With the literal explosion of mobile computing devices there is a huge challenge both on the enterprise computing vendor and customer sides. The easiest way of looking at those challenges is analyzing the so called BYOD (Bring your own device) and mobile enterprise platforms trends on the market where customers and suppliers meet each other.
Note as well that these are all parts of a bigger trend, the so-called “consumerization of IT” which I already covered from an overall leading vendor point of view in the Pre-Commerce and the Consumerization of IT [Sept 10, 201] post on this site. Please read that before looking at the current trends discussed here in the below detailed sections. Then I will recommend to read The Changing Of The Enterprise Guard [TechCrunch, Jan 19th, 2013] article by the CEO of Box.com, the most successfull rising star in the enterprise IT vendor space. Even the ex MS leader Steven Sinofsky was recommending it in his Twitter meassage as:
Interesting thoughts on enterprise computing http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/19/the-changing-of-the-enterprise-guard/ … from Aaron
Note that the BYOD trend I will present mostly through the Middle-East area where to solve the BYOD issue properly for the true enterprise space is the most pressing one in the world.
Bring your own device [Wikipedia article, started on Jan 1, 2012]
BYOD first entered in 2009 courtesy of Intel when it recognized an increasing tendency among its employees to bring their own devices to work and connect them to the corporate network. However, it took until early 2011 before the term achieved any real prominence when IT services provider Unisys and software vendor Citrix Systems started to share their perceptions of this emergent trend.
In 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adopted a BYOD policy, but many employees continued to use their government-issued BlackBerrys because of concerns about billing, and the lack of alternative devices.
BYOD has resulted in data breaches. For example, if an employee uses a smartphone to access the company network and then loses that phone, any unsecured data stored on the phone could potentially be retrieved by untrusted parties.
It is important to consider damage liability issues when considering BYOD. If an employee brings their personal device to work, and it is physically damaged through no fault of their own it is unclear whether the company is responsible for repair or replacement.
A business that adopts a BYOD policy allows itself to save money on high-priced devices that it would normally be required to purchase for their employees. Employees may take better care of devices that they view as their own property.Companies can take advantage of newer technology faster.
Employees who work for a business with a BYOD policy are able to decide on the technology that they wish to use for work rather than being assigned a company device. This is thought to improve morale and productivity. Exclusive control of features is given to the employee.
- Company information will often not be as secure as it would be on a device exclusively controlled by the company. (Security professionals have termed it ‘Bring Your Own Danger‘ and ‘Bring Your Own Disaster‘.) The company may have to pay for employee devices’ phone service, which they use outside company time. BYOD is an extreme case of the end node problem.
- Due to security issues, the employees often do not have true full control over their devices, as the company they work for would need to ensure that proprietary and private information is secure at all times. It is an out-of-pocket expense for the employees. They would be responsible for repairs if their devices were damaged or broken at work.
 El Ajou, Nadeen (24 September 2012). “Bring Your Own Device trend is ICT industry’s hottest talking point at GITEX Technology Week”. AMEinfo.com. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
Frost & Sullivan: Consumerisation of Smart Phones and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are the biggest trends driving the Network Security Market in the Middle East [Frost & Sullivan press release, Nov 12, 2012]
Dubai, the U.A.E., 21 November, 2012 – With an increase in the number of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), information security risks are becoming a major concern for organisations globally. Enterprises are swiftly adopting and deploying applications and new services to combat the same. In their quest to obtain high levels of security assurance and develop advanced intelligence technologies, organisations in the Middle East are increasingly adopting methods such as virtualisation and cloud computing. Over the past few years, this has led to increased Government investment in information and communication technology (ICT)-related projects in the Middle East and this is expected to proliferate further in future. To address these threats to enterprise security and brainstorm best-in-class Enterprise Security Solutions and Strategies, Frost & Sullivan convened the best minds in enterprise security at its Middle East Enterprise Security Summit 2012 on November 21, at Habtoor Grand Beach Resort, Dubai, U.A.E.
Held for the first time in the Middle East, the Summit was attended by CIOs, CISOs, CTOs, Vice Presidents, General Managers, Network Managers, Enterprise Security Architects, Internet Security Architects, Compliance Officers, and Department Heads from across a variety of industry sectors such as Banking, Finance & Insurance (BFSI); Telecom; IT; Manufacturing; Government; Education; Healthcare; Media and Entertainment; Retail; and Automotive and Logistics.
