Box has introduced new service plans for small businesses, in a move that shows there’s a bigger market out there than Box’s traditional enterprise customers.
Cloud services like Box are increasingly important in small businesses and, if Box’s latest numbers are anything to go by, everyone needs to collaborate. Over 180 thousand companies, 20 million users, and 97% of the largest companies are using its service.
So it’s not surprising that Box’s GM of Enterprise Whitney Bouck was focused on the importance of small business when we spoke to her recently about changes in the way Box sells its cloud platform.
Small business becoming more cloud-savvy
Box is seeing a lot more appetite for the cloud in smaller businesses. As Bouck puts it, "They’ve been unnecessarily penalised, with no access to enterprise grade software. The cloud changes that".
She noted that Box brings cloud software together, letting users work across different tools, "We’ve integrated with Netsuite, Zendesk, and Salesforce, for collaboration". That cloud stack of integrated services is why Box CEO Aaron Levie describes the cloud as "proving that companies of all sizes can run on the same platform".
But supporting smaller businesses means a change in the way Box has traditionally been bought. Previously there were three pricing plans: Free, Business and Enterprise. While the Business plan gave you more storage than the Free tier, it was still very limited. If you wanted to use encryption, to manage users’ identities, and to plug into Active Directory, then you needed to use the Enterprise plan. "We were forcing companies to buy in at the high end" Bouck told us, "so we looked at pricing."
As small businesses flock to the cloud, Box is having to modify its account tiers, making them applicable to a company of any size. That’s meant a change in the way Box is bought, with the introduction of a new pricing plan for small teams and a change to the capabilities of the Business Plan. Bouck describes these changes as Box "differentiating from other players with less space, and less tooling for collaboration".
Plans and pricing
Box’s new starter plan will be priced at £3.50 a month, for teams of 1 to 10, with 100GB of storage for the team and a 2GB file size limit. The idea is to provide an easy entry point into Box for very small businesses, or for small teams in larger organisations. Similarly individual users will be getting more space – with free storage doubled from 5GB to 10GB.
At the Business level Box is bringing in more of its enterprise capabilities, adding support for Active Directory as well as integration with a single external application for £11 a month.
Different parts of a business can use different plans, and Box has built tools to ease migration between plans into its billing system. As Bouck notes, "There is a lot of flexibility, [users can] opt between plans based on the number of apps they’re using." Box is also exploring new ways of selling its service, and is now working with AT&T in the US and Deutsche Telecom in Europe.
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