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Summary

Box, a provider of cloud content management products and a "leader" in the Ovum Decision Matrix for Enterprise File Sync and Share, has reported record revenue for fiscal year 2017 and its first ever quarter of positive free cash flow. The enterprise file sync and share market offers products and solutions to address a broad set of business requirements, user expectations, and IT constraints. However, the selection of any enterprise communication, collaboration, or productivity solution generally requires a degree of compromise and the practical realization that no single product can ever meet every business scenario. The Ovum report examines the strengths and weaknesses of Box the product, and assesses the opportunities and threats facing Box the company.

Seeking business value from modern enterprise content management solutions

The workforce needs to access all relevant documents, files, and information via any screen, from any location, at any time. These screens may be personal devices, so IT departments need to ensure that information security and data privacy policies are observed and enforced. Meanwhile, business managers are tasked with increasing productivity, reducing operational costs, and promoting business growth. These demands can produce contention within the workplace as employees try to get work done in an enterprise IT environment that wants to control workplace tools and utilities.

Empowered employees also want to share and interact with documents and files across their organizations and with external communities, be it partners or customers. Moreover, they want to do this within the context of business applications and processes. Early adopters of enterprise file sync and share are already going beyond personal drive replacement functionality, as organizations re-architect their IT environments to take full advantage of cloud services and new models of working.

New challenges and concerns arise with the adoption of every new technology. In the case of file sync and share, this is seen in the balancing act that seeks to satisfy the needs and expectations of the business user with the needs and expectations of the IT department. It is the role of the IT decision-maker to achieve this balance, with "just enough" functionality to meet business requirements, and with a budget that is seldom enough.

The Ovum Decision Matrix for Enterprise File Sync and Share presents 10 well-balanced products, each offering a different mix of features, functions, reach, and range. No single product scored 10 out of 10 in Ovum's assessment, and every product has its strengths and weaknesses. Products from Box, Egnyte, and Microsoft stand out in Ovum's general assessment, but organizations should apply their own selection criteria when shortlisting solutions for full evaluation.

Box is one of the most significant vendors in the modern enterprise content management market, having attained its status and position by walking the fine line that divides consumer-oriented products that are a joy to use and enterprise products that are easily deployed and cost-effective to manage. From an end-user perspective, Box combines best-in-class file sharing and collaboration features on desktop and mobile devices with robust and reliable file synchronization. From an IT management perspective, Box offers excellent governance, risk, and compliance features, together with best-in-class management reporting capabilities. Box will appeal to organizations that are looking for a modern enterprise content management solution and a platform that is open to developers.

Appendix

Further reading

Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Enterprise File Sync and Share Product, IT0021-000234 (March 2017)

Ovum Interactive Decision Matrix: Enterprise File Sync and Share, IT0021-000245 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: Box Enterprise, IT0021-000235 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: Citrix ShareFile, IT0021-000236 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: Dropbox Business, IT0021-000237 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: Egnyte Connect, IT0021-000238 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: Google Drive for Business, IT0021-000239 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: IBM Connections Files, IT0021-000240 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: Microsoft OneDrive for Business, IT0021-000244 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: SecuriSync by Intermedia, IT0021-000241 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: Syncplicity, IT0021-000242 (March 2017)

SWOT Assessment: VMware Content Locker, IT0021-000243 (March 2017)

2017 ICT Enterprise Insights in Enterprise Productivity and Collaboration, IT0021-000225 (January 2017)

2017 Trends to Watch: Employee Engagement, Productivity, and Collaboration, IT0021-000215 (November 2016)

Author

Richard Edwards, Principal Research Analyst, Enterprise Mobility & Productivity

richard.edwards@ovum.com

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