Box to beef up IT administration features of cloud content management software

The company will start letting customers beta-test the new capabilities on Thursday

Box will start letting customers test a new set of IT administration controls for its cloud-hosted enterprise collaboration and content management software on Thursday.

The overall goals of the new and revamped features are to improve the product's security, give IT staffers more control over users and data, and simplify administration tasks.

A new central administration console has been designed to give IT administrators a single control center for their company's files and folders. Also new is a search function that lets IT administrators query, view and manage all files and folders stored in Box.

Wasserman Media Group in Los Angeles has been testing these new features, and IT Director Justin Slaten said they will allow the company to further consolidate its collaboration and file-sharing tasks on Box.

The company has been using Box since 2007. It uses the software to provide file-sharing, content management and collaboration for about 350 users internally and also to communicate with external customers and partners.

"With these new Box tools, we can now take a more aggressive approach at transitioning away from the traditional file-sharing systems we still use," he said.

The new search and administration features give Slaten and his team a good overview from a central location of how and what files are being saved, stored and shared.

"The information we need is right in front of us now," he said. "It gives us a much better insight about how Box is being used in our environment."

Adjusting things like user access and file access is much easier with the new administration features, Slaten said.

"It gives us much more granular controls. Everything we need to do administratively is one or two clicks away, instead of having to dig a bit deeper," he said.

The company is also adding more security controls for managing access to Box from smartphones and tablet devices. The new capabilities are available now for Android devices, and support for iOS devices will be added later.

For customers in heavily regulated industries such as finance and health care, Box is adding archiving features for compliance and e-discovery requirements.

These new features are available now in beta form for customers of the Enterprise version of Box's software. Those interested in trying out the improved capabilities can request access by writing to

Box is also introducing the option for customers to license its software via a broad enterprise license agreement, instead of necessarily on a per-user basis.

Box's suite is used by about 120,000 businesses, including 82 percent of the Fortune 500, and 11 million end users. Recent customer wins include Avaya, Lennar, Toyota and Netflix.

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.

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