June 19, 2012
Box's Aaron Levie makes an enterprise forecast: cloudy
What's changed in the enterprise software world? People bring their own equipment with them. People just go out an acquire their own solutions, rather than outfitting a data centre. Levie sees that as a huge opportunity, especially around cloud storage, and they're planning on growing.
Box is making a big European move - 12 to 15% of their revenue is in Europe already. It's all organic - so they're working to double that. They're going to open a London office and then grow sequentially from there.
Mike talks about the massive amount of acquisition in the enterprise space, including the current Yammer/Microsoft rumours. Levie suggests that the traditional players aren't able to match the rate of innovation - they're having to buy their way in. "We're seeing lots of companies where you're at risk if you're solution is just 'let IBM do it'." They're seeing the world's largest companies move to the cloud - and that the traditional vendors don't have the right solutions.
Levie thinks there's tremendous growth for all companies in this space. It won't be competition for growth. They're exposing their platform to allow the next generation of companies to build atop of Box.
It's certainly easy to create a different culture to IBM. We have the opportunity to address some new ways you build a culture. We don't make you wear ties and suits, there's alcohol sometimes. Silicon Valley is so hyper-competitive for talent that you have to optimise for you culture and your product.
Mike asks if the company is mapping to the Bring Your Own Device movement. Levie things that business is becoming more complex, because everything is more connected. The crisis in Greece can affect a start-up in Silicon Valley. Big companies are starting to look at digital supply chains - and they need a global system to allow people to work like that, including their contractors and suppliers. That's why IBM, Microsoft and Oracle have a challenges, because they're focused on allowing just the company to access the data within the firewall.
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