The way we work: Box brings new capabilities to its Content Cloud

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala – SiliconANGLE.

This week Box Inc. is using its virtual user summit, BoxWorks 2022, as a way to map out the future of work — which it views as hybrid for good.

Box today announced the general availability of the revamped Box Notes for real-time content collaboration and project management, the upcoming beta of Box Canvas, for visual collaboration and whiteboarding, and the pending release of Content Insights, which provides visibility on how content is being accessed, consumed and used.

The way we work has changed a lot over the past few years, with the most significant catalyst being the shift to hybrid work. Like all things in life, working has become predominantly digital. In a hybrid world, we get together over digital meeting tools and we collaborate using digital content. This trend has transformed Box from being a “nice to have” to a core hybrid work tool.

While products such as Slack, Zoom and Webex have gotten much of the hybrid work headlines, Box plays an equally if not more important role in hybrid working, since it’s the engine that enables people to create content with disparate team members more easily. This work style shift has required the vendor community, Box included, to evolve its products to meet specific challenges. That includes creating collaboration equity, where all team members feel they are contributing and simplifying products so everyone can use it — and the announcements at Boxworks 2022 this week reflect that.

Box Notes

The new Box Notes provides users with a secure, real time collaboration experience for text-based, structured workloads and enables internal and external teams to work with more extensive documentation, project management and to develop more comprehensive tasks. Customers with Box Notes will see the following new features:

  • New content creation features such as advanced table functions, call-out boxes and quote blocks.
  • More content organization options with automated table of contents and divider lines.
  • In-line cursors that enable users to better keep track of collaborator edits for more productive and streamlined collaboration.
  • Code blocks that simplify the collaboration process for developers when working with technical designs and code reviews.
  • Improved security and control functionality with more granular permissions and access information.

Box has designed Notes to meet the needs of a wide range of users, such as marketing teams that work with launch content, go to market teams that develop scripts, e-mail templates, recruiters who gather and share interview information, and programmers who share code. Box Notes is generally available now and is included with all Box plans at no incremental cost.

Box Canvas

The company also announced that its new Box Canvas product will be available in beta in November. The Canvas name describes the product perfectly as it provides hybrid teams a “canvas” to brainstorm and ideate on. It is a digital whiteboard that allows for team members to upload images, freehand on the board, place sticky notes, create workflows, story board, and even embed videos. Users can also embed Box Notes on Canvas, highlighting the value of the Box Cloud.

The unified back end makes it very easy for Box to create a seamless experience among all the Box functions. Another example is a product team could use Canvas develop a new product. Once the design is final, they send it to another team for approval using Box Relay.

Content Insights

The third new capability is Content Insights (pictured), which will be made available later this month. The feature is a visual dashboard that provides information on how content is being used, who is using it and when it was accessed. The analytics and insights enable better decisions around content to be made.

For example, an operations team can check and see who has read updated procedures and take corrective action. A sales team can ensure that account managers are using the correct version of a pitch deck. Customer success people can gain insights as to which customers have read new documentation. The content companies create is the organizations most valuable asset and now Box provides insights to understand what’s working and what’s not.

Box started out as a file sync and share company, of which there are many, including Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. But that’s the only thing Microsoft and Google have in common with Box. Over the past several years Box has continued to add content capabilities and tools including analytics, publishing, security, document signing and now enhanced collaboration tools and analytics.

One proof point of the value that Box brings is that 100% of Box customers use Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive or both. In fact, Box integrates content across Microsoft products, such as Share Point, Teams and Office better than Microsoft does.

Hybrid work is here to stay, and that puts an emphasis on collaboration. Box has done a nice job of bringing new capabilities to a market that once had very little innovation.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.