Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Box OneCloud: Powering the Mobile Enterprise in the Post-PC Era

By

Mobile devices have reshaped the enterprise landscape. Businesses are operating in a world where communication, collaboration and innovation happen in real-time, regardless of location or platform. Smartphones, tablets and mobile applications have democratized the workplace and empowered a new generation of worker. Welcome to the post-PC era.

If you’re an active user of productivity apps on the iPad, you’ve probably noticed that each app stores its own files. So, if you use five productivity apps, then you have five places where your files are being stored. If you have ten productivity apps, then… you get the idea.

We have millions of people using our mobile app, and the most common question we get from them is: How can I use Box as the single place where I hold my files/content and still use my favorite productivity apps?

Today, we’re pleased to answer that question with the introduction of Box OneCloud—the first enterprise mobile framework to bring together your mobile content and the mission-critical apps designed to work with it. Starting with over thirty iOS apps, including four premier apps that offer deeper “round-trip” integrations, OneCloud will help you be productive from anywhere.

Introducing OneCloud Premier Apps

We announced four premier apps on the iPad today. Each of these apps has two important characteristics: (1) we think these apps represent best-in-class functionality requested by our customers and (2) each app has implemented a round-trip connection with Box: when a file “leaves” Box to be edited or modified, it can be saved back to Box in its original location. Here are the four apps in more detail:

Edit Documents Without Your Laptop

Quickoffice makes it simple to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from the road. Make important changes from your mobile device and save back to your Box account automatically.

Leave Feedback Instantly

Adding annotations to key documents in the field or the board room is a breeze with PDF Expert from Readdledocs. Draw, highlight and make notes on files. Then save back to your Box account so the whole team is aligned.

Take Ideas to the Next Level

With PaperPort Notes from Nuance Communications, capturing ideas and to-do items while on the go is easy. Tools like voice dictation and recording keep you productive when typing isn’t an option.

Say Goodbye to Faxes

E-signing is a breeze with Adobe EchoSign, so you never have to worry about signing and faxing contracts again. Open, sign and send along right from your iPad.

Let’s see how one of these apps works. Starting in Box, we first select a file for editing. In this case, it’s a PowerPoint file.

Now, as we discussed above, the file is opened in Quickoffice for editing. In Quickoffice, after making the required changes, we can save the file back to Box in the location from which it was opened.

The result? Users are happy because they can easily edit files in Box. And our enterprise security friends are happy because the file goes out to be edited but comes back to Box to be securely stored, managed and shared.

Discovering Apps That Work With Box

When you open a file in Box for iPhone and iPad, you’ll now see a cloud logo button on the top menu. If you click that button, you’ll see a dropdown menu that lists the compatible apps installed on your device designed to work with that file type. No compatible apps installed? No problem. You’ll also see a button that allows you to add one from our gallery of apps.

Creating a new file from Box for iPhone and iPad is just as easy as opening one from the “+” menu. You’ll see a list of apps on your device you can use to create a new file, or you can add a new app by tapping “View More Apps.”

In either menu, if you select “Add OneCloud Apps” or “View More Apps,” you’ll be presented with a gallery of top productivity apps, which helps you quickly browse and purchase/download compatible apps from the App Store.

In the app gallery, you’ll see we make a distinction between premier apps and other apps. As we described earlier, premier apps have integrated with Box in a special, secure way: files opened from within Box can be saved back to their original location in Box once edited, helping ensure files stay within the Box environment. The other apps in the gallery have built integrations with Box, but have not yet become premier apps with that deeper round-trip workflow.

Buying and Installing Box OneCloud in Volume

Individual users who want to obtain and install apps that work with Box on their iPads (and iPhones) can do so by going directly through the Box app to the iTunes App Store. For IT administrators who want to deploy these apps to their organizations, there are two options.

The first option is to use Apple’s Volume Purchasing Program (VPP). The Apple VPP allows administrators to purchase apps in bulk for distribution to their users.  Once enrolled, an administrator can generate lists of redemption codes for direct distribution to users through email.

The second option is to use the Apple Configurator, which is an app in the Mac App Store that allows an IT department to easily mass configure iOS devices from a Mac. The key requirement for this to work is that each device needs to be connected to the Mac for provisioning through the Apple Configurator. The Apple Configurator works seamlessly with redemption codes generated from the Volume Purchase Program.

How Do I Learn More?

To learn more, please visit Box OneCloud. You can also download Box for iPhone and iPad and see all the apps that work well with Box.

If you’re an iOS developer and would like to learn more about how to integrate with Box (and the tools we’ve created to make this even easier, like our App to App Integration Framework), check out our developer site.

  • Android?????

