Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Box Innovation Network: Innovation in Enterprise Software is Possible

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Today marks a major milestone for the Box platform. With the launch of the Box Innovation Network (/bin), we’re laying the foundation for a more open enterprise ecosystem. To bring new innovation to today’s businesses quickly and at scale, we’ll be investing up to $2 million to drive the development of meaningful apps on the Box platform. We’ve also enlisted an amazing group of partners to supply /bin’s developer members with a wealth of resources, including Appcelerator, Heroku, VMware Cloud Foundry, Rackspace, SnapLogic, and Twilio.

We want to build an enterprise software company that matters to people and drives innovation in a space that sorely needs it. This means creating new and powerful ways that people can share and collaborate on Box, but also making it easy for third-party apps to leverage Box APIs and solve entirely new challenges for businesses.

A Case for Openness

This certainly isn’t a common approach in the enterprise software world, which has traditionally leaned towards closed developer ecosystems. Try a web search to find the APIs for Microsoft Office 365 or SharePoint. Or, see how long it takes you to find a web page that describes Oracle’s Cloud APIs. There’s not much there. Legacy vendors want to keep customers locked-in and developers locked-down.

However, Box and other next generation enterprise software companies are following the open web philosophy made popular by consumer web companies –now enabled in the enterprise because of mobility, cloud development and hosting platforms.

An Ecosystem of Apps

With the /bin fund, we can now invest in bringing apps to market that are tailored for specific verticals, like healthcare, construction or financial services. We’ve seen some amazing apps built on the Box platform targeting specific use cases – for instance, founding /bin member, LiveOffice, integrated with Box for legal eDiscovery purposes in just weeks. Another member, NOUS-Guide, epitomizes innovation in the enterprise by enabling new client experiences that we’ve seen adopted across industries from food & beverage to financial services.

And thanks to our /bin partners, we can help give developers the resources they need to build and deploy amazing apps, quickly. We’ve teamed up with Heroku, a rich cloud development and deployment platform. We’ve also engaged VMware Cloud Foundry, another provider of development and deployment tools (including open source software) as a platform for Box developers. We work with Appcelerator for mobile platform development, Twilio for communications APIs, and SnapLogic for cloud integration and Rackspace for hosting. Each of these partners represents an important element of open web development today, and we will openly seek out and embrace others who share the same philosophy.

Today, we have 4,500 active developers and partners building on Box and we see over 180 million API calls per month. With /bin, we’ll see the number of apps built on Box increase dramatically, along with the business value delivered to organizations. The launch of /bin is only a starting point for the Box platform and we’re committed to building an ecosystem that will benefit everyone. There’s so much opportunity in this space and we’re excited to work with the developer community to build something great.

We’re in the most innovative period in enterprise software history. Let’s get moving.

To learn more about /bin, please visit www.box.com/bin