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Box taps EMC veteran to lure corporate developers


Box’s (BOX) long-term success in big business accounts hinges on its ability to convince other companies to use its cloud file-sharing service as an integral, yet invisible, part of applications and business processes.

On Wednesday it tapped a former EMC (EMC) data storage strategist, Jeetu Patel, to lead the way.

Patel most recently was general manager and CEO for Syncplicity, which EMC sold in early July to private equity firm Skyview Capital. A new CEO, Jonathan Huberman, stepped in at Syncplicity when the spinout was complete.

Patel, who will report to Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie, is responsible for the company’s new Developer Edition, introduced this spring. The platform is a white-label version of the Box service, one that a business would use to share information securely with its customers or partners. For example, a health care organization might use it to share digital images. It’s a way for Box to keep adding more and more users without touching them directly.

“The Box platform is the next growth driver for Box,” Levie said in a statement.

Box, headquartered in Los Altos, Calif., sells services that enable businesses to manage documents of all sorts remotely. It went public in January, and its stock was trading around $14 this afternoon (far lower than the $23.23 close on its IPO day).

Box has more than 47,000 paying customers, including the likes of Chevron, Halliburton, and Nationwide. Although it pioneered this concept, it faces fierce competition from mammoth companies such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft. Levie’s differentiation strategy depends on convincing big companies that Box’s service the most efficient and secure way to share information.

Approximately 50,000 developers already use the Box content management platform as the foundation for collaborative workflows or industry-specific applications. During its most recent quarterly financials briefing, the company reported considerable traction with financial services firms, insurers, manufacturers, life sciences organizations, and energy companies.

Patel’s official title is senior vice president of platform and chief strategy officer.

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