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Google and Box Tighten Ties

Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2014Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2014
Fortune Brainstorm TECH July 15th, 2014 Aspen, CO Aaron Levie, CEO, Box
Photograph by Stuart Isett — Fortune Brainstorm TECH

Google and Box (BOX), two companies that already have worked to make sure their respective products work well with each other, said Wednesday that they would take that relationship a step further.

First, they’ll ensure that Box’s cloud file repository can more easily store files created in Google (GOOG) Apps, according to a statement. To be fair, Google Apps users could already store what they wanted in Box. But, behind-the-scenes there are several steps in the process, which take time to negotiate, said Aaron Levie, chief executive of Box.

“We can improve and speed up that process,” he told Fortune in an interview after his keynote at Box’s conference in San Francisco.

Second, another joint project will make sure that the Google Springboard service that lets businesses search Gmail and Google Apps files will also search content stored in Box. (Google Springboard replaces a hardware search appliance that Google discontinued last year. )

Levie told Fortune that both projects should be completed in the next few quarters.

Box, which rose to prominence by selling file sharing and collaboration to business customers, gives Google another toehold in the enterprise market, where the Internet search giant is trying to expand its presence both with Apps and cloud services sold to IT professionals. And Google Apps, widely used in small and medium companies, along with some big companies, may also give Box entry into some new accounts that may otherwise use Dropbox or Google Drive, for that matter.

Box already works with Microsoft Office, a key Google Apps competitor.

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Wednesday’s news comes a day after Box announced Box Relay, a collaboration with IBM (IBM), that it says will streamline some work-related processes like sales approvals that need to be approved by multiple people. That product is expected by the fourth quarter

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Levie, who shared the stage with Google senior vice president Diane Greene, hinted at more future Google collaborations. That’s a good thing since some of us expected Box to name Google Cloud Platform as another public cloud partner. It’s already using Amazon (AMZN) Web Services and Microsoft (MSFT) Azure in addition to its own data centers.