Box Releases New Updates for Office 365 Integration

In coming months, all users on the latest version of Box will be able to utilize the new Excel search and preview feature set.

Enterprise cloud storage and collaboration tool provider Box, which is partnering with just about anybody who's anybody in the IT world, released three new product updates on Dec. 1 as part of its deal with Microsoft.

These new functions include:

--A new Box integration with Office for Android: Box can now be selected as a default cloud service for Office on Android, which means users can access all of their Box files from Office on mobile and edit them using Microsoft's native mobile apps. Additionally, when they are in Box's Android app, they can now create a new Office document, edit existing documents where the changes will automatically be saved back to Box, or even assign tasks to collaborators.

--The ability to create new files saved to Box without leaving Office Online: Users can now create new Word, PowerPoint, or Excel files from Office.com and save them in Box without having to leave the page they are on or visiting the Box web app. This builds on Box's existing Office integration, which automatically saves all changes made to Office files directly to Box, and lets users create new Office files from the Box web application.

--A better way to preview, search and sort Excel files directly from Box by using Microsoft's new previewer feature. There are millions of Excel files in Box and working on Excel spreadsheets is one of the most common activities in Box. With Microsoft's new Excel previewer technology, users now are able to flip between Excel sheets, search for specific cells, and sort content all from view mode in Box without ever downloading the file or opening Excel.

Users who have Box and Office 365 can start using the new Android integration and begin working with files saved to Box without leaving Office.com. In coming months, all users on the latest version of Box will be able to utilize the new Excel search and preview feature set.

Box Big on Partnerships

Box has business partnerships not only with Microsoft but IBM, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Dell EMC, Salesforce, CareCloud—even Amazon Web Services, which is a competitor on several levels.

CEO and founder Aaron Levie, one of the more socially minded young execs in Silicon Valley, hasn't met many companies with whom he doesn't want to be friends—except maybe Dropbox, Carbonite and a few others.

Even then, the 30-year-old entrepreneur might still find a way to work with them if it worked for his customers.

"Box's strategic partnership with Microsoft has already helped thousands of businesses like Schneider Electric, GE, World Bank and AstraZeneca be more productive and efficient," Levie said.

"This is just the latest way we're working closely with Microsoft to deliver new connections that serve companies relying on Box for managing, securing and collaborating on Office files."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...