Interview with Aaron Levie: Box CEO


In my September 25th posting in this Blog in the article entitled “Not yet Convinced? Here is Cloud Computing 101” I mentioned a case study of a company called Box in the Harvard Business Review I had been reading. The case study touted the advantages and efficiencies that Cloud Storage can provide to a global enterprise.

Recently I came across an interview of the Box CEO, Aaron Levie, conducted by James Temple of the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate entitled “Box CEO on growth, rivals and the inevitable IPO”. It’s a good interview. Temple asks the right questions covering a wide range of issues and does so in a non-restrictive manner which allows Levie to expound a bit in his responses. Levie’s answers gives us a bit more insight into the workings and future plans of what is sure to be one of the leaders in this new emerging area. Here are some of the highlights:

Regarding Growth: Levie explains, that in the evolving computing world as enterprises move from on-premise systems to more on-line applications and use more products like i-Pad and other handheld devices, the need for new ways to manage content will evolve. Levie states that Box is sitting at the confluence of this evolution, and mobility, and the cloud.

How will Box differentiate itself among its competitors if storage is basically a commodity: Levie explains that he will compete with the likes of Google Drive and Apple’s iCloud by creating value on top of the storage. He explains, “As you add more content into Box, Box gets smarter about your information. We can do much better things around analyzing that content and helping you discover more relevant information.”  Box’s research and development will be targeted at allowing information sharing and collaboration thus allowing the enterprise to leverage its intellectual property.

What’s the next new thing from Box:  Levie described their customers’ needs to have their data accessible across all applications from anywhere on the globe. Customers want to avoid reproducing the same data in different environments.   Box is anticipating the “post-PC enterprise”.

Is there an IPO in the offing: Temple asked the obvious since this summer, Box closed a $125 million funding round that reportedly valued the company at $1.2 billion. Levie, the consummate CEO, handled this adroitly.

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