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Box adds security, automation to IT admin console

The cloud storage vendor also launched an IT services unit and struck a partnership with Capgemini

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Box is prepping a revamped IT administration console for its cloud storage and file sharing service that adds content management, security and workflow automation capabilities.

The company is also launching a consulting unit for assisting customers with deployments, and releasing an improved sync tool that's faster and less CPU-intensive, it said on Wednesday.

The new console now gives IT staff centralized control over users' access and sharing rights.

"Admins will be able to manage and control the content in Box across their entire user base," said Whitney Bouck, general manager and senior vice president of global marketing of Box's enterprise business.

The new console also lets administrators establish general usage and security policies for uploading and downloading data, and set up automated notifications when employees perform certain actions. "This capability has been a common request from companies in highly regulated industries, like financial services," she said.

The console also lets administrators set up multi-step workflows for common tasks like approving invoices, so that the each completed action automatically triggers the next step.

"It's about automating manual processes and removing bottlenecks around content movement," she said.

The content management component of the console will be available in the coming weeks for customers in the Enterprise and Elite tiers of Box's cloud service. They will still have to wait to gain access to the policies and automation capabilities, due in the months ahead.

Box is also beefing up its IT services with the launch of its Box Consulting unit and a partnership with Capgemini, which will give Box customers professional services such as custom application development, enterprise deployments and integration of cloud services.

Box also announced that its Box Sync client software has been revamped so that it's now 10 times faster while requiring 25 percent less CPU usage.

Box's cloud storage and file sharing service is now used by about 200,000 companies -- including 97 percent of the Fortune 500 -- and by about 20 million employees. Recent customer wins include Chevron, Safeway and Pearson.

The company, founded in 2005, is one of the hottest in the enterprise IT market, having built up its service from the ground up to work in the cloud. Earlier this month, Box announced it had raised US$100 million in its latest funding round, on top of the more than $300 million raised previously. Its co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie, who is just 28 years old, has said the company could go public next year or in 2015. Its investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Andreessen Horowitz.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.



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