Box today announced integration with Google Docs. Box users can now edit documents stored in Box using Google Docs, as well as create Google Docs files within Box folders.File storage and document collaboration software-as-a-service provider
Earlier this year Box announced integration with enterprise content management systems such as SharePoint and Documentum. The company is now positioning itself as a piece of glue between ECM and Google Docs.
The move is a slight departure for Box, which released its own document editing tools back in January 2010, based on technology it acquired from Increo Solutions. In January 2011, the company launched a major redesign based around the new editing capabilities. Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie emphasizes Google Docs' concurrent, real-time editing features as a major draw for Google Docs.
The ECM integration move was also a slight departure, in that Box began integrating with SharePoint after a long anti-SharePoint campaign.
In a blog entry today, Levie wrote: "We believe that the true power of the cloud is unlocked through deep integration and information sharing between applications. The future isn't about a single vendor solution for all your IT needs, but rather a mix of cloud applications."
Box isn't getting rid of its editing capabilities, but it does seem to be edging towards a new direction as more of a platform or middleware vendor. Earlier this year it released an "app store" for integrations. We asked Levie to comment on the shift.
"Ultimately, our focus at Box is to provide the best way to share, manage, and access information in the cloud -- and we want to enable customers to interact with the content stored on Box in a variety of ways, many of which are provided through partnerships and integrations with our platforms," he replied. "So while we'll continue to focus on our own editing and collaboration features, we also want to connect to the applications our customers interact with heavily, and that means working with leading online office applications, like Google Docs."