Box, Salesforce.com Strengthen Ties with Files Connect

Salesforce.com and Box bolstered their ties on Wednesday and released two new tools to synchronize their offerings for joint customers—Salesforce Files Connect for Box and Box SDK. The integration gives companies access to the materials they've stored in Box via their CRM systems, while enhancing cross-departmental collaboration and  improving customer communications.

According to a statement from Nasi Jazeyeri, executive vice president of Salesforce's Community Cloud division, the release is well timed:

"Companies are becoming more mobile, social and connected, [and] it is critical that anyone can instantly access the information they need, no matter where it is stored."  

To give firms convenient access to materials stored in the cloud, the vendors have introduced Salesforce Files Connect for Box. The tool enables companies to search, browse, and share files stored within Box on any of the devices that is linked to Salesforce, while keeping in place existing security and permissions capabilities. With the integration, end users can link Box content to Salesforce records, users, and groups to foster collaboration on projects. A sales rep can work alongside a product marketing manager on a document or presentation, for instance, through Salesforce; similarly, a call center agent can stay within a CRM application while distributing instructional materials, or FAQs, during a service call.

To increase compatibility further, Box has also released a software development kit (SDK) for Salesforce. The tool kit, available for free on GitHub, gives developers free reign to incorporate Box’s content management functions into any app built on Salesforce’s App Cloud. Likewise, developers can embed Box’s capabilities into any Salesforce process and customization. Users can, for example, work Box integrations into industry-specific applications to give professionals access to securely managed content.

While Box maintains partnerships with other major CRM players like SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, the union with Salesforce addresses a large pool of customers. "An extremely large number of businesses that rely on Box for cloud-based content management also use Salesforce for customer success," a Box spokesperson wrote to CRM in an email. "This makes Salesforce a very strategic partner for Box."

In a statement, Aaron Levie, cofounder and CEO of Box, noted the releases' benefits: 

"[The dual efforts are] helping enterprises move to the cloud, scale their business, and deepen their relationships with customers, partners and developers."

A representative from the healthcare industry, St. Joseph Health's CIO Bill Russell, released a statement relishing the opportunity for doctors and patients to have better content management tools:

"Box and Salesforce both play important roles in helping us work seamlessly from anywhere. A deeper collaboration between the two platforms will increase productivity for our employees and enable them to be more successful at communicating with the people they care for every day."

Salesforce Files Connect for Box will be in pilot in February 2016 and is expected to be generally available to customers by the summer, when pricing details will be announced. The tool will be available through Salesforce’s Salesforce1 platform, as well as Lightning Experience and Aloha User Experience. 

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