Box partners with Microsoft to enable collaboration through Office

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Cloud storage provider Box has joined the Microsoft Cloud Storage Program, integrating with Microsoft Office to enable businesses to seamlessly access content across devices and platforms.

The new collaboration includes enabling users to open, edit and save documents back to Box directly from Office for iOS, and is available today for free, with integration with Office Online arriving later this year.

“We’re excited to deepen our commitment to openness in the enterprise through Microsoft’s new program,” said Box CEO Aaron Levie in a statement. “We’re committed to delivering innovation that puts the customer first and allows enterprises to choose the tools they want to be successful.”

Levie wrote in a blog post the importance of openness, citing Box’s public APIs as a primary driver behind increasing enterprise productivity through being able to share documents any time, anywhere.

“The future of enterprise software is about choosing best of breed technologies to solve critical business problems,” he wrote. “Often these solutions will not come from the same vendors. To make this successful, these technologies must work together seamlessly.

“This next enterprise era will be defined by simple to use, modular services,” he added. “IT organisations will get better innovation for their dollar, users will achieve more productivity, and vendors will build stronger ties to one another.

“Today’s move is an important accelerant to this trend.”

Box isn’t the only company to partner with Microsoft in its Cloud Storage Program; Citrix and Salesforce are also inaugural members. Yet a more interesting comparison would be Microsoft’s partnership with Dropbox announced in November 2014. At the time, analysts argued the partnership was rooted in Dropbox’s greater need for an enterprise presence, and Microsoft’s need to ‘play nicely’ with other vendors.

This deal again focuses on Box’s core mission as an enterprise technology – a point Levie was keen to stress when the storage provider eventually went public in January.

You can find out more about the news here.

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