Box.net: New Features and a New Phrase for the Cloud

Box logo.jpgBox.net acquired a young company last October called Increo Solutions. The features that this young company provided allow for viewing content of most any file and the ability to share and embed files across the Web.

Today, Box.net is announcing the integration of these features. Available today is the ability to upload and view most any file inside the Box.net environment. This is a feature similar to what is provided by Google Docs.

What appears to be a bit different is the embedded viewer, which allows people to share and embed all types of files anywhere on the Web.That feature will be available over the next few weeks.

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The experience for the new service is pretty smooth. The viewer loads nicely. You can see all the files, much like you would in Google Docs.

Box File View - Photoshop.jpg

We’re curious about the ability to embed files anywhere on any web site. It seems like we are seeing the next generation of the extranet, where files and documents can be shared in a player that people can access online.

This can be helpful as most anyone can access online documents. But to download them poses issues for the enterprise and end user.

The enterprise does not always want its documents to be downloaded. Often, the person viewing the document would prefer just to view it online.

The workforce is changing. More people are working at home. Smartphones make it easier to get to documents, email and all the productivity and collaboration applications available to us. At IBM’s Lotusphere conference, we talked to one senior IT executive who said that collaboration applications are a necessity as about 10 percent of its 380,000 employees now work at home.

And that’s the value and huge potential for services such Box.net, Google Docs and the any other number of offerings from both enterprise collaboration companies and enterprise content management providers.

The people at Box.net have cleverly coined a new phrase for this new hybrid environment that allows for content storage and collaboration. They call it “Cloud Content Management.” It’s jargon for sure. We’re getting to that point where buzz word bingo can make you go nuts if you have to endure it for three days at a conference.

But for now, it seems to work.

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