Today, Box.net is unveiling the next evolution in their product line, BoxSync. The sync solution will be delivered as a installable desktop service, Windows to start, Mac coming soon.
I was able to catch up with co-founder Aaron Levie yesterday to get a run down of the new sync solution as well has hear about how far the company has come in the past 18 months, and where the next year will be taking it.
The sync offering allows the user to maintain flagged folders to sync the contents to and from the user’s desktop. These flagged folders can either be local folders they wish to push to Box’s cloud storage to share with others, or folders other people/groups are maintaining they wish to keep up to speed on. When files become out of date on the users local machine they are automatically updated, as well as when local changes are made, they are pushed to Box’s cloud storage for other users to receive updates on.
This is a very handy addition to the web collaboration experience for companies that want to break down information silos, while empowering their users to manage/sync only those documents that they are responsible for, and those that matter most to them. For power users that are in MS Office, and Non-office apps all day, and wish to keep things up-to-date with others this is a must have tool.
BoxSync is the latest, and largest, in a long string of additions and enhancements the company has rolled out over the past few quarters. They made a nice move with the acquisition of Increo Solutions, maker of web embeddable, document viewing technology.
Integration of the Increo assets, combined with an iPad application release, native HTML5 drag and drop from the desktop file system, and new integrations with leading enterprise vendors such as NetSuite, SAP and SugarCRM, shows that the folks at Box are putting their latest $15 million dollar C Round of funding to good use and innovating at a pace that should be tough for rivals to keep up with.
The company has been growing like a weed over the last 18 months, now touting 4.5 million users and 10,000+ businesses signed up. The service is not just for personal and small biz use, gaining customers in Comcast, Nike and Proctor & Gamble. Beyond a great service, the billboard on Highway 101, and in-movie theater hiring ads dont hurt either to drive awareness here in the Bay Area, as well as riding the wave of cloud & collaboration.
As Box looks to the future, its more access, on more screens, and more tools to make people efficient with their document sharing and collaboration. Also with an eye towards future application standards, Levie says they are paying close attention to what is happening with HTML5 and related emerging web standards, as they fall in place Box will be adding new bells and whistles that are standards compliant and require no plug-ins.
BoxSync begins its rollout today to select business and enterprise customers, with a wider release and added sync clients to come over summer.