Today, Teambox announces the availability of an on-premise version of its popular cloud-based collaboration software. Driven by security and compliance considerations for customers that are not ready to host company data within cloud-based environments, Teambox’s on-premise solution provides all of the functionality of its collaboration platform behind the customer’s firewall. Customers access the on-premise Teambox solution using an internal URL that very closely resembles the access procedure for customers on the cloud-version. The key difference with the on-premise solution is that customers can leverage their own IT security protocols to ensure corporate compliance with the use of Teambox for data governed by regulatory protocols such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, Teambox CEO Dan Schoenbaum remarked that the on-premise solution had met with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception from the market such that it claimed several paying customers prior to its official launch. The solution is intended to render Teambox available to customers that are still in the process of migrating to the cloud but have yet to define their IT strategy in ways that accommodate the use of cloud-based applications hosted outside the purview of their firewall and data centers. Schoenbaum elaborated that business owners within enterprises are rapidly adopting Teambox as an alternative to SharePoint to increase collaboration and stakeholder engagement in user friendly, operationally simple and cost-effective ways.
Today, Teambox announced a partnership with Box whereby consumers and enterprises alike can access a Teambox-Box bundle marked by 15 GB of storage space in addition to Teambox’s collaboration functionality. More than just a 15 GB online storage drive, the Teambox-Box bundle allows users to share documents, comment, assign tasks, create content and build online teams in order to maximize team productivity. In cases where teams have traditionally conducted work through protracted email exchanges that often result in the collation of individual contributions in order to finalize a deliverable, the Teambox-Bundle now offers a way for teams to effectively collaborate and comment on evolving work in real-time.
The Teambox-Box bundle additionally enables consumers to produce their own, original work within the online interface itself using either Google Docs and Spreadsheets or Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The resulting interface is powerful not only for geographically dispersed teams but also for teams that inhabit the same brick and mortar workplace. Moreover, users can download applications that permit teams to share project artifacts across a range of platforms including the iPhone/iPad, Android, HP TouchPad and Windows Phone. Team members can also seamlessly embed files within blogs or websites, post artifacts to social networks and create links to content that can be circulated via email.
Steve Hufford, CEO of Society for Information Management, remarked on his organization’s use of Teambox as follows:
We use Teambox to manage our business here at Society for Information Management, a network of thousands of CIOs, and VP’s of IT spread across the country. Early on we faced the challenge of organizing a remote network with a wide array of interconnected programs and needed a collaboration solution that was simple and intuitive. Teambox answered the call, we feel it’s the most complete team collaboration tool out there. Given our technical member base, security and compliance were growing concerns. We’re early adopters of the Teambox-Box bundle and moved to this technology to hone our security and couldn’t be happier knowing we are protected.
Hufford points out the “simple and intuitive” nature of the Teambox collaboration platform but also notes how “security and compliance were growing concerns” given the company’s contributions from technical members. Here, Hufford refers to the auditing and usage reporting capabilities of the Teambox-Box bundle that allows a project administrator to produce audit trails and investigate all points of access to project artifacts. Teambox CEO Dan Schoenbaum underscored the importance of security by noting that the proliferation of consumer-driven IT platforms renders enterprise security more complex:
With the consumerization of IT, we’re seeing a trend of more and more customer employees storing their company files on unsecured networks. Teambox is addressing this trend by offering free secure storage from Box. Now, companies not only have unmatched team collaboration, but the confidence of accessing and sharing content from any device, any where and securely.
With the Teambox-Box bundle’s security and audit features, enterprises stand to benefit not only from enhanced collaboration, but also from improved security and compliance as well. The Teambox-Box bundle is free for up to 5 users, 5 projects and 15 GB of storage. Pricing for subsequent users starts at $5/user/month, with unlimited storage. The Teambox press release notes that organizations that commit to one or two year subscriptions are eligible for discounts for large groups.
The Teambox-Box partnership illustrates that the collaboration space is hot. Teambox already has partnerships with Dropbox and Google Docs and boasts a customer base of 150,000 businesses including the likes of Southwest Airlines, Groupon, the University of Arizona and the World Bank. As the tech blogosphere buzzes with predictions about cloud computing and Big Data in 2013, the Teambox-Box partnership suggests that analysts and consumers alike should keep a close eye on the rapidly evolving collaboration space and its impact on enterprise IT.