Enterprise cloud storage provider Box.com, announced today a new tool that provides a menu of the most popular mobile apps that work with its cloud-based file sharing service.
The tool, called Box OneCloud, is an application menu that initially only includes iOS apps because they are the most popular programs for enterprise use, according to Chris Yeh, vice president of Platform at Box.
A user clicks on an application link in the menu and is directed to the iTunes app store, where the app can be downloaded.
OneCloud's iPad user interface.
The Box OneCloud gallery provides a suite of more than 30 iOS-enabled productivity applications that allow users to securely access, edit and share content from their mobile devices.
"All application integrations are accessible via this new Box mobile app gallery, enabling users to easily browse and download the catalog of these productivity apps to their iOS device," Yeh said.
The app catalog was created in response to enterprise users of Box's file sharing and collaboration service who were going outside mainstream providers for their favorite productivity tools.
"Once Box goes into an organization, employees found they were having a hard time figuring out what other apps worked with it," Yeh said.
Four of the hottest third-party mobile apps have also been more tightly integrated with Box OneCloud, including Quickoffice, Adobe EchoSign, Nuance PaperPort Notes and PDF Expert. The deeper integration means any modifications to files are instantly stored Box.
The premier partner's apps also provide advanced document editing, secure e-signature, digital note-taking and PDF annotation.
In early May, Box plans to add applications for Android OS-enabled devices to its OneCloud. "We'll be adding Windows mobile apps as soon as they establish a foothold in the enterprise," Yeh said.
Box, which plays in the enterprise-class file and content collaboration market, claims to have 10 million users from 120,000 businesses. The service also claims that 82% of Fortune 500 companies use its service.
Yeh said 30% to 50% of its storage use comes from mobile applications, an increase of about 30 times over last year.
Another change from last year is that the most popular apps come from lesser-known providers, as opposed to Microsoft or other large application developers. Forrester predicts that Window's device share will fall below 50% by 2016, further pressing CIOs to update device policies and security procedures to ensure employees are productive and their data is safe.
"Who owns the end point is changing. Microsoft owns less than half of all end points [on Box]," Yeh said, referring to applications on mobile devices. "We're in a post-PC era."
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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