Google just blew up its all-in strategy for productivity software

The company is partnering with Box to let users store Google Docs in another cloud service

For a very long time, Google has focused on building its own productivity software to serve everyone from consumers to massive enterprises, and then locking people into its core experience. That all changed on Wednesday.

The company announced that it's partnering with Box to let users of the enterprise cloud storage and content services platform edit documents with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, but keep them stored inside Box.

It's a vast departure from the company's previous direction, which required people to store files edited with Docs inside Google Drive. Google said that the company is working on turning its Docs productivity suite into an open platform, and is open to working with other storage providers in a similar way.

Google Drive will still remain the default storage system for Docs, Sheets and Slides, even as the company pushes its open platform strategy.

The move provides security advantages for shared users of Box and Google Docs. Administrators will be able to manage access to documents using the same Box management console that they're used to, while still letting users work with the Docs suite.

It's also a boon for end users, who will be able to find documents from Google's productivity suite in the same cloud storage system where they keep other files.

In order to use Google Docs with Box, enterprise customers will need a paid Google Apps subscription. Consumers will be able to use Box as the storage service for Google Docs for free.

The move is emblematic of Google's heightened enterprise focus under the leadership of Diane Greene, the executive vice president of Google Cloud Enterprise. Greene has been instrumental in forging partnerships aimed at appealing to large businesses, something that Google hasn't always succeeded at.

Other recent moves have included an expanded partnership with Okta focused around providing enterprises with identity management services.

Google and Box will also work together on making Box content available in Google Springboard, an artificial intelligence-powered assistant that's aimed at giving employees the information they need from a variety of services, including Gmail, Google Calendar, and third-party services like Box.

The two companies haven't said when the fruits of their partnership will actually appear. But the move means that both companies' products could become more appealing -- enterprises using Google Apps might be more likely to subscribe to Box, and vice versa.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleGoogle Docs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?