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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Google DocsGoogle

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?