Box.net Looks For Collaboration Across the Channel

By Michael Vizard  |  Print this article Print

Box Partner Network brings together the company's alliances, the Box Channel Program, and the Box Platform and API initiative.

On one hand, Box.net is a software as a service (SaaS) application in the cloud, so many solution providers resent the company because it moves an application to shared infrastructure in the cloud rather than running it on-premise using dedicated systems provided by the solution provider. On the other hand, however, Box.net adds another application to the solution provider arsenal—one that many customers find too difficult to manage themselves.

On the assumption that more solution providers are coming to view Box.net as an opportunity, the company has launched the Box Partner Network, which brings together the company's strategic alliances, the Box Channel Program, and the Box Platform and API initiative under a common program.

The program consists of multiple tiers, ranging from developers of custom applications to agents that simply collect referral fees for recommending Box.net to their customers, said Whitney Bouck, general manager of Box Enterprise.

Bouck said there are already 15 million users of the Box.net file-sharing and collaboration platform across 150,000 businesses. In addition, she notes that more than 17,000 developers are building unique applications on top of Box.net. Collectively, they have generated more than 1.8 billion API calls.

"We continue to grow at a rate of 150 percent a year," Bouck reported.

She added that Box.net expects that as more partners join the company's channel program, the ranks of developers creating unique applications for specific vertical industries will grow significantly.

Of course, there is no shortage of options when it comes to file-sharing and collaboration application platforms in the cloud. The most widely used is Dropbox.com, but many organizations have security concerns about that product—and about other so-called "shadow IT" services.

Channel partners now have an opportunity to help potential customers understand why they should consider a standard platform for sharing files via the cloud—and why they should pay for one that specifically addresses security and compliance concerns.