Why Box's IPO is Paving the Way for Huddle to Go Public

Huddle CEO Alastair Mitchell has watched the file sync and share market transform in front of his very eyes. But what does this transformation mean for Huddle and enterprise social collaboration?

CJ Arlotta, Associate Editor

April 3, 2014

3 Min Read
Huddle CEO Alastair Mitchell says social is a musthave feature in enterprise software
Huddle CEO Alastair Mitchell says social is a must-have feature in enterprise software.

Huddle CEO Alastair Mitchell has watched the file sync and share market transform in front of his very eyes.

And then Box officially announced its plans to go public last month. That move by a competitor was the initial push Huddle needed to bring a larger conversation forward.

File sync and share has paved the way for enterprise social collaboration

Consumer file sync and share tools such as Dropbox may have provided the market with the initial concept of file sharing, but companies such as Box and Huddle are turning Dropbox’s idea into something more than that.

“The really big story is just about to begin, which is around a real transformation in the way we work together,” Mitchell said.

He pointed out how companies have shifted their focus from consumer-grade solutions to enterprise-grade collaboration.

“We’ve always had a mission that’s been much more focused on collaboration than on file sharing and storage, and that’s becoming even more and more popular with our customers,” he said.

In fact, Box has finalized more enterprise deals in the last two quarters than in the previous 10, Mitchell explained.

“We’re just at the start of that journey, and that’s what’s so exciting about what’s going on in this market at the moment,” he said.

Huddle’s plan to follow in Box’s footsteps

Both Box and Huddle have a vision of stealing revenue and mind share away from legacy platforms, and moving enterprises toward cloud and social collaboration platforms, Mitchell said.

With regards to Huddle filing for an IPO in the near future, he said it’s something Huddle “absolutely will do over the next few years.

“We started a little bit later and we’re going after kind of, frankly, bigger customers and so on, but we’re seeing similar growth, and we’re in the same market, so it’s definitely part of our plans for the future,” he said.

How Huddle plans to compete with future competitors

Mitchell said Box and Huddle are going after “different parts of the same market.”

He explained that Box typically focuses more on companies with loads of users and smaller teams, while Huddle goes after enterprise level customers with larger teams. These customers include federal, state and local governments.

“The way we stay ahead of the game, frankly, is by having a better product,” he said. “Our vision is security becomes more and more important, and collaboration becomes more and more important as this trend continues, and the ability to work at enterprise level.”

A lot of the larger companies such as Microsoft (MSFT) have been trying to ride on the coattails of Box and Huddle, but they’ll more than likely just acquire someone after the innovation subsides, Mitchell said.

But he has message for companies such as Microsoft that may be trying to get their fair share of the growing market: “If you get a big enough head start, then you can maintain it.”

Follow CJ Arlotta on Twitter @cjarlotta and Google+ for further updates on the story above.

About the Author(s)

CJ Arlotta

Associate Editor, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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