IBM and enterprise cloud file storage specialist Box have formed a strategic alliance to help enterprises address the challenges of storing, securing, sharing and deriving business-boosting insights from their cloud files.
For starters, the companies are working on bringing IBM's high profile Watson analytics technology to files stored on Box. "The integration of IBM and Box technologies, combined with our global cloud capabilities and the ability to enrich content with analytics, will help unlock actionable insights for use across the enterprise," said Bob Picciano, senior vice president of IBM Analytics, in a statement.
The companies plan to integrate IBM's enterprise content management and social collaboration platforms with Box. Also in the works are jointly-developed content management apps and Box support for select IBM MobileFirst apps for Apple iOS devices. Support for Box's application programming interface (API) is coming to the IBM Bluemix developer cloud, announced the new technology partners.
Joint customers will have the option of storing their files on the IBM Cloud, along with the data resiliency, privacy and localization capabilities it provides for international customers that may be leery about storing data beyond their borders. Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box, said in a blog post that for the first time in his company's history, "Box is going to let customers choose a partner's cloud platform for their data storage, which will enable existing IBM customers or enterprises in key international markets to store their data locally in-region."
It's a collaboration several months in the making, Levie revealed. "This partnership represents the work of hundreds of individuals over the past nine months, bringing together the strengths of two very different but similarly-motivated companies," he said.
IBM is also contributing its security know-how, in the form of threat detection, anomaly identification, identity protection and mobile device management. IBM and Box envision that their efforts will result in collaborative, cloud-backed workflows that improve efficiency and ensure that the right information reaches the right workers at the right time.
"A retailer will be able to connect their back-office workflows with the content needed to help a retail store associate deliver a more personalized shopping experience, and a healthcare provider will be able to leverage IBM's analytics to serve up relevant health information to drive better patient engagement," said Levie.
If customers are drowning in data, they'll benefit from the joint IBM-Box solutions, asserted Picciano. "The impact will be felt by experts and professionals in industries such as healthcare, financial services, law, and engineering who are overwhelmed by today's digital data and seek better solutions to manage large volumes of information more intelligently and securely."
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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