What to expect from BoxWorks 2017

Business transformation and GDPR likely to feature at firm's annual conference

Box's annual conference, BoxWorks 2017, starts this week in San Francisco and comes towards the end of an excellent year for the business, marked with some major product updates and record revenue growth.

The company, and particularly its energetic CEO Aaron Levie, is sure to be be shouting these successes from the rooftops, making sure customers (and investors) know its $1 billion revenue goal isn't particularly outlandish.

One of the key issues that's bound to come up repeatedly over the course of the conference is the issue of data location and sovereignty.

With GDPR coming into force less than a year, Box would be wise to highlight the numerous data sovereignty tools within its portfolio, including Box Zones, Box Shuttle and Box Governance. As with any mention of GDPR, the looming spectre of Brexit will doubtless be brought up once or twice as well.

Partnerships is a particular area that Box will be focusing on; this year has seen the cloud collaboration firm ink deals with IBM, Microsoft and Fujitsu in various areas. As well as celebrating these, Levie and his cohorts will also likely use the opportunity to announce some brand new partnerships - although there's no hint as to what they might be.

Looking forward, AI is naturally going to be the hot-button issue. Box has already made some moves in this field, but expect the company to integrate machine learning and AI into more of their products in various ways. Intelligent searching will feature heavily, as will automatic categorisation and sorting of files.

Business transformation, though, will be the subject of the biggest concerted push. After hearing Silicon Valley talking about it for years, businesses are now starting to get to the point where they're ready to make the move to cloud in a major way, and Box will want to make sure that its services are front-of-mind when they do.

Senior writer Adam Shepherd will be reporting live from BoxWorks all week. Be sure to check back regularly for all the latest news and updates.

Picture: Bigstock

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