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First Microsoft, now IBM: Box deals are coming thick and fast

Integration of technology and cloudy moves prompt action

IBM Headquarters, Armonk, NY

IBM and Box are hopping into bed together, a move intended to satisfy their respective desires for cloud and scale.

The companies intend to integrate their technology, including IBM content management, Watson analytics and IBM Verse and Connections social collaboration tools.

The deal is the second big announcement for Box in as many weeks, with the outfit having recently partnered with Microsoft over Office 365 for the desktop, Office on iOS and Outlook.

In January, Box announced an IPO that valued the company at $1.67bn (£1.1bn).

The UK government recently approved the use of Box across Whitehall for all non-sensitive information marked as "official".

"This tie-up is clearly a major new opportunity for Box," said John O'Brien, analyst at TechMarketView, "which needs relationships with major IT and services providers like IBM and Microsoft to extend its reach into the enterprise."

"This has the potential to build more sticky relationships and reduce Box’s cost of sale – an important factor for loss-making SaaS players who need to invest heavily in sales and marketing," he added.

"For IBM, it shows just how important it is to now partner with new and innovative players such as Box, to enhance its capabilities in the cloud – and a clear admission that it doesn’t have all the answers," he said.

“The integration of IBM and Box technologies, combined with our global cloud capabilities and the ability to enrich content with analytics, will help unlock actionable insights for use across the enterprise," said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics.

The full press release can be seen here. ®

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