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Box Review
We use Box for cloud storage, allowing us to focus on the service instead of maintaining infrastructure.

575

Valuable Features:

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 maintaining infrastructure. 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. The introduction of Box Drive makes using Box on the desktop a joy.

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. Some units have migrated their content and processes from on premises storage to Box, saving money and time, and putting the power of collaboration into the hands of the users instead of requiring admin intervention.

Room for Improvement:

Support for larger files.

Improvements in speed - Box's high level of security impacts performance, especially when compared with other similar services. While it's understandable, it's annoying.

Use of Solution:

We've used it since 2012.

Deployment Issues:

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. We deploy the service as an opt in, so we did not need to do a broad scale forklift of content from old systems to Box.

Stability Issues:

Box has been very stable for us. Only rarely are there any performance issues and these are usually degradations of a particular function. 

Scalability Issues:

We've deployed it campus wide and currently have nearly 100K active users - 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. Box is addressing that now with new reporting technology.

Customer Service:

Excellent. Our dedicated Customer Success Manager is very attentive and very committed to giving us a good experience with Box.

Technical Support:

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.

Previous Solutions:

This was our first foray into cloud storage and collaboration.

Initial Setup:

As I mentioned above, SSO was tricky to set up. We were able to get it all going in just a few months, though.

Implementation Team:

In house, working directly with Box.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing:

Our pricing and licensing is excellent. I'd tell all Higher Ed customers to talk with Internet2 for excellent pricing and support.

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.

Other Advice:

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.
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