    So I guess my office of Android users, tablet owners is….. what? Out in the cold? I talk up this service to everyone I meet in a business context and it feels as though the Android OS is simply an afterthought to Box. Sadly, this is the kind of thing that our office could really use. I will look for something provided by another service that is similar to what is offered the iOS but it is too bad because this looks really well designed.

    • Mark Saldana

      Hey,

      Box OneCloud is coming to iOS first, but you can expect other platforms to follow. Apologies for any confusion – Android users are super important to us, too.

      • http://twitter.com/pgr3master a

        Well release to Android first or at the same time!

      • Anonymous

        Lame… as a business level customer, this is an extreme let down… not everyone lives and dies in the Apple ecosystem, keep your offerings in parity

      • Android?????

        Mr. Saldana,
        I was sincere in my comments above but maybe I should have sent that as a PM; I did not mean to move the focus off this really exciting possibility for IPAD users. Quite the opposite, I was just very disappointed that it wasn’t available for my tablet.
        Please understand my frustration; Android, as a platform, is much larger than iOS and yet it is consistently seems to be an afterthought of developers.
        Having said that I am excited by the prospect of an Android Tablet “OneCloud” app, what is the ETA for this product.

        • Eric W.

          Android, as a platform, is much harder to code for. As it is open source, different manufacturers and different service providers change up the OS in different ways. Also, when updates are released, you don’t have to allow it (I think on iOS, you have no option, not to mention, iOS is proprietary so it can’t be changed by vendors). Because of this, you have what you see in the Android Market (20 people with different phones complaining that it doesn’t work on theirs because the app was just built for the Droid X or the RAZR). So to make a complex, large app for Android means coding for EVERY different phone make and model and vendor. To make a complex, large app for iOS means coding for just iOS.

          That being said, I have a Droid X and I hate Apple with a passion so I’d love to see more and better apps on Android. But I understand why companies like Box come out with apps for iOS first.

          Sorry Mr. Saldana, for all of these people getting upset for no reason.

          • Casadaro

            Exactly why do you hate Apple with a passion?

      • ncampo

        Mr Saldana,

        Thank you for the free 50gb Box account you gave me because I use Android… I will patiently wait for your OneCloud!

      • JSCollins

        Mr. Saldana,

        I am an Adroid user as well. I love the Box application, and can’t wait for OneCloud to com to the Android platform. Despite the complexity, here’s hoping you come out with it soon!!!

    • khekking

      Another vote for WebOS…but I’m guessing it doesn’t not have a very high priority compared to Android?

  • Paul Guardiola

    I just purchased the Quickoffice Pro app on my iPad 2…I was very excited on trying out the new features that were shown in the box OneCloud video…unfortunately, the app window appears to be be formatted for an iPhone….otherwise when I zoom into the window everything is a fuzzy image….

    • Dmwason

      had it on my hp touch pad for ever now !! works great

  • Ariainsure

    Also add webos to your list since that is where I opened my account and has Quickoffice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/casadelgatos Casa Del Gatos

    I too am disappointed that the iCrowd was your first thought. There are hundreds of millions more Android devices and an easy BILLION more Windows devices out there than iPadPodPhones.

  • Mark Brennan

    very exciting! wish I could have attended tonight – we need to move more and more to inline editing, without the microsoft tools. i have a macbook air with no MS Office – hope to keep it that way!

  • Symon Peters

    So when is Android platform coming out??? I too have Android

  • Guest

    And don’t forget BlackBerry, especially (but not only) for enterprise users!

  • Tim

    Yes Mobile devices are now mainstream. However to be realistic, most productive work is still done on the pc/mac.
    Thus box should be concentrating a significant % of their development resources on perfecting their box sync products. Currently box sync falls short and needs to add selective sync and more flexible placement of shared folders etc.

  • http://twitter.com/fatboycarney Mike Young

    PlayBook?

  • http://twitter.com/fatboycarney Mike Young

    PlayBook app coming soon? Please!!

  • Guest

    I don’t have any mobile device. Just read the article and the comments and I saw too much envy for releasing this first for IOS than other system… c’mon people, be a man, don’t have this lame competition and wait a couple of days!!!

    • Anonymous

      “Be a man” Is that a good thing? Are you talking to the women here, as well? Try not to be silly.

  • Guest

    Are you kidding me???? most of the documents & ppt can be seen or edited corrertly on any device except of office

  • Guest
  • Joseph

    Hi, any trail version of Onecloud? If yes, and then please develop Android version for me :)
    joseph@hongkong.com

  • http://open.spotify.com/user/iphonetunez Rayz

    So I was sent an email to try it out but I can not figure out how to do that. Anyone else with this problem? SO frustrating!

