Can You Execute Your ECM Strategy on Box?

Box is making headways as an enterprise ECM system.

Everyone knows that Box isn’t just a sync and share system. We also know that most organizations use and own more than one ECM system.

But if you were going to try and start over with content management tomorrow, could Box be your go-forward platform? It is a question worth asking. After all, Box has been making headway into large enterprises over the past couple years.

Box now includes a growing number of content services.

Box has been investing in advancing its records management and workflow capabilities. It's now more than just an application; it's a platform with a growing number of content services that are made available to their clients on an enterprise scale.

The changing content management landscape is changing rapidly.

There are reasons that Box is becoming far more than a sync and share system. First off, organizations today are—or should be—focused on reducing the amount of high-risk and high-value content that is stored on network drives and in e-mail. This has been a topic of conversation for a long time. And talk is turning into action.

Also, network drives are being culled. And the use of network drives is being limited both by information management policy and active monitoring.

At the other end of the spectrum, the role of traditional ECM systems also has diminished. Organizations now realize that the investment needed for the care and feeding—the cost—of these systems is only worth it for high-volume, business-critical documentation.

What we are left with is a large portion of content that needs to be managed but mostly does not require “industrial strength,” formal ECM platform. This is precisely the space that Box is attempting to occupy.

Box collaboration capabilities include workflow, records management, security and identity management.

Box is more than just collaboration. Indeed Box collaboration capabilities give users a slew of tools to help accelerate collaboration. That includes workflow, records management, security, identity management, and a host of other capabilities depending on use cases and company need.

It’s precisely these capabilities where Box has made investments. We see current customers pleased by the effort, and increasing their usage accordingly.

Where Box fits in if your company also uses Office 365.

The problem that most organizations face is not a question of whether Box can handle a majority of content management problems. It can. The problem is where does Box fit into their organization when they already may have Microsoft Office 365.

SharePoint always has been “good enough,” and when bundled with the whole Microsoft package it becomes hard to appreciate the incremental value Box offers.

Doculabs' guide to choosing between Box and Office 365.

To determine if Box or SharePoint within Office 365 is best suited for your organization, Doculabs suggests considering the different factors highlighted in the table below. Of course, the table is an overly simplistic depiction of the differences between the two systems. But nonetheless, the table serves as a great springboard with which you can begin the conversation about which approach is best for your organization before one or the other technology becomes your “de facto” standard.


Rich Medina
Lane Severson
I’m a Practice Leader, managing relationships with Doculabs’ West Coast clients to improve information management and security.