Summary:

Even a super-easy-to-use file sync-and-share product needs some help sometimes, so the new Box Consulting Group is born.

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Nothing screams “enterprise” more than an IT vendor with a professional services arm. Just ask HP or IBM. And now you can ask Box, which, along with a beefed-up admin console for compliance-wary IT, is announcing a formal Box Consulting Program.

The company, which just announced a healthy $100 million in new funding, had some professional services before but is now wrapping them up with a ribbon so that companies rolling out large numbers of seats or that need to integrate Box’s file-sync-and-share capabilities with custom or third-party applications can get big-boy help.

“It’s not about Box itself which is an easy deploy, but the ecosystem,” said Whitney Bouck, SVP of global marketing and GM of enterprise for Box, Los Altos, Calif.

The group now comprises “a few dozen” people, a number that will likely grow, although she gave no target number.

Now back to that console. The revamped dashboard now will let admins more easily manage large numbers of users and lots of content in a centralized place, she said.

“We always let the admin manage an individual user at a time or that person’s content. If someone leaves the company, the admin can transfer that content somewhere else or change access privileges file by file or folder by folder,” she said. What’s new is the admin can search across domains to find all content relevant to, say, a legal case, and set restrictions on access to all that content at once.

Or, she can search for all content owned by Jane Doe and transfer it all to someone else.

new_policyBouck also said the company has added “lightweight data loss prevention” that allows admins to set policies about which content can be uploaded to, downloaded from or shared in Box. If a document contains what looks to be a credit card number, for example, it can be banned outright or quarantined until the admin can determine if it breaches policy.

Given the superheated land grab going on in enterprise document sharing-and-sync, look for a steady drumbeat of new features and services not only from Box but from Dropbox, which is ramping up its enterprise push. And don’t forget the dozen or so smaller competitors like Accellion, Egnyte, which just announced $29.5 million in new funding, and SugarSync, which just nuked its freemium version. 

In big accounts, Box tends to compete with things like Citrix ShareFile, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Dropbox Enterprise “a bit,” said Constellation Research Analyst Alan Lepofsky. Next year he expects to see Salesforce.com enter that fray with Salesforce Files. In smaller companies Box vies more with Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.

So pull up a seat — this will get good.

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