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Enterprise cloud storage provider Box has launched a new product today called OneCloud that will enable businesses to keep files synchronized even when using third-party smartphone apps, the company announced today.

One of the biggest challenges mobile enterprise users face when it comes to file management is accessibility. When you save a file on your smartphone inside an application, it becomes a chore to access the file elsewhere or share with someone else. The OneCloud solution helps solve this by enabling third-party providers the framework for syncing with a Box account inside the app. For example, if I work on a presentation on my iPad using QuickOffice, I can now save my progress to a Box account shared with my colleagues. So no matter where a document is edited or saved, a copy is always accessible via Box.

The OneCloud solution only works on iOS for now, but it will eventually move to Android and Windows Phone as well. Box has signed 30 app partners up so far for OneCloud, including QuickOffice, PDF Expert, Nuance’s PaperPort Notes, and Adobe EchoSign. After a user enables it, all data on those apps is backed up to Box’s server. To discover more apps that work with Box, open Box on the iPhone or iPad and tap the cloud logo at the top menu.


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“If [Box CEO] Aaron Levie was talking to you, he would be shouting that this is a huge deal,” Box VP of platform Chris Yeh told VentureBeat. “But I’m close to the technology and this absolutely is disruptive.”

Yeh said that this is an exciting development for the mobile cloud because no one has achieved anything like it yet. A close comparison, Yeh said, might be Apple’s iCloud solution. But iCloud is squarely focused on consumers rather than businesses and does not give users serious file management abilites.

Besides making OneCloud available for Android and iOS, Box hopes to also move the conversation ahead when it comes to mobile accessibility files besides documents.

“This could be used across other types mobile applications, not just documents,” Yeh said. “You could back up passwords using it, for example. We’re not limited by any boundaries.”

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