Box is virtually synonymous with online data storage and file sharing, but it has always strived for a broader mission: to make sharing, accessing and managing content ridiculously easy. To expand its efforts to achieve that vision, Box has launched a new SDK, Box $rev.
Apps are big business, generating revenue in excess of $2 billion in the first quarter of 2013 alone. But with more than 800,000 apps in the Apple App Store, and about the same number claimed by Google Play, getting your app noticed is a bit like winning the lottery. Productivity and enterprise-oriented apps are rarely, if ever, at the top of the most downloaded apps, and they have a hard time gaining attention through the traditional app distribution model.
One of Box's greatest strengths is its platform-agnostic ecosystem that provides the same type of seamless integration and syncing that its customers would experience if they remained inside the Microsoft, or Apple, or Google ecosystems. But Box works across a broader spectrum of platforms and devices, so its cusomters are never painted into a corner.
Box developed Box $rev to serve as a showcase for third-party apps that integrate with and enhance Box, making it easier for Box customers to find valuable tools. Chris Yeh, Box's VP of Platform, explained that the $rev name is a sort of inside joke for developers—it's intended to mimic a PHP variable.
Box considers $rev a win-win-win scenario: The company has a strong sales force and more than 150,000 customers. Box's sales force will drive adoption of $rev apps, helping its customers derive more value from Box's service. This should help it retain customers and win new ones. Developers participating in the $rev program gain better exposure to Box's enterprise customers and can earn up to 15 percent of Box's per-user license fee, based on usage.
Box is launching Box $rev with 10 third-party developers.