How to Make a Smarter Content Management Purchase with Box

By Gregg Spivack

Vice President of Client Services, NPI

September 30, 2020

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When you think of content management, do you think primarily of file storage? Most people do. Content management is perceived to be a commodity that is largely equivalent among available vendors. Unfortunately, in most enterprises, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.    Especially in content-heavy environments where employee productivity is critical, it might make a material difference operationally.

Several recent content management purchase reviews point out why content management providers are not equivalent nor are they commodities. NPI doesn’t promote or favor any one solution but, aside from Microsoft, Box is the most common benchmark in this space.

Box’s solution has a series of advantages enterprises should be aware of when considering content management options:

  1. The ability to integrate, edit, and collaborate with almost every file type and vendor that exists today. The agnostic factor is what is unique here. In a world dominated by Microsoft - but filled with challengers such as Google, Salesforce Quip, Smartsheet and Adobe - independence can be a key to employee productivity.
  2. The ability to work with one single platform whether for personal file storage, internal collaboration, or external collaboration. A single tool for all needs can yield huge efficiencies. When all content is in one repository, finding assets or documents becomes much easier.
  3. The ability to search not only filenames but the metadata of those files and the actual content of those files. Searching dramatically impacts employee productivity as does the simplicity of the user interface.
  4. The ability to use Box capabilities as a development platform. Few people realize that years of R&D have led to features of Box’s services which are now fully available via API calls so that developers can design applications and portals not from scratch, but by leveraging the Box service.
  5. The ability to preview documents with ease from a single interface without having to launch other applications and without having to leave one simple screen.
  6. The ability to not only secure content but to proactively identify anomalous behavior and to further detect emerging threats with instant notification.
  7. The ability to track every single change that occurs to a file from inception to deletion.
  8. The ability to embed comments, tasks, metadata, and other information directly to the file so that it follows the life of the file and so the file reader can get full context immediately.

Not all of the above advantages resonate with everyone, but they are a pretty powerful combination. If your organization is looking to digitize your consumer experience, and that experience requires an exchange of content such as photos, videos, document scans, etc. from consumers, the capabilities that Box has to offer can facilitate that. There are dozens of world-class mobile applications and portals that are powered by Box in a cloud-hosted mode that many people are not even aware of today.

Tips on How to Increase Leverage, Reduce Financial Exposure During Your Next Content Management Purchase with Box

Enterprises purchasing or renewing with Box should approach their purchase in the context of two different categories – one as an agnostic collaboration platform and one as a world-class development platform focused on content. The former (an agnostic collaboration platform) competes against the giants in the space like Microsoft, so the pricing leverage enterprises will have is very high. The price is driven by either number of users or some other verifiable metric, so the price per user can be driven lower by higher volumes or by competitive threats. Again, this is a commoditized category by perception, so perception is the reality to Box’s sales force.

For the latter category of development platform, the price is driven by bandwidth, storage, and API calls. If your use case has modest numbers on those three categories, your cost for the Box platform will most likely be very low. It’s only at the higher volumes where Box levies added infrastructure costs where you will likely want to move into an “all you can eat” type of arrangement to minimize your financial exposure.