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Box Brings Content Management To The Cloud

ECM Cloud Connect can move information between more than 40 on-site enterprise content management systems like Microsoft SharePoint and EMC Documentum and Box's cloud platform.

To allow enterprise users to remotely access their on-premises enterprise content management (ECM) systems, Box.net on Tuesday released ECM Cloud Connect, which enables organizations to automatically and seamlessly move content between more than 40 on-site ECM systems and Box's cloud platform.

ECM Cloud Connect integrates with on-premises ECM applications from multiple vendors such as Microsoft SharePoint and EMC Documentum, according to Box. The developer also expanded its partner base through agreements with integrator and consulting firms Armedia, BPA Technologies, ConvergePoint, and ZSL, Box said.

"We want to help the world's largest enterprises realize the benefits of cloud-enabled content, and building a seamless connection between their existing infrastructure and the cloud is a crucial first step," said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box, in a statement. "Mobile access to content and painless external collaboration are critically important for today's enterprises, and with ECM Cloud Connect, Box can fill these gaps -- creating an amazing experience for end users, and increasing the value of existing ECM investments with no hardware or software hassle for IT."

Last year, worldwide revenue for ECM software was expected to reach more than $4.2 billion, according to Gartner, compared with $2.6 billion in 2006. Businesses continued to spend on ECM, even during the down economy, as they struggled to gain control over the unstructured data dwelling in a wide variety of formats across their organizations. Without the ability to centrally store and manage this valuable data, businesses lose a priceless resource.

The surge in social networking, collaboration, and the seemingly never-ending swelling of more traditional sources of information is expected to create a $10.3 billion ECM market by 2015, according to WinterGreen Research.

ECM Cloud Connect also allows organizations to be compliant with corporate records-management and archiving policies for content stored in Box's cloud offering, the developer said. Box's cloud platform was designed by EntropySoft, whose technology is used by software vendors such as Symantec and EMC to simplify integration of their products with ECM implementations and cloud repositories. The software allows IT professionals to set up automatic content archiving from the Box cloud to on-premises ECM software. In addition, organizations can transfer content between on-site and Box ECM systems, Box said.

"Enterprises are looking to leverage the cloud strategically to meet business and technology challenges, but don't want to create yet another information silo in the process," said Vijji Suryadevara, CEO of Box integration and consulting partner BPA Technologies, in a statement. "ECM Cloud Connect will allow organizations to take full advantage of Box's cloud content management platform, while adding value to their existing on-premises ECM systems."

Today, more than 73% of the Fortune 500 make up some of the 60,000-plus Box customers using the company's offerings to access, manage, and share content online, or access their ECM data via iPhones, iPads, or Android devices, according to the developer. In 2010, Box's enterprise revenue more than tripled due to contracts with name-brand businesses including Clear Channel, Dell, and Dole.

The Box Apps Marketplace includes more than 150 integrated partner applications, including apps from Salesforce, Google Apps, LinkedIn, and NetSuite. With the Salesforce app, for example, users can access marketing collateral and other content easily from any page in Salesforce; via the LinkedIn app, users may display a portfolio of work on their profile and collaborate with connections. After all, the primary reason many busy executives use social networks is to collaborate with other professionals, according to a recent report by the Society for New Communications Research.

Pricing was not available for ECM Cloud Connect.

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