According to Frost & Sullivan, consumerisation of smart phones and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are the biggest trends driving network security issues in the Middle East today. The network security market is in a high-growth stage. Frost & Sullivan anticipates that technology convergence, regulatory compliance, and continuous growth of network infrastructure will continue to drive up sales for security suppliers in the Middle East during the period 2012-2018.
Frost & Sullivan’s Middle East Enterprise Security Summit 2012 Summit began with an inaugural address by Andy Baul-Lewis, Director, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, describing the prevalent enterprise security landscape in the Middle East. “Building security for electronic assets is one of the most critical tasks facing organisations today. In a converged world, where the threats of each system are multiplied; getting advice, sharing best practice, and talking to partners is a vital part of the construction process. This is what Frost & Sullivan endeavours to provide through this interactive Summit,” stated Mr Baul-Lewis at the Summit.
The Summit included in-depth discussions and case studies on enterprise security management. The first of these was, ‘The Evolving Role of a Chief Information Security Officer’ by Roshan Daluwakgoda, Senior Director – Security Strategy Planning Risk Assessment and DR at Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company, du, Dubai, the U.A.E. This was followed by a thought-provoking presentation on ‘Information Security Management – When the Going Gets Tough,’ by Kamran Ahsan, Head of Information Security, Injazat Data Systems, the U.A.E. Bashar Bashaireh, Regional Director, the Middle East, Fortinet, gave a presentation ‘How to Make your Security Aware in a BYOD World’. Thameem Rizvon, IT Director, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group LLC (KOJ) presented, ‘Learn from your Peers: Security Implementation in a Retail Environment’. The session on Secure the Cloud,’ by Joe So, VP Business Sales, Huawei;was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Security Convergence and its Impact on Business.’
Speaking on the occasion, Kamran Ahsan stated, “Information security is increasingly emerging as a critical concern in today’s modern business environment. This trend is very much evident in the Middle East, where enterprises have experienced information-related threats such as infiltration, data leakage, and cyber warfare among others. Injazat Data Systems will highlight how enterprises can proactively address these challenges and mitigate risks associated with business assets and services of enterprises. Moreover, with the best minds in enterprise security attending this Event, we expect to have an in-depth discussion of new trends and developments in information security in the Middle East.”
Sharing his views on the Summit, Bashar Bashaireh said, “Information Technology has become central in driving the business processes of enterprises. However, as trends such as mobility, cloud computing, and BYOD are fast gaining momentum in the U.A.E., helping drive business profit and innovation; they are also bringing forth new challenges to IT security. Organisations in the U.A.E. should act now to regain control of their IT infrastructure by strongly securing their network and applying granular control over users, devices, and applications. The Summit organised by Frost & Sullivan is a great platform for us to share with end customers our insights on the new approach aimed towards IT security.”
Talking about Securing the Cloud, Dong Wu, Vice President, Huawei Enterprise Middle East said, “As organisations roll out cloud-based models into their business infrastructure, the issue of security becomes an ever increasing concern. The Middle East Enterprise Security Summit is a way for Huawei and other industry leaders to come together and discuss how businesses can be better secured and protected from the fast-evolving cyber threats that exist today. At the summit, we look forward to sharing our insights on how organisations can improve their planning processes before making their move into the cloud.”
The Summit was supported by Injazat as Platinum Partner, while Fortinet and Huawei were the Event’s Silver Partners. Telecom Review, Teknotel and Connect-World Magazine supported the Summit as Media Partners; with Tech Channel MEA as the Online Partner for the event.
If you are interested to know more about insights shared at the Middle East Enterprise Security Summit 2012 then send an e-mail to Tanu Chopra/Deepshri Iyer, Corporate Communications, at email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, and country.
For more information on the Summit, please visit: http://www.frost.com/EnterpriseSecurityMiddleEast
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.
Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.
- The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation, and implementation.
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For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector, and the investment community. Is your organisation prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics, and emerging economies?
Mobile application management [Wikipedia article, started on Oct 17, 2011]
Mobile Application Management (MAM) describes software and services responsible for provisioning and controlling access to internally developed and commercially available mobile apps used in business settings on both company-provided and “bring your own” smartphones and tablet computers.
Mobile application management differs from Mobile device management (MDM) in the degree of control that it has over the managed device. As the names suggest; MAM focuses on application management, but stop short of managing the entire device. MDM solutions manage the down to device firmware and configuration settings and can include management of all applications and application data.
Enterprise mobile application management has been driven by the widespread adoption and use of mobile devices in business settings. In 2010 IDC reported that smartphone use in the workplace will double between 2009 and 2014.
The BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) phenomenon is a factor behind mobile application management, with personal PC, smartphone and tablet use in business settings (vs. business-owned devices) rising from 31 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2011. When an employee brings a personal device into an enterprise setting, mobile application management enables the corporate IT staff to download required applications, control access to business data, and remove locally cached business data from the device if it is lost, or when its owner no longer works with the company.
Use of mobile devices in the workplace is also being driven from above. According to Forrester Research, businesses now see mobile as an opportunity to drive innovation across a wide range of business processes. Forrester issued a forecast in August 2011 predicting that the “mobile management services market” would reach $6.6 billion by 2015 – a 69 percent increase over a previous forecast issued six months earlier.
Citing the plethora of mobile devices in the enterprise – and a growing demand for mobile apps from employees, line-of-business decision-makers, and customers – the report states that organizations are broadening their “mobility strategy” beyond mobile device management to “managing a growing number of mobile applications.”
MAM system features
An end-to-end MAM solution provides the ability to: control the provisioning, updating and removal of mobile applications via an enterprise app store, monitor application performance and usage, and remotely wipe data from managed applications. Core features of mobile application management systems include:
- App delivery (Enterprise App Store)
- App updating
- App performance monitoring
- User authentication
- Crash log reporting
- User & group access control
- App Version management
- App configuration management
- Push services
- Reporting and tracking
- Usage analytics
- Event management
The Middle East angle #1:
Mitigating the Risks of BYOD with MAM [ITP.net, Nov 14, 2012]
Organizations need to decide how to manage BYOD, says Johnny Karam, Regional Director, Middle East and French Speaking Africa, Symantec
According to a recent Symantec survey, 59% of enterprises are making line-of-business applications accessible from mobile devices in an effort to increase efficiency, increase workplace effectiveness and reduce time required to accomplish tasks.
The average annual cost of mobile incidents for enterprises, including data loss, damage to the brand, productivity loss, and loss of customer trust was $429,000 for enterprise. The average annual cost of mobile incidents for small businesses was $126,000.
According to Symantec’s State of Mobility Survey, 67% of companies are concerned with malware attacks spreading from mobile devices to internal networks. In addition, Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report highlighted that mobile vulnerabilities increased by 93% in 2011.
To manage or not to manage:
The first question every business must ask around BYOD is: How much management of user-owned devices connecting to corporate resources does the company want? This is critical because the degree to which an enterprise is involved in managing various aspects of user-owned mobile devices has consequences. For example, a key anticipated benefit of implementing BYOD means often no longer having to fully manage employees’ mobile devices. In return, support costs are hopefully reduced.
However, fully managing user-owned devices often results in intruding on the personal information and activity of those devices. This might include enforcing device-level authentication and encryption policies and complete device remote locking or wiping, including users’ personal content.
Delivering corporate [apps and] resources
Securing corporate [apps and] resources once they are delivered
The Middle East angle #2:
BYOD is not a new problem [Gitex Review 2012 published on ITP.net, Nov 18, 2012]
Cloud and big data were the big talking points during GITEX Technology Week 2012. Leading UAE and global companies discuss those trends.
Florian Malecki, head of product marketing at Dell SonicWALL, says that enterprises need to be prepared to allow employees to use their toys.
Ilike to be a bit controversial over the growing BYOD trend. If you listen to the analysts; IDC, Gartner, Forrester; they are all predicting that the number of smartphones being sold by 2014-2015 will outgrow the number of laptops being sold.
We all say that the employees want to use their own device, but if you look at what they want to use, it is either a tablet or a smartphone, so companies and IT managers have to accommodate all users needs.
We did a survey and we looked at what devices our customers are supporting or are open to support, and there is no clear winner. If you look at it from a device point of view, there are people who want to use tablets (about 60%), people who want to use smartphones and people who want to use laptops.
How to start
A good way to start BYOD and try to minimise risks is by using an SSL VPN gateway. The beauty of an SSL VPN gateway is that you are able to identify the user and the user profile as well as identifying the device and setting up a profile for the device. You could have a profile that is a managed device or a personal device, but registered within the corporate ID system. Any organisation whether an SMB or enterprise, if they don’t really know where to start the BYOD journey, if they start looking at implementing an SSL VPN solution like the Dell SonicWALL solution then they probably meet 90% of employees requirements when it comes to BYOD.
How to control BYOD
The threat of personal devices on a corporate network is a big problem, according to Darren Gross, EMEA senior sales director, Centrify, and companies must be able to control information on those devices.
Security compliance experts Centrify have released mobile device management software, which integrates one single identity for each individual employee within an organisation, so wherever they go the company can control where they are going and what they are doing, through policies and security settings.
