Conferences are one way enterprise vendors build excitement and support for what could otherwise be dry and obscure technologies. Now Box.net is joining the party with its own cloud-centric conference.
Box.net announced that it will host a two-day conference in San Francisco, called BoxWorks, to plug its cloud storage and online collaboration technology and touch on some major enterprise cloud topics.
Done right, a conference like this can be way more entertaining than the word “enterprise cloud topics” might suggest.
For example, Salesforce.com, one of the top customer relationship management software providers, puts on a massive conference in San Francisco each year called Dreamforce. The company spares no expense, either: Rock group Metallica will be playing at the conference this year and former President Bill Clinton was a keynote speaker in 2010. It’s glitzy and feels a lot like the mayhem that’s present at consumer-facing trade shows like the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
It’s not so clear whether Box.net will be able to put on that good of a show. Cloud storage, at face value, doesn’t seem like the sexiest thing in the world. But if Salesforce.com’s flashy chief executive Marc Benioff is able to somehow turn CRM software into a rockin’ trade show — well, who knows what will happen.
Box.net runs an online service that gives businesses a way to store and share files over the web. The files are uploaded to remote servers where anyone with permission can access them. Employees can also edit the files through Box.net’s web-based interface and leave comments and notes.
The company has been pushing its cloud-storage application to mobile devices — particularly the iPhone operating system and Google’s mobile operating system, Android. That’s also a major topic for VentureBeat’s latest conference, MobileBeat, that will be held in San Francisco next week. Box.net chief executive Aaron Levie will also be at MobileBeat this year as one of our speakers. (Full disclosure: Box.net is also one of our sponsors for MobileBeat.)
As of January, the Box.net application was downloaded more than 250,000 times on the iPad. The company launched the Android application in the fourth quarter of 2010 and already has 70,000 downloads. Box.net is working with Samsung specifically to further develop its application on Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Box.net currently has 6 million users. Some 60,000 businesses employ its cloud-storage software, including 73 percent of Fortune 500 companies. That figure is up from around 66 percent in February. It raised $48 million in its most recent round of funding. Box.net is also expanding to a new office in the next several weeks because its staff has grown so much.
We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors include Verizon Wireless, Qualcomm, Flurry, Greystripe, Box, Moolah Media, Tapjoy, AT&T Interactive, YuMe, Zong, Kontagent, Papaya Mobile, Acaltel-Lucent, Spil Games, BluePoint Security, PayPal, Xyologic, VSC, and Vantage Communications.