Today, Box.net is announcing the integration of these features. Users will be able to upload and view most any file inside the Box.net environment. This is a feature similar to what Google Docs provides.
What appears to be a bit different is the embedded viewer, which allows people to share and embed all types of files anywhere on the Web.That feature will be available over the next few weeks.
The experience for the new service is pretty smooth. The viewer loads nicely. You can see all the files, much like you would in Google Docs.
We're curious about the ability to embed files anywhere on a Web site. It seems like we are seeing the next generation of the extranet, where files and documents can be shared in a player that people can access online.
This can be helpful as most anyone can access online documents. But to download them poses issues for the enterprise and end user.
The enterprise does not always want its documents to be downloaded. Often, the person viewing the document would prefer just to view it online.
The workforce is changing. More people are working at home. Smartphones make it easier to get to documents, email and all the productivity and collaboration applications available to us. At IBM's Lotusphere conference, we talked to one senior IT executive who said that collaboration applications are a necessity as about 10% of its 380,000 employees now work at home.
And that's the value and huge potential for services such Box.net, Google Docs and any other number of offerings from both enterprise collaboration companies and enterprise content management providers.
The people at Box.net have cleverly coined a new phrase for this new hybrid environment that allows for content storage and collaboration. They call it "Cloud Content Management." It's jargon for sure. We're getting to that point where buzzword bingo can make you go nuts if you have to endure it for three days at a conference like Lotusphere.
But for now, it seems to work.