What is our primary use case?
We use this solution to store and share our company material between sales, support, and other internal departments.
We are a multinational / multicontinent and multi-time zone company having a cloud-based document management platform enhanced usage and eased deployment.
How has it helped my organization?
We have reduced physical system disk sharing utilizing Box folders instead.
Sharing folders and files is simpler though we still encounter users sending urls in order to share content instead of using internal Box share links.
Private folders are really private.
What is most valuable?
The first thing that we liked about this solution is that administrators do not have access to private folders. This allowed us to set up folders for our HR and finance departments, as well as the CEO, which are not shared with any of the other administrators.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see improvements made in the ability to integrate with other online sharing systems. For example, it has the ability to use both Google Suite and Microsoft Online for sharing, but there are improvements that need to be made in both. With Microsoft Online the number of versions rapidly exceeds the number of versions managed by Box making reverting to a previous version impossible. Large files and files with embedded links don't work well with online collaboration. Integrating with Google Suite requires all users to have a Google Enterprise account thereby rendering it an ineffective integration for our needs. Enhanceing intersystem collaboration is the most important feature for us right now.
Some of the users that we have had come from the Google Docs environment found it a little complicated to understand how the Box sharing works. For the others, it was pretty straightforward.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using this solution for the past six years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have not had any issues with stability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Our contract gives us unlimited storage, and over the years we have increased from two hundred to eleven hundred users. We have not seen any degradation in performance with the users that have been added, so it seems to be scaling well.
How are customer service and technical support?
For the most part, the technical support for this solution is good. On occasion, we get three answers, but I think that the support that we've had has been good.
If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?
Prior to this solution, we were using something called StarTeam. It is more of a source control solution, and not really a file management solution. It was much more complex to use. It was working well for the programmers, but any of the other teams had difficulties. The move to Box was relatively straightforward.
How was the initial setup?
The biggest concern that we had during the setup process was figuring out the best folder structure to create. Once we were past that, it was pretty straightforward.
Our deployment took approximately two months and we had about two hundred users at the time.
What about the implementation team?
Our in-house team, which was mostly myself, handled the deployment.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing of this solution is better than Dropbox.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
When we chose this solution we were also looking at Microsoft SharePoint. However, at the time it was pre-cloud and we weren't interested in setting up the SharePoint storage system. The reason is that we are dispersed over several continents and time zones, so having it on-premises was a major concern. Basically, that was the only thing that we looked at, at the time.
We have since compared it to Dropbox, but the pricing was much more expensive than what we were paying for with Box.
We are always looking for better solutions if they exist.
What other advice do I have?
This solution has evolved and improved over the past six years. Originally, we had some issues with locking files when somebody was using it. This has been improved. Also, we had a lot of issues with duplicate files because of the fact that two people were opening the same file and modifying it. We ended up having two versions of the same file and we needed to manually merge the changes that were made in both. This is something else that has improved a lot.
The suitability of this solution really depends on the needs and requirements. Some of the former Google Docs users found the sharing complex, so it depends on where you are coming from and what you are looking to do.
The biggest lesson that I have learned using this solution is that some people assume it's very simple to understand the pointers. However, there are some important things to understand with respect to the differences between how to share a file or folder, and some people find it a little complicated to use. It's really a matter of a five-minute instruction, and then they've got the right answers and can use it better. I think that the most important thing is to communicate to the users how to differentiate the best way to use it so that they understand the idea behind it. Also, to explain to people that there's a lot of independence, but you need to understand the use case to do it correctly.
I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.