“There is a lot of competition in that space, but we are quite unique because we come from an angle of joining the system to Active Directory, so if I leave my iPad on the train, help desk can go and remotely wipe that device so there is no threat to the enterprise,” says Darren Gross, EMEA senior sales director, Centrify.
Enterprises also need to look at mobile device configuration to prevent viruses from accessing the corporate network.
People that use mobile devices tend to have no passcodes on them. Centrify is able to enforce passwords and encryption on a personal device accessing the corporate network.
The company is also developing authentication for off premis cloud software and service type applications so for example SalesForce and WebEx.
“Users will be able to sign on with one identity within Active Directory so you control what a user is doing and see where they are going, there is full accountability to what individuals are doing within the organisations,” said Gross.
Disaster recovery in the region
Yasser Zeineldin, CEO, eHosting DataFort, says the company is offering regional enterprises the opportunity to develop DR sites.
We offer clients both in UAE and the Middle East region the ability to have a hot disaster recovery site where data is replicated between their production system and the disaster recovery system that is hosted with us. This means that in real time if there is a failure in the primary system they can switch over to the secondary system.
<BIG DATA PART OF THE REPORT>
Mobile enterprise computing platform
Hal’s (Im)Perfect Vision on a possible (and much needed) further direction by Microsoft :
There is no ARM in Windows RT [Jan 2, 2013]
Windows RT is the name of Microsoft’s version of Windows 8 for ARM processors, right? It’s aimed primarily at Consumers, right? It’s role in business is primarily in the BYOD realm, right? That’s so 2012! Let’s talk about strategy and where I think Microsoft will go with Windows and particularly Windows RT. And how their strategy may become more obvious in 2013.
The name Windows RT wasn’t chosen to convey a message about Windows moving to ARM processors. Nor was it chosen to convey that it was a Tablet OS. The name appears to have been chosen primarily for one reason, it is an operating system devoted to running Windows RunTime apps. It splits the mainstream Windows product into two families. Windows for running Win32 “desktop” and Windows RunTime applications and Windows RT that drops the legacy Win32 application support. Windows RT is Microsoft’s go forward client operating system, while Windows is the operating system Microsoft will need to keep selling and enhancing for a transition that will last a decade or more, but it will eventually be considered a legacy.
I know I just sent a lot of people’s blood pressure through the roof because today they either (a) dislike Metro/Modern/whatever-you-call-it ,Windows RunTime, or the Start Screen and/or (b) the new environment isn’t really suitable for their usage scenario. But keep in mind I’m talking about where things are going over several releases of the re-imagined Windows. There will be many refinements, improvements, and changes before Windows RT replaces Windows as Microsoft’s primary client operating system offering.
The desktop lives forever, right? Well, on Windows yes but not on Windows RT. Today Windows RT only needs the desktop for two reasons. First, many traditional utilities from the File Explorer to much of system management are only available as desktop apps. Second, Microsoft Office is only available as desktop apps. But in each release going forward this will become less true. A Metro File Explorer will become standard. More and more system management will move to the new model. And eventually Microsoft will remove the desktop from Windows RT. Then it will be able to remove many pieces of legacy (including Win32), making Windows RT smaller, faster, and more secure (via smaller attack surface) than it’s Windows sibling.
Microsoft started the ball rolling with Windows RT on ARM because that was the most practical thing to do. With ARM unable to run existing x86 apps Microsoft had to decide if it would evangelize conversions of existing applications to ARM or put the energy into getting developers to write new Metro/Modern apps. And without a library of Modern apps it was unlikely that any of the x86-oriented OEMs would create an x86 Windows RT system. No rational amount of pricing difference on Microsoft’s part would encourage a OEM to use an operating system with no applications when they could just as simply use one with a huge, if aging, library. ARM thus became the obvious place to introduce Windows RT.
As the library of applications in the Windows Store grows it becomes more and more likely that Microsoft will introduce Windows RT for x86 systems. Will that happen in 2013? By the end of 2013 the Windows Store will likely have in excess of 150,000 Apps. Perhaps in excess of 200,000. Assuming that the quality is there (meaning they are the apps people want and are equal to their iPad and Android equivalents) the market for systems with no need to run legacy desktop apps will have grown dramatically. Microsoft, many of its OEMs, and Intel (of course) will want the option of using Clover Trail (and its follow-ons) in those systems. So it is quite possible that Microsoft makes Windows RT available for Clover Trail-based systems in 2013, and it seems a certainty for 2014.
