Box.net Continues Cloud Channel Partner Program Expansion
Box.net, the online file sharing service, continues to accelerate its business. After formalizing a cloud channel partner program in June 2011, Box.net is now preparing the BoxWorks customer and partner conference (Sept. 28, San Francisco).
Krish Parikh, senior manager for business development at Box.net, recently described the company’s cloud partner program in a Talkin’ Cloud FastChat Video. But the strategy doesn’t end there. During a wide-ranging interview at Box.net’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Parikh described the company’s rapid growth and long-term partner goals.
Arriving at Box.net about 11 months ago, Parikh was employee number 100. Today, Box.net has about 200 employees and the company expects to have about 260 employees by the close of 2011. Parikh understands enterprise-class software and the channel, having previously worked on Oracle’s merger and acquisition strategy, while also building out a channel for Oracle’s testing tools.
These days, Parikh focuses on Box.net’s channel partner program, which allows partners to resell the company’s cloud-based file sharing service. The Box.net solution also integrates with Google Apps, NetSuite and Salesforce.com, so Box.net is a “natural addition” for partners who already specialize in those areas, Parikh asserts.
Box.net has a sales team that services Fortune 500 companies. But Box.net lacks international and local coverage — especially in the SMB market, where the company needs channel partners as “feet on the street.” Channel partners earn 30 percent recurring margins for the life of the Box.net customer account, and those channel partners can bill in any currency they want. That’s right: Channel partners control end-customer billing.
So what’s next? Parikh says Box.net has three core priorities:
- “Make sure the end-user experience remains fantastic.”
- Ramp up the channel in a cautious, responsible manner. “You can’t sell the service and run away; we want partners to remain engaged post-sale,” says Parikh.
- “Make sure the Box.net brand is huge.”
Those efforts will continue during the BoxWorks 2011 conference in September 2011.
During my visit to the Box.net corporate office, it was clear that the company has a play hard, work hard mentality. Sales staff typically arrive mid-morning but they work late into the evening. And conference rooms are named to reflect specific company milestones. In some ways, the Box.net offices remind me of the dot-com era. But it sounds like Box.net is focused on the right priorities — responsible growth, rather than growth at any cost.
Still, it’s difficult for me to quantify Box.net’s performance. The company’s online file sharing service is wildly popular within the Fortune 500. But since Box.net is privately held I can’t say for sure just how well the company — and its channel partners — are performing.