HomeArtificial IntelligenceAaron Levie leads Box into its third era focused on workflow automation...

Aaron Levie leads Box into its third era focused on workflow automation and AI

Box began life Nearly 20 years ago in a dorm room at USC, Aaron Levie was designing an internet file storage and sharing system. A number of years later, Levie's original idea became mainstream and he moved to enterprise content management within the cloud. At the time, this was a radical idea in an industry dominated by on-prem giants like Microsoft, EMC, IBM and OpenText.

Traditional enterprise content management, whether on-premises or within the cloud, involves storing, managing, securing and controlling unstructured content. This has all the time been tougher to administer than data that exists in neat columns and rows in a database.

Today the industry is changing again and Box is once more working to position itself on the forefront of this modification. Levie has all the time had a knack for seeing where the puck goes, and his company embraces the software shift toward AI and workflow automation.

Last yr, Box bought Crooze, a small company that makes a speciality of workflow automation and metadata management with integrations into Box, making it a logical acquisition goal. The ability to administer metadata is central to many content management automations since it provides the software with the flexibility to discover and understand the character of the content when no other structure exists. This will help move several types of content – ​​whether documents, videos, images or audio – through automated workflows and reduce many monotonous tasks that were previously done by bored and annoyed people.

But what Box is doing with Crooze and generative AI may very well be part of a bigger shift within the content management industry that may very well be as vital because the shift from on-premise to the cloud that Box helped lead 15 years ago.

Put content into motion

Levie is actually enthusiastic about the chances that Crooze technology can bring to the platform. “This is a really big deal. The strategy to give it some thought is that for the primary time in Box you’ll give you the option to construct no-code applications that may will let you render your content for any business process you wish,” Levie told TechCrunch. In other words, users can create custom applications that reflect business processes and make the content far more useful.

He is aware that the folder structure is barely partially sufficient, especially in the case of large amounts of unstructured content comparable to contracts. When looking through virtual folders, it becomes cumbersome pretty quickly to seek out a contract, let alone more detailed parts of the contract.

“But with a no-code application development environment, you’ll be able to create an actual dashboard that shows all your contracts and all of the info in those contracts and helps you automate the workflows around those contracts,” he said. This can include edits, approvals, electronic signatures, etc.

Generative AI also plays a task here, allowing users to question the content inside the folders to raised understand it or find specific pieces in a way that wasn't possible with traditional enterprise search. Summary features allow users to maintain track of a big cache of content without having to read every line. In terms of workflow, the coding capabilities of generative AI will help robotically create custom workflows based on specific requirements.

“It appears like Box is entering a brand new phase,” says William Blair analyst Jason Ader, who covers Box. “I feel we're seeing Box 3.0 now, where it's moving into the AI ​​and workflow space and really becoming the core of a whole lot of these vertical industry workflows. “These are related to contracts and digital assets in obviously document-intensive industries where, frankly, AI plays an enormous role because it might automate a whole lot of that work,” Ader said.

In fact, the way in which customers view content is changing. They not just wish to manage it, but use it in the identical way that data platforms like Snowflake and Databricks have gone beyond just data management and built applications on top of it. It's not enough to simply have content in storage repositories, and AI is driving the push to automate workflows and deliver practical results for business productivity.

“Ultimately, firms wish to use this content – ​​not only store it – to drive automation and improve business outcomes,” said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder and principal analyst at Deep Analysis. “And so acquisitions like Crooze provide increasingly easy tools to attain these results. Crooze might be essentially the most significant acquisition Box has made up to now.”

Development of the content management industry

Box isn’t alone on this push, but as generative AI improves the flexibility to generate content and query the content store, we’re beginning to merge content management and knowledge management (business memory). Additionally, the flexibility to generate code could allow firms to quickly create custom workflows based on content needs and kinds.

Cheryl McKinnon, a Forrester analyst who has covered content for management for twenty years, says she sees the content management industry as a complete moving in the identical direction as Box, and he or she believes this can be a natural development. “I see this as only a progression on the maturity curve, and this shift toward workflow and AI is totally where the market has moved,” McKinnon said. “This is type of a tipping point where it's not nearly storing files and folders. But can we also implement this? Can we have a look at content not only from a storage perspective, but within the context of a whole business activity?”

This is an enormous moment for your entire industry, says Pelz-Sharpe. “The ECM sector as a complete (including Box) now has its biggest opportunity in 20 years, caused by the interest and acceptance of enormous and small organizations in the usage of AI,” he said.

He believes that ECM firms specifically are in an excellent position to reap the benefits of AI, as they already be certain that unstructured data is accurate, relevant, secure and up-to-date. That's a very important part that AI models need and is usually missing, he said. But the query is: Can Box and these other firms execute and seize this moment?

“It is significant to notice that while this chance is real, there isn’t a guarantee that ECM firms will reap the benefits of it,” Pelz-Sharpe said. “Companies like Salesforce, for instance, understand the importance of managing unstructured data, as do Oracle (and other industry giants).”

“The advantage of Box and its ilk immediately is that they’ve dedicated platforms for this work and, just as importantly, deep skills and experience to bring to bear.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read