As a side note this is something that Paul Thurrott will probably not be happy about. Paul has called on Microsoft to use Clover Trail in its next generation of the Surface so that it would have the full Windows experience. But I expect that if Microsoft did use Clover Trail in a Surface (as opposed to Surface Pro) replacement that system would still run Windows RT. Sorry Paul
If Windows RT for x86 is speculative in 2013 here is something I think is a surer bet. Windows RT will expand into a family that mirrors the editions of Windows. I expect that in 2013 we will see a Windows RT Enterprise (and perhaps Pro as well) edition. Why? Well the current edition of Windows RT is missing some key functionality that would accelerate its adoption within Enterprises. And I’m not even talking about UI or Windows RunTime changes that would increase the application space it was applicable to. I’m talking purely about lower level operating system features.
Being able to participate in a domain is part of Microsoft’s secret sauce for enterprises, and today Windows RT can’t do that. A Windows RT Enterprise edition would bring the ability to join a domain, use DirectAccess, use BitLocker, fully participate in Microsoft’s management capabilities, etc. Whereas the solutions introduced in 2012 are acceptable for BYOD situations and some limited application scenarios, an Enterprise edition would allow Windows RT systems to participate as full members of the enterprise computing environment.
Windows RT Enterprise will not allow side-loading of desktop applications, but it may allow side-loading of limited types of system software. As great as DirectAccess is (and given my involvement in it I’m biased, but then I also lived with it as my “VPN” for a year so know how fantastic the user experience is) most enterprises use Cisco VPNs. And while Windows RT is certainly adequately protected with Windows Defender, IE SmartScreen, etc. most enterprises will want at least the management capabilities of enterprise-oriented security products and probably the ability to use their corporate standard (i.e., Symantec, McAfee, etc.) products and infrastructure. Unless Microsoft addresses these adoption of Windows RT will be much slower than desired.
And what about requirements for access to desktop applications on Windows RT systems? Many, perhaps most, enterprises are fine with using VDI to allow users of these systems to access desktop applications. Some are downright enthusiastic. But many do not want that access occurring off their corporate network. Hence the need for the ability to join a domain, and use DirectAccess or VPNs when users need remote access. You then run VDI over the corporate network.
Now we get to another wildcard in all of this, Office. Today’s situation with Office being a desktop Win32 application on Windows RT, and only being available in the Home and Student edition, represents a major drag on Microsoft’s ability to move Windows RT forward. Microsoft needs to either allow upgrade of the edition of Office on Windows RT to an Enterprise edition (including, for example, making Outlook available) or to move Office fully to Metro/Modern (likely in multiple editions). They may do both given the time it could take to create a true Office RT.
An Office RT would benefit the entire Windows RT and Windows 8 market and is the logical direction for Office to go. But I find it hard to believe they can get to full equivalence with the Win32 Office apps in a year, let alone in a traditional longer release cycle. We’ll see some, perhaps substantial, movement in this direction in 2013 but I don’t know how far Microsoft will get. In the mean time they may find it prudent to release Office 2013 Enterprise (standalone and/or as based part of Office 365) for Windows RT systems. However this rolls out, Microsoft will substantially improve the Office for Windows RT situation in 2013.
Finally, let me reinforce a point I’ve blogged about before. Microsoft is moving to annual (or more frequent) updates as a (at least unofficial) corporate standard for release cycles. There may be exceptions from time to time, but I’d expect pretty much every actively developed product to have annual releases. That means faster evolution in smaller chunks is the norm. You don’t like how the Start Screen works today? By the end of the year there will no doubt be improvements that address major complaints. Windows RunTime missing an API that keeps you from creating a Metro/Modern version of your App? You might have it later this year. Can’t stand that the Share contract doesn’t work with Outlook? Again, a solution may appear faster than Microsoft customers have ever imagined possible.
2012 was an exciting year for Microsoft and its customers. 2013 may be even more exciting, and delightful.
A typical new contender, differing from both of the two earlier platforms in that by its very nature of cloud based file sharing can best exploit the power of new mobile computing devices, is the Box (service) [Wikipedia article, started on Nov 15, 2006]
Box (formerly Box.net) is an online file sharing and Cloud content management service for enterprise companies. … A mobile version of the service is available for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, WebOS, andWindows Phone devices.
The core of the service is based around sharing, collaborating, and working with files that are uploaded to Box. Box offers 3 account types: Enterprise, Business and Personal. Depending on the type of account, Box has a number of features such as unlimited storage, custom branding, administrative controls and 3rd party integrations with applications like Google apps, Gmail, NetSuite and Salesforce. The service also has a variety of social features such as discussions, groups and an update feed.
