Enterprise software startup: something you don't see a lot of these days

Summary:A Gen-Y entrepreneur sees opportunity in a market dominated by baby-boomer vendors.

A Gen-Y entrepreneur sees opportunity in a market dominated by baby-boomer vendors. Aaron Levie, 26, founder of Box.net, is taking on companies such as IBM and Microsoft in the enterprise space. Business Insider's Matt Rosoff reports that Levie's company, Box.net, is successfully pitching its online service for sharing and collaborating on documents and other files to many large corporate customers.

Thinking outside the Box: Aaron Levie likes enterprises. Credit: Wikipedia

Box.net is entering the market to take on the likes of SharePoint and FileNet in the enterprise. A startup in this space comes without the baggage that older vendors bring, Levie claims:

"Companies that keep customers captive because of contracts aren't always the hardest to disrupt. Ultimately, it doesn't create a great customer-vendor relationship. There's a lot of fractures in the market where that exists. I wouldn't mind being a Workday or a NetSuite going up against Oracle customers because Oracle has had now 20 years of these very difficult tenuous customer relationships. There are literally lawsuits from vendors to customers and customers to vendors in that industry. It's kind of a crazy industry because there's this asymmetry where you'll sell software to an enterprise, and they will pay you regardless of whether that's successful or not. That's entirely unlike SaaS where customers will only pay us if we're successful."

Every generation needs its share of new innovations, but most of the action in recent years has been in the consumer space, catering to entertainment and social apps. It's refreshing to see new blood coming into the enterprise software space.

Topics: CXO, Enterprise Software, Software


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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