Microsoft and Box will be working together a little more closely after signing a partnership agreement to promote each other’s cloud services.
The deal will see Box customers having the option to store content on Azure, and Box will also be able to tap into Microsoft’s artificial intelligence expertise as makes sense, the companies announced in a blog post. Box also will take advantage of Azure’s global data centers through Box Zones, a storage product designed to address growing data sovereignty concerns in many countries.
For the most part, however, it sounds like the two companies’ sales forces will spend even more time promoting the services of the other. Box and Microsoft have struck several partnerships over the years around Office 365 and other products, and guessing when Microsoft will finally agree to buy the cloud storage company has been a bit of a cloud parlor game for the last few years.
“Our job is to ensure that customers can take advantage of the best that the cloud has to offer, from a variety of platforms, and integrate into all of the apps our customers use. The days of closed IT architectures and data lock-in are over, and we couldn’t be happier that we’re moving to a new era of enterprise software,” said Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, in a blog post of his own.
Box runs its own data centers and backs up its data with Amazon Web Services, so putting some of that content on Microsoft Azure is an interesting move for all three companies. It’s not clear how aggressively the Box on Azure product will be marketed, but salespeople tend to sell the things that bring them the most compensation. Fortune said that Microsoft sales people will get incentives to sell Box, which actually competes with Microsoft’s OneDrive.