Box is a file sharing network, which saves and stores the information uploaded by the customer to their web site. They have the full legal right to demographic information about their customers, sales, and traffic to their partners and advertisers. Even though this company does not have the right to give, sell, rent, share or trade any personal information uploaded to their web site by their customers unless consent is given by the user of an account, a third party may be able to view some information. For which some terms and policies have been set forth, to protect the web site as well as the customers alike to establish a full functioning informative and well organized sharing network.
With the users consent, and if they are to choose they can share their private details with other customers such as:
To see your name, Email address, Photo, Profile information
Chosen files to share –where comments can be made, and others can contact the user by email. People you invite as editors can also edit your shared files, upload documents and photos to your shared files, share those documents outside of Box, and give other users rights to view your shared files.
On the website its platform services for Enterprise IT are described in the following framework:
Consolidate File Services: Consolidate All Your Content Services on Box
Box – the single, secure solution for content access, sharing and collaboration – lets you replace a myriad of file transfer systems and unsecured, consumer-focused tools like YouSendIt and Dropbox. Bottom line: You reduce content silos, lower costs and give users the simplicity and functionality they want with the security IT requires. Learn more
- Replace NFS, FTP, MFT and consumer file-sharing and sync tools
- Streamline system administration and reporting
- Reduce IT resource requirements while effortlessly meeting increasing storage needs
Enterprise Mobility: Support Mobile Content Management
Box works with any mobile device, giving remote workers access to critical content they need to succeed. Simultaneously, Box features a comprehensive and sophisticated security suite – and its seamless integration with third-party mobile device management tools like Good Technology and MobileIron provide an additional layer of data protection.Learn More
- Users get anywhere, anytime access to critical content; and that content is synced across all their devices
- IT enjoys remote device management coupled with auto logout and locking while sanctioning the use of specific mobile devices and apps
- IT also gains a new level of content visibility, with insight into how content is managed and accessed in the organisation – and beyond
Cloud Content Management: Discover Content Management in the Cloud
As a Web-based service, Box is up and running in minutes and deployed in days. There’s no hardware to maintain or software to update and it complements existing content management platforms.
- Start working in the cloud immediately: no on-premise installation, provisioning, maintenance or DMZ setup
- Enable employees to access and share enterprise content quickly and securely, both internally and with external partners and vendors
- Significantly lower hardware and storage costs
Security and Architecture: Ensure Your Corporate Information is Secure
It’s true: Box is a leader in content management security and makes ongoing investments in the safety of our data centres and corporate operations. Box has been issued an SSAE 16 Type II report, and our solution also features Safe Harbor certification and provides easy-to-use configuration tools, so you can tailor Box to meet your security requirements. Learn More
- Global permission controls and detailed audit trails
- Full data encryption plus data centre backups and redundancy
- Guaranteed 99.9% uptime
The Box Platform: Extend Box With Our Platform and Integrations
Box is more than just a Web application; our comprehensive yet flexible platform lets you easily integrate, extend and customise your cloud deployment. Connect Box to the leading SaaS applications you already use, integrate it into your IT infrastructure or build apps designed to do whatever your business needs. Learn more
- Easily connect to other business applications like Salesforce, NetSuite and Google Apps
- Extend Box to meet additional needs with our 120+ Box Apps including eFax, DocuSign, FedEx and mobile Box Apps like Quickoffice
- Create custom mobile, Web and desktop applications powered by Box
Professional Services: Deploy Easily With Professional Services
Our Customer Success team offers a comprehensive range of professional and client support services, from end-user training to systems integration and performance tuning. Learn more
- Content migration services transfer your existing data to Box quickly and securely
- Custom implementation road maps streamline deployment across the enterprise
- A dedicated Customer Success representative gives you the responsive, personalised support you deserve
The current state was described in Box Platform: Announcing v2 API in GA and Year in Review [on box blog by Chris Yeh, VP of Platform, Dec 14, 2012]
2012 has been an amazing ride for the Box platform, and I’m excited to announce that we’re ending the year on a high note with the general availability of the Box v2 API. First released back in April in beta, we’ve made tremendous strides to bring our partners, developers and customers a simple, elegant and intuitive API that will power the next generation of business collaboration.
Our v2 API represents a major step forward for Box. It is RESTful, implements the OAuth2 spec to standardize user authentication, has much improved error handling and it is well documented. Our Platform Manager Peter Rexer has a deep dive into all the details of the v2 API here. We’re also introducing Box developer accounts, which offer developers access to all of Box’s enterprise features through both the Box web app and the API. In celebration of our new API, we’re offering 25GB of Box free for any developer account created before January 18, 2013.
