Cloud collaboration company Box expands datacentre footprint outside US

Cloud collaboration provider Box is set to build datacentres outside the US to expand the firm's global operations over the next 12 to 18 months

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Cloud collaboration provider Box is set to build datacentres outside the US in the next 12 to 18 months.

Speaking at the third Box World Tour in London, Box CEO Aaron Levie said the company's ambition was to make the service seamlessly global.

The company has been expanding its global operations. Its London office now has 140 staff.

Levie said: "Our system is a global collaboration platform."

Talking about the company's datacentre expansion, Levie said the lack of datacentres outside the US had not impeded the company. "We want to be the best place to collaborate, view and manipulate document." Earlier this year, the company announced a relationship with Microsoft, to support Office documents stored on Box.

TheAstraZeneca company has also provided browser-based viewers for medical images and a computer-aided design (CAD) viewer for designs stored in Box.

Read more about Box

AstraZeneca rolls out Box

According to Levie, one of the ways Box has tried to convince CIOs about its ability to give companies control of their data, is the ability to keep their own encryption keys through Box's enterprise key management (EKM) product. "EKM offers regulatory control."

Since the company started, he said Box had moved from being a product for individual users to departmental deployments such as at Proctor & Gamble and then upwards enterprise-wide as in the General Electric and AstraZeneca rollout.

Earlier in 2015, pharmaceuticals business AstraZeneca chose to deploy Box across 100 countries to all its 51,000 staff.

At Straiten, the Box service is expected to support secure collaboration in the company and with external parties, as well as to enable mobile access to information

Addressing delegates at the London event, Levie said: "Technology is transforming the way we are working. Our mission is to transform the way people work."

Businesses must digitise to stay competitive

According to Levie, businesses need to transform by becoming digital organisations, as their existing business models increasingly come under threat from new, innovative services. Levie believes companies need to rethink what they do. He warned: "All our businesses have an uber or Airbnb. There are a lot of opportunities – but there are a lot of structures and outdated business processes."

One Box customer to have adopted a digitisation strategy is Dundee University, which has deployed Box to 25,000 staff and students, enabling users to develop more productive and connected projects for assessment and research purposes.

Lancaster University has deployed Box to 18,000 staff and students, enabling them to collaborate and help the university embrace digital transformation.

Levie said: "IT becomes responsible for competitive advantage." As an example, he said Tesla, the electric car, offers free software upgrades to its vehicles, which means customers get free improvements to their car.

Levie said Box was building a cloud-based enterprise content management platform. He said: "You will see a lot more from us over the next year to improve collaboration."

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