Cloud storage may not sound like an exciting business, but Box sets itself apart by turning its enterprise storage service into a serviceable platform. Not only does the company integrate with numerous popular third-party services such as salesforce.com and NetSuite, but it also has tens of thousands of developers using its APIs to build upon the Box platform.
That has helped Box carve out a piece of the market at the expense of larger rivals like EMC, IBM, and Microsoft. On the consumer side, Google and Apple also compete heavily, but companies like Box and Dropbox can increase switching costs by creating sticky services. Once upon a time, Apple tried to acquire Dropbox only to be turned down. There is a possibility that a larger diversified IT provider could see value in acquiring Box at some point in the future if Box continues to succeed.
In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Box's platform strategy with Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief.