Box's Aaron Levie makes an enterprise forecast: cloudy

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Aaron Levie

Aaron Levie, co-founder, Box is being interviewed by Mike Butcher. And they’re talking about enterprise solutions. And yet, I’m awake… 🙂

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 ButcherMike 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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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.