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Summary:

Graham Younger joins Box after previous stints at SAP’s SuccessFactors unit, IBM and Tibco — all big-time enterprise software vendors.

Graham Younger, Box

If you’re a company trying to set yourself up as an business-class file-share-and-sync provider (aka the Dropbox of the enterprise), you could do worse than hiring people out of SAP, which embodies enterprise software. That’s just what Box has done, bringing Graham Younger aboard as executive VP of worldwide field operations.

Younger was previously SVP and GM of global sales for SAP’s SuccessFactors unit. Younger also did stints at Tibco and IBM so, as Box CEO Aaron Levie pointed out in a Tuesday blog post, Younger “really likes enterprise software.”

This hire comes a week after Box hired Manjit Singh, the former CIO of Las Vegas Sands and Chiquita Brands, to head its growing consulting practice, launched a year or so ago. In software, the only thing that might scream “enterprise” more than an SAP hire is building a consulting practice.

Still, Box, flush with venture cash and heading for an IPO, has some big-time competition. Most notably, Dropbox fancies itself as “the Dropbox of the enterprise,” which is the focus of its paid Dropbox for Business entry. Dropbox claims 4 million businesses use its service, but will not break out how many of them are Dropbox for Business customers or how many of its 200+ million Dropbox users in general pay. (Box doesn’t break out paying customers either.)

Last summer, Dropbox made some enterprise-y hires of its own, including former VMware end user computing techie Matt Eccleston to head up engineering and Ross Piper, who had been SVP of enterprise strategy and alliances for Salesforce.com. Kevin Egan, who leads sales for Dropbox, is also a Salesforce.com alum.

Besides these two heavyweights more than a half-dozen smaller companies also have their eye on this prize including Accellion, Egnyte, ownCloud. And, industry giants also are making their play — EMC (with Syncplicity); Microsoft (with SkyDrive aka OneDrive) and Google (with Google Drive). The contestants here are literally too numerous to mention. (Seriously, I’m not going to publish the all-inclusive list here.)

So pull up a seat and get comfy because this is going to get interesting.

  1. Box is making big news with their hires and their IPO. I just wish that would translate to lower business prices. I actually prefer their service, but it’s just too expensive for my business.

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  2. It is funny to hear Box referred to as the “Dropbox for enterprise” when the Box enterprise price was JUST listed at 420/user/year, while Dropbox’s listed business price is 180/user/year — still outrageous, but a little less terrifying?
    For a cloud service provider to mark itself as the true enterprise provider, they must be able to both meet high-end enterprise demands, and offer a price that is designed for businesses, not consumers. When a company offers bulk storage to its users (like the recent 50GB promotion Box just held) — they are forced to gouge their SME’s to compensate.
    A smart business or enterprise would choose a provider that designs its model around enterprise needs, like DriveHQ. Consumer providers like Dropbox, GoogleDrive, and now OneDrive will not be able to compete when it comes to advanced features, nor when it comes to meeting advanced features.

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