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iPad app fills killer enterprise need: Collaboration in the cloud

Tom Kaneshige | Feb. 17, 2011
A new version of Box's app that lets iPad users collaborate on files in the cloud adds much needed enterprise security features. Check out why one customer calls it "idiot-proof."

When it comes to collaboration tools, ease-of-use is super critical, Locker says. In the past, he's had to train users on SharePoint and FTP sites. The effort to manage SharePoint took its toll on his small IT staff, he says. And one person on an FTP site could accidentally delete a shared file. "We never found anything with the ease of use as Box," Locher says. "The version tracking is almost idiot-proof."

Collaboration on the iPad has grown almost as rapidly as the iPad itself. Box claims that more than 60,000 businesses, including nearly three out of four Fortune 500 companies, use Box to share, manage and collaborate on content. Box counts more than 300,000 downloads of its iOS app. (Box is also available on Macs, PCs, iPhones and Android devices.)

The trend has kept Box developers busy. Box plans to release more admin controls later this year. In the event of a lost iPad, admins will be able to control access to that user's account and prevent caching data. Box also wants to allow its service to hook into a company's custom-built iOS app.

Such features will be necessary as cloud collaboration on the iPad continues to proliferate. Last week, Locher recommended Box to the CTO of Clear Channel for a potential global rollout. The mobility of the iPad means that collaborating on files is only a finger tap or two away from doing real work.

"It just saves a huge amount of time," Locher says. With the iPad and Box, "I never have downtime unless I choose to have downtime."


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