Box on Thursday rolled out a developer network with the aim of developing more enterprise friendly applications.
The Box Innovation Network, or /bin, includes developer communities and partners including Appcelerator, Cloud Foundry, Heroku, Rackspace, SnapLogic, and Twilio. Box also plans to invest $2 million to fund developers in /bin to grow the number of enterprise apps.
Box's strategy highlights how startups focused on mass markets initially are not targeting the enterprise. Dropbox recently announced a business friendly service too.
For Box, /bin is more about trying to be a platform play. By creating an ecosystem, Box is hoping to get more installations. To date, Box has been adopted in 100,000 businesses, including more than three quarters of the Fortune 500. Box ultimately winds up in the enterprise via consumerization---workers that take the service to work. Box has 8 million members.
Overall, Box could garner some traction. It certainly has the right partners including Heroku, owned by Salesforce.com, and Rackspace, which is increasingly targeting larger companies. VMware's Cloud Foundry unit will also help Box in business.
Chris Yeh, vice president of platform at Box, said there is a need for custom Box apps in the enterprise. Dow Chemical, Pabst Brewing Co. and National Equity Fund have asked Box for better integration tools.
Specifically, Box has been fielding requests for apps that couple Box with legacy administration, legal, data loss protection and e-discovery software.