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Box Spurs Enterprise Software Innovation

Content-sharing platform developer Box is taking what it views as a dearth of software development for the enterprise into its own hands: The company has launched /bin, the Box Innovation Network, in an effort to prod platform and software makers into creating better solutions for cloud-based enterprise software.

The partner program, to which Box has committed $2 million in investment to fund, includes out of the gate such developer partners as Appcelerator, Cloud Foundry, Heroku, Rackspace, SnapLogic and Twilio. The impetus behind the project is what Box sees as “very little innovation” on the part of “slow-moving enterprise software giants,” according to a statement from Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie. The twentysomething Levie has been known to publicly ridicule software giants like Microsoft for their sluggishness and lack of innovation.

An article on points out the contrast between large enterprise developers and Box’s efforts:

While incumbent software companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM provide vertical solutions that include an end to end services for developers, Box is challenging them by offering what cofounder and CEO Aaron Levie calls an open system where developers can choose from a variety of providers and plug in to any of them. “We’re trying to rapidly build up an ecosystem of new kinds of enterprise software tools,” Levie says.

The aim of /bin is to create a community that supports developers building enterprise-grade apps. A /bin member will build its app on the Box platform, while /bin partners will provide members with the tools and services they will need to build the apps. The $2 million is earmarked for equity investments, intellectual property acquisitions and co-development of enterprise products, according to Box.

Box’s platform already hosts hundreds of integrated apps and receives 200 million calls to its APIs each month, according to the company. The company also builds custom apps for large enterprises like Pabst Brewing Company, DOW Chemical and National Equity Fund (NEF).

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