API Momentum in 2012
Our new API is being launched at a time of tremendous platform growth for Box. In 2012, every API metric that we tracked grew significantly. Here’s just a sample of some of the massive traction we’re seeing with the Box API:
- 129%: growth in third party developers using Box
- 140%: growth in number of third party API calls per month
- 133%: growth in apps in the Box Apps Marketplace
- 200%: growth in number of weekly users of third party apps on Box
Of course, we wouldn’t have seen such strong platform growth and API engagement without the efforts and work driven by the amazing Box platform team and our ecosystem of third party developers. We built industry-first products including Box OneCloud and Box Embed, travelled the world meeting amazing companies along the way and got together as a community to hack some pretty cool projects. Here’s a brief look back at an amazing 2012.
In April, we introduced Box OneCloud for iOS, the first mobile cloud for the enterprise. OneCloud helps you discover useful productivity apps that are deeply integrated with Box for productivity on common business tasks like document editing, PDF annotation, e-signature, etc. We launched on iOS with 50 apps and shortly thereafter brought this to Android. By year’s end we’ll have nearly 300 OneCloud app integration partners across both iOS and Android. 40% of all Box’s Fortune 500 customers are using Box OneCloud.
Box Platform on the Road – New York & London
In New York this spring, we announced our v2 API in beta, 100 new OneCloud apps and partnerships with General Assembly and TechStars. We welcomed over 650 attendees to Skylight West to hear from Box CEO Aaron Levie, Take Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick and former Editor-in-Chief of Wired Chris Anderson. Later, everyone danced to cool tunes spun by Elijah Wood. Our friends in New York include the Bizodo team, which makes a great form-filling app that puts content into Box. We also hung out with the Handshake team, which created a rich order-taking app useful in many business and retail settings. When the Handshake logo appeared on our OneCloud billboard on the 101, they tweeted that it was the startup equivalent of your voice dropping. One of the most interesting things about New York is the concentration of enterprise-focused startups. For example, we’re really pleased to support Jonathan Lehr’s NY Enterprise Technology Meetup and Nick Gavronsky’s New York City Startup Weekend, which just occurred last weekend.
In late August, we parachuted into the middle of Carnival week in London to talk to analysts, press, London-based startups and supporting government organizations. We hosted a developer meet-up at Shoreditch House and were awestruck by the energy in London, particularly in Tech City. We spent time in Google’s shared space in London, where we first met Ben Wirtz, CEO of Unifyo, which brings together multiple sources of customer data to provide enterprises with a singular view of customers. We wandered down to Chelsea to meet Will Lovelace, CEO of Datownia, a company that allows the easy translation of Excel spreadsheets into APIs for external consumption. And we visited the lofty digs of the Chelsea Apps Factory, a super high quality app consultancy and production company.
It’s great to meet with so many wonderful people and even better when you can get together and build some really cool things.
Box Hack Event
Full disclosure, our first public hack event at Box HQ was not intended to be thematically linked to astronauts shooting each other, but that’s another story. At this event, called “Redefine Work,” 150 hackers stayed overnight creating more than 40 contest entries. Participating technology partners included TokBox, Firebase, Mashery, Twilio, Parse, Iron.io and SendGrid. Our winning hack, called OMGHelp, is an application that improves the technical support experience by allowing a customer to use a smartphone camera to show a technical support person what they’re doing. If you’re interested, here is a really nice recap of our event that was created by Mashery’s Neil Mansilla on Storify.
We closed out our active year in October with…
BoxWorks Dev Day
At BoxWorks, we announced a brand new technology that lets you quickly and easily extend the full Box experience anywhere you work. We call it Box Embed, our robust HTML5 framework for adding Box directly into the user interfaces of other applications. We launched with ten partners, including NetSuite, Jive, Conur, Oracle and others and we plan to continue adding to that number. Box Embed is particularly exciting to us because it’s one of the easiest ways for our partners to help make the content you have stored on Box accessible from anywhere.
We also ran an un-conference-like Developer Day where hundreds of developers joined us to hear about the latest web development technologies and learn about enterprise development. We ran a well-attended startup camp with Boxers from various departments (design, sales, marketing in addition to developer evangelists) providing consulting. And we concluded with one of my favorite reporters/writers, Drew Olanoff of TechCrunch, interviewing one of my favorite “startup” CEOs, Jeff Lawson of Twilio, about the ways that developers should think about using APIs in their apps.
