First, the device-agnostic cloud storage and collaboration. When we first deployed Box, we managed all of our own storage. Using Box for cloud storage allows us to focus on the service and not keeping infrastructure going. Box has a number of nice features such as mobile apps for access to files; ability to collaborate easily with anyone, on campus or off; special collaboration and sharing features, such as emailing attachments to folders, embed widgets to upload or interact with files, and more.
Improvements to My Organization:
Faculty, staff and students can collaborate with their peers on and off campus. Members of the University community have found many creative ways to use the platform. In some cases, they were able to really streamline processes and in others they were able to do things they never could before.
Room for Improvement:
For people coming from a standard file server environment, Box is not always intuitive. Some amount of training an familiarization is necessary. Box is making inroads here with providing help screens right within the web app which will get basic information to people just when they need it. Other areas of improvement are file size limits and the desktop apps. The current sync app is our biggest pain point. Box is working on larger file sizes.
Use of Solution:
We've used it since 2012.
Nothing major. We were early adopters of Single Sign On with Box, so we had to do some heavy lifting there. However, with the work we and others have done with Box, this has become much simpler and more straightforward.
Box has been very stable for us. Only rarely are there any performance issues and these are usually degradations of a particular function. We've never experienced an all outage.
We've deployed it campus wide and currently have >50K active users. We are a very large deployment. We have not had any issues with scalability from the user perspective. That's been rock solid. However, we have had scale issues with the admin console. With our number of users, sometimes reports can't complete or queries take a very long time.
Excellent. Our dedicated Customer Success Manager is very attentive and very committed to giving us a good experience with Box.
Once you reach the right people it's excellent. Like with many help desks, our scale means that we often have more familiarity with the product then their frontline help desk staff, so sometimes it's a challenge to get to the right level..
This was our first foray into cloud storage and collaboration.
As I mentioned above, SSO was tricky to set up. We were able to get it all going in just a few months, though.
In house, working directly with Box.
Cost and Licensing Advice:
Our pricing and licensing is excellent. I'd tell all Higher Ed customers to talk with Internet2.
Other Solutions Considered:
We worked with a team of other universities and Internet2. That team explored the cloud storage market at the time. Box was the best offering we found.
Leverage the existing community of expertise out there. Ask the sales rep to put you in touch with other customers. We're happy to talk with folks looking to deploy Box.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We serve on the Internet2 Net+Box Advisory Board.
Jan 19 2016