Businesses searching for advanced cloud collaboration services now have a new option from IBM and cloud computing provider Box. The two companies announced today (June 24) a new partnership that combines IBM's advanced technologies with Box's file-sharing and cloud solutions to help businesses offer better collaboration tools to their employees.
Under the new partnership, the Box platform will integrate with three of IBM's services — IBM Analytics and Social solutions, IBM Security technologies and IBM Cloud — to bring enterprise technologies to businesses. These include enterprise content management, cloud storage and app development, as well as improved security and social collaboration products.
"Today's digital enterprises demand world-class technologies that transform how their organizations operate both internally and externally," Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box, said in a statement. In addition, the new tools could make businesses' collaboration tools more mobile and secure, he added. [24 Cloud Storage Solutions for Small Business]
Here's how IBM and Box plan to improve their cloud collaboration tools, and how the changes can help businesses.
Content management, analytics and social
Box will integrate IBM's content management tools, with the aim of improving the accessibility and organization of content in the cloud. It will also use IBM's Watson Analytics to help businesses gather rich, useful insights from content in their Box accounts. Additionally, Box will now integrate IBM's Verse social collaboration platform and IBM connections email service.
Privacy and security
IBM said it will improve Box's security with IBM Cloud's data protection capabilities. Box will also implement IBM's security tools, which include cyberattack prevention methods like threat detection, identity protection and mobile device management. A specialized enterprise consulting program will also be available to help businesses integrate these cloud security tools into their Box accounts, the companies said.
Mobile and custom apps
Developers can now integrate the Box API using IBM's Bluemix developer to build custom, content-rich apps for the Web and mobile devices. The IBM MobileFirst service will allow businesses to create industry-specific iOS apps.
The companies said these technologies work together well in real life. For example, they might be used for inspection reports that have to pass through several departments.
"An insurance underwriter will be able to capture and review inspection reports while mobile, to expedite the approval process; a field worker can access up-to-date manuals to solve problems in real time, while documenting work in a central location to drive collaborative scheduling and planning," IBM representatives said in a statement.
Another example could be seen in retail. For instance, a merchant could use the same content across all sales channels, from their physical locations to their online stores. The Box/IBM integrations could allow them to use the same content, promotional materials and product lines directly from their Box accounts using IBM's management tools, the companies said.