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Box is releasing a tool to make it easier for large companies to shift workloads to the cloud

Box would still make a nice acquisition for Google, btw.

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Box CEO Aaron Levie
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Box is releasing a new tool called Box Drive, which is aimed at making it easier for companies to shift workloads to cloud storage without having to change the way employees access files from their desktops.

The tool lets users find documents stored locally and in the cloud from the same desktop window, and saves hard-drive space by only streaming cloud files to the desktop when users open the files.

Box Drive is similar to both Dropbox’s SmartSync and Google’s Drive File Stream, part of Google’s suite of productivity tools.

“It basically is your local file system for all intents and purposes,” Box CEO Aaron Levie told Recode. “We’re effectively making it so that you can have all your data in the cloud but continue to work exactly as you have been.”

Box, a cloud storage company that has been around for more than 10 years, is mostly focused on serving large enterprise clients. Levie said the company counts 64 percent of the Fortune 500 as customers.

Box differentiates itself through a focus on governance and compliance features, and through developing expertise in different industries like finance and health care to better meet the needs of customers, according to Constellation Research principal analyst Alan Lepofsky.

Though Google counts Box as a business partner, the company would actually be an attractive acquisition for the search giant. Google has historically been consumer focused but in recent years has gotten a lot more serious about cloud and enterprise offerings.

When asked if an acquisition might be on the table, Levie said, “Right now we’re really focused on just building Box out as an independent company.”

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