M+E Connections

Box Exec: Still Early for Box Platform Business, But Momentum Continues

It’s still relatively early days for the Box Platform business, but the company continues to see positive signs, according to Jeetu Patel, SVP of platform and the company’s chief strategy officer. “The engagement levels have been kind of pleasantly surprising” on Box Platform, he said Dec. 6 at the Raymond James Technology Investors Conference in New York. But “exactly what the metrics are going to be I think it’s too early to tell” for Platform, he told the conference.

He went on to explain: “We are starting to fulfill the needs of the applications that we initially thought we were going to fulfill, and we are starting to see good traction around that. But this is a long game. This is not a short game. You wouldn’t see by Q1 of next year this is going to be huge. This is still a small part of the business that we are going to continue to keep refining as we move forward.”

Patel added that, “over time,” Box’s “strategic vision is that there’s going to be a group of people that use Box, but there’s going to be a far greater number of people that are using Box but don’t even know it and that’s because [Box] Platform is going to be embedded in a lot of the applications they use.” But he said “how that converts into how we report and how we monetize it I think it’s too early to tell.”

Box Platform was introduced by the company in its last fiscal year that ended Jan. 31. Box, for the first time, allowed its customers to use the company’s technology “to build their own new digital experiences and transform how they connect with their customers, partners and employees,” Box said in its 10-K SEC filing for last year. Box Platform is allowing the company to reach its customers’ “extended ecosystems of hundreds of millions of users, further extending our massive market opportunity,” it said.

In announcing Patel’s appointment in August 2015, Box CEO Aaron Levie called Box Platform “the next great growth driver” for the company, saying in a news release that Patel’s “deep industry and operating experience in enterprise content management and collaboration makes him an ideal leader as Box takes the next step to extend the scope of our platform business.”

While reporting results for the third quarter, ended Oct. 31, Levie said Box continued to “make significant progress” with Box Platform. With Box Platform, customers, partners and third-party developers can build custom applications on Box through the company’s application programming interfaces (APIs) and developer services, he said. Box grew its developer community to more than 89,000 developers in the third quarter, he also said. One example he cited was a new Box customer that selected Box Platform to power an iPad application for thousands of its contractors.