Yesterday, Box (see previous CloudAve coverage) announced that they are releasing ECM Cloud Connect, a connector for traditional enterprise content management software. This marks a subtle turn around in Box’s strategy, partly due to the recognition of their challenges and, possibly, due to the pressures that came with their recent whopping $48 Million funding round. Either way, this is a good strategic move by box and also an implicit acknowledgement that they need to move beyond their vigorous push based on the theme of how traditional enterprise software are not sexy.
In my post about Box’s enterprise strategy, I wrote
It may be easy for them to convince modern enterprises without big investments on Sharepoint but getting existing Sharepoint customers to defect is going to be difficult. With Microsoft’s increased vigor in pushing newer version of Sharepoint and their plans for a cloud based Sharepoint service, enterprise customers are not going to be easily swayed by Box’s sex appeal alone.
Yesterday’s announcement is exactly the first step I would expect from Box to reach out to old fashioned enterprises (majority of the market, BTW) first and then convert them to the sexy solution from Box.
Thatz ok, what is their announcement, BTW?
Box has partnered with EntropySoft, from Europe, to jointly develop a connector that will help enterprises leverage their investment in on-premise ECM systems by linking them to Box’s cloud content management platform. This adds global collaboration, cloud based backup, mobile connectivity, etc. to these traditional ECM apps. This connector will also ensure that content is moved between on-premise ECM and cloud in a seamless manner, opening up broad set of modern features to these ECM systems. They support 40 leading ECM platforms including MS Sharepoint, EMC Documentum, Alfresco, etc..
This is available to Box’s enterprise customers and have the following features that will establish a seamless connectivity between existing on-premise ECM systems and cloud:
- Sync: Synchronize content between Box and a selection of 40 on-premise ECM systems
- Archive: Trigger automatic content archiving from Box to on-premise ECM systems
- Push: Transfer content from on-premise ECM systems to Box, or vice versa
This move serves dual purpose. First, it gets Box to the enterprise customers who don’t want to get rid of the existing ECM systems. More importantly, it will put brakes on any upgrade plans these customers might have once these traditional ECM vendors add cloud based capabilities. Looks like a smart move by Box but there is no guarantee for large scale penetration in this space. Let us wait and see how this helps them in that market.
- ECM Cloud Connect Offers A Bridge Between On-Premise Content And The Box.net Cloud (techcrunchit.com)
- ECM Cloud Connect Offers A Bridge Between On-Premise Content And The Box.net Cloud (techcrunch.com)
- Cloud ECM takes off with SpringCM’s enterprise content management (ecmplus.wordpress.com)
- Is Box.net Collaborative Enough? (bigmenoncontent.com)