Box.net has announced a new round of funding that brought in close to $50mil USD. Watching some of the comments on twitter it was clear that some don’t think they have a feature set that rises to the level of true collaboration. It reminds me of another argument not so long ago when industry experts argued that SharePoint wasn’t really ECM. The accepted position today seems to be that SharePoint is “enough ECM” for most. I believe what the team over at Box.net have tapped into is the same thing in collaboration. At the end of the day – it matters much more what paying customers think about the completeness of a feature set than the arbitrary boundaries of analysts and competitors.
As we learned from SharePoint the first rule in overtaking a market is solve the most pervasive problem first – rudimentary file sharing – and they have done a fine job with that. With this investment they plan to drive hard into the mobile space without the baggage of legacy licensing models, backward compatibility, upgrades or analysts expectations. Sure taking on SharePoint in the enterprise is audacious – but even with the VC’s to answer to they are in a much better position to take risks than the larger, older and far less nimble old world players.