Box aims to beef up analytics offerings with Wagon acquisition

After helping more enterprises move their data to the cloud, the next step for Box is to help its new customers gain insight from it all.

In the past year, Box has rolled out a series of products -- like Box Zones, Box KeySafe, and Box Governance -- that have enabled more enterprises to move their data to the cloud. After gaining 4,000 new paying customers in the second quarter, bringing its total number of customers to 66,000, the next logical step is helping enterprises do something with that data.

So, this week, the company announced it's acquiring Wagon Analytics, a San Francisco, Calif.-based startup founded in 2014.

"It was very apparent to us that as more and more work moves to the cloud, as collaboration moves to the cloud, the visibility enterprises can have into how work is getting done is a completely new opportunity that didn't even exist previously," CEO Aaron Levie told ZDNet. "We think we can truly reinvent the kind of insights you get from how your business runs."

Providing business intelligence -- whether it's about improving productivity, spotting security anomalies, or gathering insights about a firm's collaborative process -- fits into Box's overarching vision, Levie said.

"Our entire strategy is to build out the absolute best and most comprehensive platform for customers to be able to manage, share, collaborate around their most important files and work they're doing," he said.

With a comprehensive platform that includes analytics, the company can better cater to its larger customers that Levie said were either buying other solutions or "cobbling together their own technologies". At the same time, he said, "there's no business that is too small or too big to benefit from analytics".

Box was already investing internally in this effort before deciding to acquire Wagon. The Wagon team, Levie said, brings to the table "both the processing and querying in a high-performance way, and visualizing the information... being able to navigate the analytics in a more readable, human way".

Levie said he's excited to bring these insights to market in the next couple of quarters. Wagon noted in a blog post that it will shut down its current product on Oct. 3 as it focuses on building new products at Box.