I’ve recently taken a hard look at Box for Enterprise. The changes that I’ve seen develop over the last several years are very interesting and show why it has become a major player in the Content Services Platform market or what used to be called Enterprise Content Management (ECM). But the big story that keeps coming to mind is that Box for Enterprise could dominate the midmarket’s needs for managing documents. This is the space that many vendors still call Document Management Systems (DMS). By no means do I mean to say Box for Enterprise isn’t a solution for the Global 1000. It is. But it is very uniquely positioned for the midmarket.
I’ve talked about the midmarket in detail before. In short, the focus on the “Global 1000” by ECM vendors has mostly ignored the midmarket. It’s easy to see these companies. The majority are the names you see driving around your own hometown, but don’t see when you’re vacationing elsewhere. For example, most of you should recognize at least one of these companies; Kwik Trip, RaceTrac, QuikTrip Trip, Speedway, and Waawaa.
Midmarket companies have the same challenges with documents and can find the same benefits from automation while dealing with similar compliance issues. For example, every organization needs to be ready to comply with I-9 audits. Because these organizations often have smaller IT teams, they look to manage their budget for technology tightly but still see compliance as a major factor. Since it’s easier to find “Document Management Solutions”, these companies often end up deploying a solution defined as a DMS.
Why Box for Enterprise in the Midmarket
Box now has all of the features that are needed for document management. It has library services, workflow, and records management. Library services (versioning, renditions, checkouts, etc.), workflow, and records management are all supported. Box even integrates with Office 365, matching SharePoint. Its matureness as a platform is evident by the adoption of Box in the Global 1000. Being a cloud platform, Box makes the technology investment decision easy.
Box Community is what I think can push it over the top in the midmarket. Hours of free training are available in a tone and format that is easy for the general user. The midmarket is looking for solutions that are easy to deploy. Many vendors forget that deployment includes training.
Box also has a strong partner ecosystem. Its integration partners and application catalog are vast. The only partner ecosystem that’s larger is SharePoint. The approach to integrating to Box has remained somewhat consistent. This means that these partners can invest in their solutions rather than worrying about massive architecture changes that breaks their solution.
And based on an invitation I got with BoxWorks, it looks like Box is looking at the midmarket and even the SMB (Small Medium Business). I’m looking forward to BoxWork to check out what Box has to say.
So, if you’re a midmarket company looking for a solution to manage your organization’s documents, then Box is definitely worth the look. It’s time to think “Inside the Box.” Sorry, I couldn’t close this without one bad pun.