Box's CEO outlines five rules to building better enterprise software

Box's CEO discusses the rules of enterprise software and how to align these products with customers in better ways.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- Much like how Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff repeatedly trots out his social revolution rhetoric when talking about cloud computing, Box's CEO Aaron Levie posited once again that "we need a software revolution."

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Levie kept things simple when discussing what he thinks are the keys to building better enterprise software in the cloud while speaking at GigaOM's NetWork 2011 summit on Thursday.

Citing a statistic from IDC/EMC that 1.8 trillion gigabytes are projected to be created and replicated this year alone, Levie warned that problems (i.e. 3-year product cycles and expensive platforms to deploy) are only compounding.

But considering that approximately $250 billion is spent on enterprise software annually, there is a lot of room for opportunity here as well.

Arguing that when Microsoft looks at this problem, Levie cited a quote from CEO Steve Ballmer and remarked that "they say that the goal can't be to throw out all the world's software and start again."

Levie turned the question around and asked, "Well what if we did?"

He added that "what goes into that is if we could build a new kind of enterprise software company," primarily built upon the five following rules that Levie outlined:

  • Simple software: Solutions that humans can use
  • Customer-centric busienss models: Adoption first, sales second
  • Delighting customers: Making customer success priority #1
  • Creating open systems: Technology that works together (instead of a model where most incumbent players are moving to vertical stacks of technology with solutions from a single vendor)
  • Innovating on demand: Software built for tomorrow, not yesterday

Levie concluded, "That's how we're going to build enterprise software that doesn't suck."

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