Box zings rivals with massive GE customer win

GE plans to roll out Box's cloud storage and file sharing service to its 300,000 employees

Rocked recently by reports that it has delayed its IPO, Box has rebounded with a major customer win, snapping up General Electric, which plans to roll out the cloud storage and file sharing service to its 300,000 employees worldwide.

The deal, announced Thursday, represents Box's largest single customer deployment, and boosts its credibility as an enterprise IT provider as it fiercely battles rivals like Microsoft, Google, IBM, Dropbox, EMC, Citrix and Egnyte.

Adding GE to its customer portfolio will also help dampen concerns about Box's finances. In its IPO (initial public offering) registration statement, filed in March, Box disclosed that it isn't profitable and doesn't expect to be anytime soon.

"Moving to a cloud technology like Box allows us to centralize all of our content and provides more efficiency, speed and simplicity for our employees," said Jamie Miller, GE's CIO, in a press release.

In a separate blog post, Box CEO Aaron Levie said the deal had been in the works for about two years.

"[GE] employees need to securely share corporate information from multiple devices. They need to collaborate not only with each other, but also with partners, customers, and vendors globally. And every worker, whether a corporate marketing leader or someone servicing a jet engine, needs access to data in real-time, from anywhere," Levie said.

GE's endorsement of Box is also further validation of the trend among businesses to store data in vendors' cloud data centers, where employees can access files via the Internet and share them from a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Box, founded in 2005 by Levie and CFO Dylan Smith when they were both still in college, jumped on that bandwagon early on, becoming a leading provider of cloud storage and file sync and share services. Other Box customers include Procter & Gamble, McAfee, Pearson and eBay.

Based in Los Altos, California, Box has about 1,000 employees and closed its fiscal year on Jan. 31 with revenue of $124.2 million, up 111 percent year-over-year, and a net loss of $168.6 million, compared with a net loss of $112.6 million.

It has about 34,000 paying corporate customers, 40 percent of them Fortune 500 companies. However, only 7 percent of its 25 million end users pay for the service. In the IPO registration, Levie said this freemium model has been key to the company's growth, because it allows individuals to bring in Box to their workplaces at no cost and without assistance from the IT department.

Once Box is in via this bottom-up approach driven by end users, IT departments often embrace the service, which has an extensive set of IT management and security controls, because, unlike Dropbox, it has been designed from the start for workplace use.

Last week, reports from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg attributed to anonymous sources said Box had delayed going public due to the stormy climate on Wall Street for technology stocks.

In response, Box said it has never had a set date for going public and that its plans has been all along to do so whenever it makes the most sense.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsstoragesoftwareBox.netcollaborationSoftware as a servicecloud computinginternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?