Microsoft has announced a strategic partnership with the file sharing and cloud services company Box — which wants to use Azure’s machine learning to improve its cloud content management services.
Box Leveraging Azure’s Machine Learning
Microsoft made the announcement today, saying that as part of their expanded partnership with Box they will both be jointly offering Box’s cloud content management with Azure to enterprise customers.
This is part of a co-selling agreement, meaning Box will offer Azure with a purchase of their services. In return, Microsoft will pitch Box as part of their sales of Azure.
A seemingly big reason for the company’s expanded partnership with Microsoft is its interest in Azure’s machine learning capabilities.
It seems they want to use Azure’s “cognitive services”, or machine learning capabilities marketed as a product feature of Azure, in order to improve their content management services.
According to the blog, integrations might include advanced content processing technologies like video indexing, which uses natural language processing to generate metadata and power advanced search capabilities.
Essentially, they think they can automate the creation of metadata and use that metadata to add intelligence across the entire platform.
Other Business Partnerships
The new partnership with Microsoft may be a little awkward as Box already has a business relationship with Google and its respective cloud services.
However, unlike their partnership with Google or even Amazon — businesses whom they also partner with for similar reasons — do not have the same kind of sales agreement that it and Microsoft have.
This makes their partnership unique and helps Microsoft in the cloud arena, giving it an edge over both Google and Amazon.
This edge is due to the market exposure that Box will provide to Azure as the company counts 64% of Fortune 500 companies as clients. Thus, this provides an obvious benefit to them regarding their enterprise market segment.
Furthermore, Azure already has more exposure than Google Cloud, even without Box’s help, because of Microsoft’s productivity tools such as Office 365.
Finally, it also offers an option for selecting geographic zones to store data, meaning companies can store information with Box on servers in specific countries, in order, for example, to comply with those country’s laws about data storage.
Now, with the new partnership in place, Box will start adding Azure’s international locations to its zoned data program.
What do you think of Microsoft partnering with Box and Box’s intention to leverage Azure’s machine learning?
Images Via Microsoft and Box