M+E Connections

Box CEO: Company is Riding Current Tailwinds

Box used its Financial Analyst Day on March 14 to discuss its long-term strategy, how it’s being helped by current macroeconomic factors, and provide product/service updates.

There are “big tailwinds that we’re riding” now, Aaron Levie, Box CEO and co-founder, said at the start of the event.

“Our mission at Box is to power how the world works together, and we’re incredibly proud to be able to do this now for over 115,000 customers and nearly 70 percent of the Fortune 500,” he told financial analysts.

“One thing that we get really excited about is just the breadth of the customer base,” he said. “We get to work with companies of all sizes [including] small startups that are growing and businesses in a variety of new sectors, as well as some of the world’s largest enterprises and some of the most important businesses across every range of organization and industry.”

He and other Box executives explained the firm’s long-term strategy for what Levie promised will be a continuation of the company driving “profitable growth at scale as a software platform.”

There are four main components to that strategy, he said. “The first is that we’re going after what we believe is a very large market: well over 70 billion in global spend on all things that surround content. So we’re attacking an incredibly large market with significant tailwinds. We’re attacking that market by building the leading content cloud platform that can address the broadest range of use cases for our customers, empowering workflows across the entire enterprise.”

Box, meanwhile, is going to “drive a continued go-to-market strategy, which is our land and expand strategy to bring the full platform to our customers,” he said.

That includes “driving increased adoption of our suites across the broader customer base,” he noted.

“And then, finally, we’re going to drive sustained growth and higher operating margins,” he said.

Meanwhile, he pointed out: “Work today is undergoing the most amount of change that really we’ve ever seen. It’s truly incredible how much is being shaped and being transformed in the workplace today.”

Levie then went through a few “major items that we’re seeing that will affect the future of work and how our platform relates to that.”

“The first is that when you look at where work is happening, it’s obviously much more hybrid than ever before,” he said, noting 74% of U.S companies are investing in long-term or permanent hybrid working strategies. “And so what’s amazing about this for a platform like us is whether work happens in person, inside of an office or at an event, or it works remotely, you need to be able to share information and that’s obviously going to continue to be the case in a very digital form. And so hybrid work, still being this permanent long-term trend is a significant tailwind for continuing to shape how we work in the cloud,” he said.

He went on to point out that the “next big trend that we’re seeing is that 91 percent of workers believe that automation and AI can improve how they work and so it can improve their productivity.”

Workers can now “get information faster [and] they can automate workflows in their business,” he noted.  “We say we think this is going to be a very significant trend going forward.”

Meanwhile, 60% of executives today say that digital is going to be “core to their growth going forward,” Levie said, adding: “We think this continues to be a mega tailwind for companies moving more to the cloud, moving more to digital first strategies, replacing retiring legacy IT systems, which again, is going to be a long-term driver of our growth.”