Where Does the Latest Microsoft–Box Partnership Fit?



Box on Azure

Microsoft (MSFT) and Box (BOX) recently decided to cooperate more closely in their cloud computing operations. The latest deal involves selling Box file-sharing services on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The earlier arrangement between the companies involved the integration of Box storage services with Microsoft’s Office 365 applications.

With the latest integration, Box has joined Microsoft’s list of strategic third-party cloud software vendor partners. Cloud platforms providers Microsoft, Amazon (AMZN), and IBM (IBM) are busy inking strategic partnerships with enterprise software vendors to help attract large corporate customers to their respective clouds.

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Microsoft building a one-stop cloud platform

As such, offering Box services on Azure is designed to make Azure cloud more attractive to large corporations moving their workloads to the cloud. Microsoft’s other strategic software partners include DocuSign and Adobe Systems (ADBE). DocuSign is a provider of electronic signature technology.

Microsoft’s goal is to provide end-to-end cloud solutions, a goal shared by its cloud rivals Amazon and IBM. As a result, enterprise software companies such as Box, Workday (WDAY), and Tableau (DATA) are coveted partners for cloud platform vendors.

Microsoft’s cloud grows 97%

It remains to be seen whether Box in Azure could drive more growth in Microsoft’s cloud business. The company doesn’t break out Azure revenues, but it reports Azure’s growth rate. The company noted that its Azure revenues grew 97% in fiscal 4Q17 (the June quarter), up from 93% growth in the prior quarter but down from 113% growth registered in fiscal 4Q16.


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