IBM, Box join forces to tackle the enterprise

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IBM, Box join forces to tackle the enterprise

Aim to transform work in the cloud.

Cloud storage provider Box and technology giant IBM today announced a wide-ranging partnership aimed at boosting and extending each company's standing in the enterprise IT market.

The partnership - which comes five months after Box went public - will see existing offerings integrated and new products developed co-operatively.

It spans three areas: enterprise work, security, and applications.

Box will take on IBM's enterprise content management platform, plug into its analytics and security technology, and allow customers to store their content in SoftLayer.

IBM will integrate Box into its Verse and Connections business email and social collaboration offerings.

The pair will jointly develop mobile apps and analytics solutions. Box technology will also be incorporated into select IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps.

The companies will also integrate IBM's Watson analytics technology to Box's file storage.

"With this global partnership, the systems that are at the heart of major enterprises will work in concert with the technology powering end-user collaboration and sharing," Box CEO Aaron Levie said.

"A retailer will be able to connect their back-office workflows with the content needed to help a retail store associate deliver a more personalised shopping experience, and a healthcare provider will be able to leverage IBM's analytics to serve up relevant health information to drive better patient engagement."

Box is hoping IBM's manpower will propel its products into the enterprise faster and more widely than the company hope to achieve on its own.

IBM, meanwhile, is betting on Box integration offering a better user experience than it has been able to build internally.

Big Blue has spent the last few years restructuring its business to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive and cloud-focused market - selling off most of its hardware operations, buying up cloud businesses like SoftLayer and Cloudant, while also investing heavily into its Watson analytics business.

Meanwhile, Box has been focused on extending beyond its traditional file storage offering, bringing out workflow products and industry-specific services.

The pair's partnership follows a joining of forces between rivals Microsoft and Dropbox in November last year.

The companies said they would add integration features for Microsoft Office productivity suite users, allowing them to edit and access files directly from the Dropbox mobile app.

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