Careers at Box
Box is a software company that provides file-sharing, content management and cloud services, primarily to business clients but also to private users.
Box was founded in 2005 by childhood friends Aaron Levie (“Levie”), Dylan Smith (“Smith”), Sam Ghods (“Ghods”) and Jeff Queisser (“Queisser”). The four met at various stages of their education at Islander Middle School in Mercer Island, Washington, and embarked on a number of small-scale business schemes together while still at school.
The idea behind Box was first developed by Levie during his time at the University of Southern California, where he was studying Business. Levie, while working on collaborative projects, became frustrated with the difficulty he and his workmates had in sharing files from different locations and computers. He later touched upon ways in which problems such as this could be tackled using cloud storage platforms as part of a business school project. After deciding to pursue these ideas commercially, Levie brought Smith on board to manage the financial side of the business.
Levie later convinced Ghods and Queisser to drop out of their respective courses at USC and Western Washington University and join Box to manage engineering side of the business. The Company secured its first high-profile investment later that year in the form of $350,000 from entrepreneur and angel investor Mark Cuban. Box has since attracted significant investment. To date it has raised more than $500 million in seven rounds funding, from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Scale Venture Partners and General Atlantic. Its most recent round of funding in 2014 saw Box valued at around $2.55 billion. The Company listed in the New York Stock Exchange in 2015 and currently has a market capitalisation of $1.62 billion.
Benefits at Box
Business model of Box
Box primarily serves corporate clients requiring cloud storage, document management and platform integration services.
The nature of Box’s services do not limit its clients to any one particular industry, with its customers including companies from within the advertising, construction, energy, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing industries, among many others.
Box purports to have over 50,000 paying customers worldwide, including more than 52% of Fortune 500 companies and 28% of the Global 2000. On its website Box names high-profile companies such as AstraZeneca, General Electric, GSK, Anglo American and Bechtel among its largest customers.
Box’s principal value is that it provides a secure platform through which companies are able to store and manage large amounts of information at a reasonable price.
The Company’s platform is easily accessed across multiple devices and from any location, enabling its users to collaborate on projects and share information more efficiently.
Box also provides ongoing customer support to its clients after sale and provides a range of optional extra services relating to security and helpdesk assistance.
The Box platform can also be integrated with a number of third-party applications and tools, and allows for the development and integration of custom applications.
Box products can be accessed via the Company’s website at www.box.com and through its Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry apps. These apps are available via the Company’s website. Box services can also be accessed through integrated third-party partner apps, including Box for Netsuite, Box Salesforce, Box for Office and Box QuickOffice Pro HD.
More complicated subscriptions, notably those acquired by large corporations, are handled directly by the Box sales team, which can be contacted either online via a contact form or over the phone.
Box’s products are predominantly available on a self-service basis, with subscriptions sold and registered via the Company’s website.
For enterprises requiring subscriptions for a large number of users, as well as more tailored services, subscriptions must be negotiated directly with members of the Box sales team. All subscriptions are entitled to ongoing support or Premium Support from Box representatives.
Box also provides training and consulting services to its clients allowing customers to interact directly with Box employees to learn more about how its products can be most efficiently utilised, and hosts a range of webinars, video tutorials and a community forum on its website. Box also interacts directly with customer via its social media accounts, notably through Facebook and Twitter.
Box is a cloud services company. It provides cloud-based solutions to companies that enable them to manage and share enterprise data from anywhere, across multiple channels and devices.
The Company develops and maintains a platform that enables users to collaborate on content internally and externally, automate content-driven business processes, develop custom applications, and integrate data protection and security functionality.
Box also manages a number of partnerships with developers and resellers to increase the platform’s audience and reach.
Box partners with a range of companies, including software developers, vendors, marketers and high-profile tech companies. The Company divides its partners into three categories: Channel Partners, Platform Partners and Systems Integrators.
The first of these categories comprises software and application developers that enable Box’s services and products to be used across multiple, third-party cloud applications, making a range of data available solely through Box products.
Channel Partners are companies that refer or resell Box products and services, extending the Company’s user base across a variety of sectors.
Box’s Systems Integrator partners help to develop custom applications and solutions that enable Box functionality to be integrated with its clients’ internal business processes. Box has partnered with several high-profile companies, including a recent collaboration with IBM and Amazon Web Services to provide its Box Zones storage solution.
Box’s key resources are its cloud-based data management platform, its personnel and its IT infrastructure. The Company has several patent applications filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, including applications titled ‘Force upgrade of a mobile application via a server side configuration file’ and ‘Batching notifications of activities that occur in a web-based collaboration environment’.
The Box platform receives integral support from the Company’s IT infrastructure of servers and data centres. The Company’s development team and after sales support staff are also key to the Company’s operations.
Box’s major costs relate to its research and development activities, its retention of personnel and its maintenance of IT infrastructure, including the rental of server space and operation of data centres.
Media reports have stated that the Company, in particular, accrues significant costs relating to sales and marketing. These costs were recently estimated to represent around 68% of Box’s total revenue.
Box generates revenue through a freemium business model, providing a product at no cost alongside paid-for offerings that allow for greater functionality, storage and support. Box divides its service subscriptions into personal and business packages. Its basic personal subscription is available for free, while its Personal Pro offering is priced at $11.50 per month.
The Company’s premium business subscriptions are all paid-for services, beginning with a starter package priced at $6 per month, per user. Its most popular Business package costs $17 per month, per user and includes a greater range of tools. Box also provides an Enterprise package which requires direct negotiation in order to receive a quote.
In addition to its subscriptions, Box offer various paid-for add-ons, including 24-hour support services, advanced security and governance services. In its most recent annual filing Box recorded revenue of $303 million.
info: Aaron has served as Box’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman since the Company’s establishment in 2005. He also sits on the Company’s Board of Directors. Levie is broadly regarded as the driving force behind Box’s product and platform strategy, and the principal figure behind the Company’s development. Levie has no significant professional experience outside of Box, beyond brief internships at film studios Miramax and Paramount Pictures. He, however, is reported to have shown entrepreneurial flair while still at school, developing several business ideas including search engine Zizap and Fastest.com, a website for buying and selling homes online.
info: Dylan has served as Box’s Chief Financial Officer since 2005, leading the Company’s investor relations and financial operations. He also sits alongside Levie on Box’s board of directors. Smith is presented in corporate literature as Levie’s main co-founding partner, playing a key role in bringing Box to market. Smith has no history of holding executive roles outside of Box.
info: Sam did not formally join the Company until 2006 when he dropped out of college to join Levie full time. He led Box’s software architecture team for a number of years before assuming his current position as Services Architect. Before joining Box, Ghods worked as an engineer at two small tech start-ups.
info: Jeff did not formally join Box until 2006, when he was appointed to the role of Vice President of Technical Operations. He assumed his current role as Chief Systems Architect in 2014, under which he is responsible for Box's core technology, architecture and infrastructure. Prior to joining Box, Queisser founded IT consulting company Q-Squared.
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