Box to integrate with Office 365

Box has announced integration with Office 365 and SharePoint, and removed its storage cap for business (paying) customers.

Box has announced that it can now integrate direct with Office 365 to provide the underlying file storage for your Office documents. It has simultaneously removed its 1TB limit for business customers. And also announced integration between Box and SharePoint via AvePoint…

Some soundbites from the press release:

Box today announced two new integrations with Office 365 to power productivity for companies leveraging Box’s cloud content platform and Microsoft’s suite of Office applications. Additionally, the company is removing storage limits for all customers of its Business plan. The new integrations and uncapped storage will enable businesses to do more with their information and boost collaboration across their entire organization.


  • Box for Office 2013 Desktop: Users can easily open, edit, share and save any file from Box seamlessly within Office 2013 desktop apps, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Box For Outlook 2013 Desktop: Box streamlines email workflow with deep connections to Outlook 2013 Desktop, enabling users to share links to files already stored in Box and convert document attachments to Box shared links directly within Outlook 2013 Desktop.

Box is also working with AvePoint to connect and centralize content for Box and SharePoint customers. DocAve Cloud Connect provides Box and SharePoint users with a cross platform experience, enabling businesses with existing Box and SharePoint implementations to synchronize, search, edit, and share content, without having duplicate copies of the data sitting on each platform

It leads to a simple question: Why pay a subscription to use Box for file storage when Microsoft already provides a similar service as part of your Office 365 subscription – OneDrive for Business?

One aspect is that Box has capabilities that are technically superior to OneDrive, for now at least. It has better cross-platform and cross-device support (for Apple OSX and iOS, and Google Android/Chrome). Box has also got some nifty and simple integration for read-only sharing of files that prevent recipients from downloading or taking copies. And one of the big annoyances with OneDrive is that it cannot handle filenames containing special characters. Whilst you can reasonably argue that filenames shouldn’t have special characters in them these days, sometimes they do. Particularly when filenames are automatically created as part of document automation services. It is a productivity drain to have to fiddle about renaming files to keep OneDrive happy.

What this announcement does do is add confusion to the choices when adopting cloud services. Box also has a partnership with Salesforce. As does Microsoft. When would you ever need all three? So which one or two would you be most likely to pick?


Source: Box press release