  • Ytbird

    I use several OS,but I prefer webos, so I do hope for you to remember this great OS.
    There is open mobile that may soon be available and allow to port android apps to webos, as well as many other OS

  • http://deputycio.com/ Zarko

    When I clicked on your email link I got this on top of the webpage:

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /home/blog/blog.box.com/wp-content/themes/box_themev3/single.php on line 4

  • IS Manager

    I work for a 100k+ users company. iOS devices are completely banned due to security reasons. Other big companies I worked for in the past or I have knowledge of have the same kind of regulations in place. Apple devices are pretty but unsafe. And endorsing this technology and brand by giving it priority when developing new products says very little of Dropbox as an enterprise solutions provider. Blackberry is the productivity communications tool of chooice and Android is the most used consumer level smartphone OS. As an user of both- and w7 in the desktop- I feel neglected by a company that never performed below my expectations. But from now on the options of Dropbox to grow within my area of decision are tainted.

    • http://www.aBIZinaBOX.com Jordan S Zoot

      HOGWASH on the security issue.

    • Data Security Expert

      Agree this is a bad attitude. There are MDM and BYOD that use NAC to protect BYOD devices in today’s environment. Companies that don’t adopt are not getting the great advantage from increased productivity that mobile devices are enabling. Security was an issue a year ago where there weren’t many successful blueprints for success. There is no excuse today, and the security threat is no longer valid.

  • Ptaylor

    Android phones are outselling IPhones yet everyone falls over themselves to get an iPhone app out. It’s not good business to ignore the largest part of the market growth! I own Apple shares and I’m happy to take the gains BUT I will never own an Apple product as I don’t want to be trapped in the Apple Zoo. I am expremely happy with Android and the range of devices it allows me to select from.

    So Mr Box, what say you about ignoring me, and sending me an email telling me how wonderful you iPhone app is, you’ve just really annoyed me and I’m they guy holding your futher revenue growth… any comment?

  • Michael H

    Is there an Android application out for this?

  • Michael H

    My apologies just read below.

  • http://www.mercenaire.net/blog/ Thierry BEZIER

    bad move people, you need to launch IOS and Android at the same time… you can’t ignore that many of your clients already use Gmail for their business and other google products, it’s crisis time, you can’t expect companies to just spend so much money on IOS…

  • Alan

    Thanks for the App. Found all my files from my Box.net account immediately. Works great.

    In the past, I have had to wait for apps that were Android only to start. Android users stop your whining. I am sure that Box will take care of you soon enough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.himali Rabi Lamichhane

    HI there, I am missing ´´instant uploads´´ from mobiles- I mean, when I take photos, they should directly sync to box….hope to get this option in future…

  • Aliman

    I tried using PDF Expert today with one of my documents. It had no problem asking me to open in Dropbox, but I couldn’t get it back to Box. What am I doing wrong?

  • Thinkdesignllc

    I just purchased QuickOffice for iPad and tried to edit a Powerpoint file that I had created on my Mac. Contrary to the claim above, QuickOffice displays the message that PPT 2007 and 2010 cannot be edited. Harrrrumph!

  • Ycm

    Hey guys in Box dont worry Google is launching a similar cloud platform for Android …… In todays world whoever is faster gets the advantage and it seems for BOX iOS os more important than Android even thought Android is 52% of mobile phone operting system !!!!

    • Android?????

      Something to think about before using any Google offering is the disconcerting security policy and habit of tracking all information. I just don’t trust their motto of “Don’t be evil” any longer…..

  • 凡 李

    方便實用

  • Malesela

    I can see that this box apps can be a very good storage for most of our documents

  • Northpatchoguefd

    As we are a non profit organization cost is a factor so Android iOS is what we unfortunately are given to use not that we are complaining our devices get the job done and with apps like yours the workload is shared much easier. So we wait patiently till compatibility issues are resolved.
    Thank you for thinking of us the Android users.

  • Mirco

    qui nella mia ditta e’ molto comodo e usato box ma ora che stiamo abbandonando tutti ios e stiamo passando a android spero che box sia presto attivo per android

  • Mirco

    altro consiglio inserite la lingua italiana

  • Sarah

    I wonder if anyone knows, does Box offer a push notification on the ipad when a shared file has been updated?

  • Nospammallowed

    No android? Well I guess you have to start somewhere. After all apple is EASY. Designed for “simple users”. I hope the android app is more feature rich than IOS. After all Jobs only wanted one button on the mouse. He did now want to confuse users.

  • http://twitter.com/QoppaPDF Qoppa Java PDF News

    We hope Android Box OneCloud users enjoy qPDF Notes, our all-in-one PDF app now integrated with Box OneCloud on Android. http://blog.qoppa.com/?p=569