As Box's CEO Aaron Levie prepares to take his company public, he knows there are many rivals, public and private, gunning for his business.
That's because there's a lot of money at stake in the corporate cloud industry. Box targets segments of markets—including storage, file sharing and content collaboration—that are worth $23 billion and will reach an estimated $32 billion by 2018, according to research firm IDC.
Given such projected growth, it's no surprise that the competition is fierce.
"It is very competitive, especially as a lot of these larger companies like Microsoft, Google and EMC have recognized that opportunity," said Daniel Ives of FBR Capital Markets. "They have aggressively gone after it from a freemium model. And that's why, going forward, it will be increasingly competitive to gain share on this enterprise piece of the market."
So, who does Box—whose IPO prices after the closing bell Thursday—need to worry about in this space?
For one, Microsoft. The tech giant offers file storage as well as a product called SharePoint, which is a platform used by workers in many Fortune 500 companies allowing them to organize, manage and share content.
There's also EMC. It's product, Syncplicity, also offers a secure way for workers to store, sync and edit files. One key difference: EMC allows customers to store content in their own data centers, for security or compliance reasons, as well as in the cloud.
Not only are established companies moving into these markets, but so are private, venture-backed start-ups.
The most obvious example is Dropbox. The start-up, with a reported valuation of $10 billion, is developing a strong presence in the workplace. Its enterprise service is now used by 100,000 paying businesses including Spotify, Under Armor and News Corp.
"Now that Dropbox is parlaying its success in the consumer space into the enterprise space, the lines distinguishing Dropbox and Box are becoming more blurred," said Chandana Gopal, an analyst at IDC.