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Box’s Levie: Google Drive not a competitor

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Aaron Levie, founder and CEO of Box, said even with the long-awaited arrival of Google Drive, he still doesn’t see Google (s goog) as a competitor. That’s because he sees Box as more of a dedicated collaboration platform that happens to have storage and syncing, making Microsoft’s Sharepoint (s msft) more of a direct rival than Google Drive.

“You can’t accidentally build a collaboration platform, it has to be a strategic decision to compete with Microsoft and we don’t think Google has done that,” Levie told me. “Microsoft is our primary competitor and Google Drive didn’t change that.”

Google, of course, is also touting the collaboration features of Google Drive, which is built around Google Docs. But Levie believes that Box, which was founded in 2005, has a longer head start in building a collaboration layer that works for customers. He said the business problem doesn’t come down to storage, which will continue to decrease in price. It’s about enabling workers to share information together.

“We built a collaboration platform that happened to have a syncing tool to get data into it,” he said.

Levie said companies also have a very diverse mix of computing solutions and they need to have an open, agnostic tool that isn’t built around one platform. Levie said that’s what corporate customers are looking for: a nimble, focused competitor that is targeting enterprise customers exclusively.

“If you’re a CIO, do you want a company that is trying to work on advertising, search, glasses, mobile and cars, or do you want a company that is working solely on a collaboration and storage platform?” he said.

5 Responses to “Box’s Levie: Google Drive not a competitor”

  1. deeceefar2

    As a dropbox for teams user, who has researched pretty much every cloud storage solution I can say absolutely this is a competitor to Box. It just doesn’t replicate all of their features and therefore won’t be attractive to certain medium and large enterprise players. There are three missing features still with Google Drive: in network syncing (so you don’t saturate your bandwidth with one file), unlimited file size (as a creative studio we have files over 10GB, though not many), and lastly only 30 days of revisions (dropbox for teams is unlimited).

    With the addition of in network syncing I could live without the other two features, and so without additional action from dropbox we’ll be moving to Google Drive. The Google Goggles features is attractive as a way to locate assets in a massive collection. Collaborative commenting is awesome for design files. Lastly it is cheaper.

  2. Google Drive may not be a direct competitor by itself but Google is a direct competitor. Google’s whole ecosystem will be positioned to compete against Dropbox and SharePoint. You take a look at their product portfolio which is well integrated it will challenge Drop in several areas especially if Google releases strong API’s to this service.

    • All on the assumption that people use Google products, and Google products only. I am a dropbox user, and have been for ages. Google seems to be that guy that always shows up to the party too late and tries to bully himself in. Go have a peek at all the products that Google touts will be the next big thing, but they simply end up tossing those products to the trash by year end.

      • I agree. I’m a big user of gMail. I’ve used Google Apps/Docs a couple of times and it’s no Office or Office 365 for that matter.

        If you are not all in to the Google ecosystem then their cloud storage is not a competitor to Drop or Skydrive for that matter. I actually like Skydrive and would love it if it had more mobile support.

        I just don’t trust Dropbox after they had the issue with open passwords about a year ago.