft 365 and Slack. Announced in September, the Box app for Zoom is designed for users who want to access their Box content directly in the videoconferencing platform. Users can browse, preview, and share Box files directly from Zoom during and after meetings.
In 2019, Box launched an enhanced security offering called Shield, one of its most successful product launches. Now, Box is leveraging deep-learning technology and external-threat intelligence to identify more sophisticated malware. A new and improved version of Shield, also unveiled at BoxWorks, can analyze data within files and recognize anomalous behavior. With the improvement, Organizations can get a better handle on content shared from external sources.
“The tailwinds that are shaping the content market are greater than any that I've ever seen. If we think about what the role of artificial intelligence is going to be over time and what automation is going to look like with cloud computing at scale,” Levie concluded. “There’s so much potential of what we can do to reshape how companies work with their content.”