When a business wants to store or share documents in the cloud, Box.net wants to be the first firm companies go to to make that happen.
With that in mind, Box.net launched new apps on Thursday for Google's Android mobile OS, Research In Motion's BlackBerry Playbook (which runs on a RIM-built operating system called QNX) and a new HTML5 Web app accessible on any smart phone or tablet.
The Palo Alto, Calif., start-up has been able to gain more than 1 million mobile users with an iOS app, integration into HP's WebOS as the default cloud storage method, and its Box.net website, but that's not enough, said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of the company.
"Since we're an enterprise-focused company, we've been working all year on making sure we hit every platform an enterprise might need and now we're able to make that happen," Levie said in an interview. "We've seen a 600% increase in enterprise sales on the mobile side this year. And that's because there are a lot of consumer cloud options which are perfectly fine being constrained to one platform or another, but for businesses, you need to have that flexibility, and nobody else is offering what we're now offering."
The PlayBook app is Box.net's first native app for any BlackBerry platform, while the company's new Android app, which works on both phones and tablets, replaces an older Android app designed only for phones.
One native app missing so far is one for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 OS. Users of that platform will have to rely on Box.net's HTML5 Web app, which Levie says offers all the same features of the native apps but can be accessed through any mobile device's Web browser at m.box.net.
Levie pointed to Proctor & Gamble's decision to use Box for its business as an example of how important it is for a company such as his to be available on the multitude of mobile devices in the marketplace.
"Procter & Gamble deployed about 18,000 users on Box, and the driver for that was being able to get to content on mobile platforms," he said. "Today, there are effectively five competing platforms that are all powerful, can all access content, can all access and manage contacts and email. And now we are available on all those platforms, and with HTML5, we have a standard across all platforms."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screenshot of Box.net's Android app on a tablet running Android Honeycomb. Credit: Box.net