We were fortunate to have many of our platform partners join us at BoxWorks this year. Jesse Miller and the attachments.meteam met with Box customers on the main show floor. David Klein and the SlideShark team presented in one of our sessions, as did Milind Gadekar from CloudOn.
As you can see, we’ve had an amazing year. Thanks to all of our platform partners, big and small, for working with us. We look forward to reaching the next level in the new year.
2013: Looking Forward
As 2013 approaches, we’re working on making it even easier for developers to work with Box by focusing on our SDKs and other developer tools. We’re also excited to be building new platform products. On one front, we’re working on new developer-focused metadata tools. On another, we’re looking at allowing developers to hook into workflow products that will allow content to move through Box in various business flows.
We’re sure that it will be a fun ride. Happy holidays to all and we’ll look forward to working with you in 2013!
Regarding the most demanding enterprise customers of Box.com here are few excepts from Why Box.com is king of enterprise cloud storage [CNET, May 15, 2012]
It may be known to some as the Dropbox-for-the-enterprise, but Box.com could be forgiven for insisting on its own identity.
With more than 120,000 customers, including 82 percent of the Fortune 500, the company has made a name for itself as one of the leaders in the enterprise cloud storage and data management space. And though Box.com has Microsoft, and more recently, Google breathing down its neck, CEO Aaron Levie doesn’t appear the least bit nervous.
That may be because the company has spent seven years building its business and solidifying a technology platform that gets more sophisticated — and cost-effective — every day. And as it has evolved into occupying a sizable Silicon Valley building, and employing more than 400 people, Box is now setting its sights on new businesses, including providing customers with the infrastructure on which to build cloud-based applications.
Last week, the 27-year-old Levie sat down with CNET in a conference room at Box.com headquarters for an interview about the state of his company, the competitive landscape in the cloud storage and service space, and even the value of wearing a hoodie in a meeting with potential investors.
How do you pitch Box.com to customers?
Levie: So many different kinds of businesses out there are all going through the exact same challenge and transition. It’s almost counterintuitive how predictable everybody’s situation is. Because whether you’re in construction or finance or real estate or consumer or media tech, every CIO we talk with, and these are companies that are 5,000, or 10,000, or 50,000 employees, they’re going through the same kind of transition and they’re at the same junctures as organizations, where they have decades of legacy technologies that they’re still managing. And it’s, How am I going to build an IT and technology strategy for the next five to ten years. And often, if you look at how vast the change has been in the landscape, the technology strategy they’re going to end up with is very different than the one they just came from.
So what is Box.com?
Levie: The vision of Box is to make it easy for customers to share, manage, and access information from anywhere. That means we need lots of different kinds of technologies to make that happen, including technology that will sit on your iPhone, your Mac, your Android device or your Blackberry. And we just announced something with Nokia with their Windows Phones and tablets. We’re a 100 percent enterprise-focused company, and all the technology we’re building goes towards asking how do we make it easier or more scalable, or simpler, and just a better way for businesses to share and manage and access this data.
Any regrets on being 100 percent enterprise?
Levie: God, no. Our thesis is basically that if you look at the cost of storage, it goes down roughly about 50 percent every 18 to 24 months. So our hard costs are about a tenth of what they were when we started the company seven years ago. And you can predict that in the next five to ten years, we’ll have another 10x improvement in storage density and performance. Eventually you’ll get to a point where storage is infinite and free, because companies like Google, and Microsoft, and Apple can essentially subsidize the cost of storage for their consumers because it’s so cheap and the value of keeping people locked into their system is so great for them. But in the enterprise, storage is critically important, so we had to give people lots of space, but what you pay for is the security, the platform value, the collaboration, and the integration into your enterprise, and this is where we can build differentiated technology instead of just being measured on how much storage we give you and at what price.
Who poses the biggest threat to your business?
Levie: I would say Microsoft knows the most about the enterprise of any of these players. Google has a phenomenal brand, but it’s getting to be a broader brand, because it’s everything from your wallet to your car to your TV to your phone. The other thing that gets lost in the entire conversation because Google and Microsoft and Apple are so aggressive about this space, is the big transition companies are going to do from Oracle, IBM, EMC, and a lot of these traditional enterprise infrastructure players. Because as these dollars, and as your computing goes to the cloud, it moves away from implementing on-premise systems. It’s not going to be that Dropbox or Apple or Google loses. It’s going to be a lot of the legacy systems that we were spending lots of money on. As the $290 billion enterprise software market moves to the cloud, an entire new landscape of players and vendors are going to be the beneficiaries of that, unless these legacy vendors really get their act together.