Box, formerly known as Box.net, is a cloud-based file sharing and content management platform. While some people think of Box as similar to Dropbox, Box is better suited to enterprises, like law firms, mainly due to its superior security and management features.
Dropbox and others have made attempts to match Box’s enterprise prowess, but Box repeatedly scores higher in head-to-head comparisons, like this one from InfoWorld. Box has, for a long time, had a great presence outside of large law firms, capturing the business of more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies.
Full disclaimer: I’m familiar with Box because earlier this year, I joined a group of other law firm KM and technology folks on Box’s legal advisory board. This is an uncompensated role, so don’t think there is an ulterior motive here.
I am happy to learn that Box was, in fact, listening because today, Box is announcing even greater strides toward becoming the go-to cloud-based file sharing and content management platform for law firms. There are a ton of new features and integrations listed in the official announcement and I encourage you to read it. I also encourage you to read the very thoughtful piece by Ron Friedmann over at Prism Legal about the future of such cloud services and where and how they fit in with legacy systems at law firms. Ron is also on the Box legal advisory board, and I can tell you that we’ve all had some very interesting discussions about this future. I personally think that the cloud is the future. Among the many advantages are the anytime-anywhere-any device access to your content. But getting there will not be easy due to the deep hooks of various legacy systems, like DMS and other essential systems that have been around law firms for many years.
To that point, I think one of the more interesting aspects of what Box is doing, as announced today, is the integration (via Intapp) with some legacy systems, like iManage’s DMS. This part of the official announcement says it all: “With the Box iManage integration via Intapp’s Integration Builder, law firms can extend their on-premise document management system to the cloud, access content through mobile devices and collaborate externally.”
Another great part about these recent efforts is that Box has joined the the ABA Advantage program, which provides members with 50GB of of cloud file sharing for free. Check out the offer in the official announcement.