In an interview, Box CEO Aaron Levie said the two companies have been working on the collaboration for more than six months and that they plan to jointly develop a set of blended products and services that will allow customers of IBM's SoftLayer cloud services and applications to take advantage of Box's APIs in their web applications and services. "We think the pairing of our two platforms will be incredibly important for the industry" Levie said.
"We have a lot of large customers who are also big IBM customers, and we've always tried to play nice together, but we've never been fully aligned," Levie said. "There are banks and health care companies who are using Box for secure file sharing and content management who will turn to IBM for deeper understanding of that data from analytics. We're now going to be able to plug directly into those capabilities."
For Box, the combination could prove to be a significant validation of Levie's long-term strategy to seek out numerous third party sales arrangements in order to enhance its own internal and comparatively small sales force, while also building vertical businesses aimed at specific industries. The 104-year-old IBM has significant sales reach with the world's largest companies and does business in practically every country in the world. It is also a significant reseller of software: SAP is big partner.
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