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For Shared Customers, Box and Salesforce Connect Their Clouds

Taking advantage of the "significant overlap" among companies that use both services.

Sumit Kohli

Cloud file-sharing and collaboration service Box and, the Web-based sales application, announced a broad tie-up that will allow companies using both to easily move their data between the two.

The announcement has two pieces. First, Salesforce Files Connect allows Salesforce users who also happen to be using Box to combine data that is stored in both whenever they need to. Salesforce users can search for data that’s stored in Box without leaving the Salesforce application. It will be added to Salesforce as a pilot in February and generally available in the summer of next year.

The second piece is a software developers kit, called the Box SDK, for Salesforce. Companies that build their own custom apps within Salesforce can now work directly with files that are stored in Box. It’s available today for free via GitHub.

In an interview, Box CEO Aaron Levie called it “the deepest integration we’ve ever done with Salesforce.”

There is, he said, a “significant overlap” among customers using both Box and Salesforce, and they’re forced into perplexing machinations when they have to use data from one in the other. “People have been pulling data from different places to get their jobs done,” he said. The aim, he said is to deliver to those shared customers a combined “end-to-end experience.”

The relationship between Box and Salesforce is already a deep one. Salesforce Ventures was on the who’s-who list of Silicon Valley investors that participated in one of its many pre-IPO funding rounds. They have, at times over the years, worked as partners and would-be competitors depending on the day and the context.

The news is likely to boost the use of Box among companies that are already Salesforce customers, and that speaks directly to what Levie has often called a “land and expand” strategy. Companies that use Box typically use more of its features, and end up paying more for it over time.

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