How Box Platform will compete with PLM vendors

How Box Platform will compete with PLM vendors

PLM innovation platforms. This is a new thing and the trend in PLM. Vendors are working hard to make PLM platforms capable to scale for a whole organization. And it means content. A lot of content. The content that can be managed, analyzed, searched, reused, visualized. All of these will drive re-use, accessibility, discover, collaboration and many other things.

Here is an interesting news. CAD and PLM vendors just got a competitor for that mission. I speculated about it first time few months ago here. Box, the vendor developing an online file sharing and personal cloud content management service for businesses just announced that Box Platform is now generally available. TechCrunch article speaks about what Box is doing with “platform product”.

There are two things that caught my special attention. The first is the fact Box is coming in two flavors.In addition to SaaS, you can deploy and embed Box with your applications.

If you thought Box already had a platform, hang tight. Box now comes in two flavors. There is Box proper, a SaaS product that Box hosts and that companies can purchase on a per-seat basis.

And now there is Box Platform, which takes Box technology and allows developers to deploy it as a content management backend inside of their own applications. So just as a company might use Braintree to manage payments inside of their app, Box Platform is a way to handle content and the like.

The second thing is 3D Viewer. Another TechCrunch article – Box wants to be the center of your company content universe speaks more about it.

To that end, Box made a series of announcements that enhance the Box platform and provide ways for you to share content, connect content to workflows, view different content types, work seamlessly across other cloud services and even operate as content services on the back end without it being apparent that it’s Box.

While Box went a bit long with this message, it really wanted to bang it home with each and every speaker, that it was about delivering content to anyone, anywhere in virtually any format. To that end, they introduced a couple of new viewers. One was a 3D viewer where users can share design documents, 3D printer designs or anything that needs to be viewed in 3D.

My hunch, 3D viewer capabilities are tracing back to the acquisition of Verold. As it was stated back in May, Verold technology will extend Box content previewing with the ability to interact in 3D content and it open new use cases across engineering, manufacturing, consuming products.

If you are interested more in the technology behind Box platform, you can navigate here to browse documentation online. I found few interesting things there, especially Viewer library. Box viewer technology is interesting and it provides a way to transform content into HTML documents.

What is my conclusion? It is not clear how well Box platform is equipped to support special content coming from CAD and PLM systems. However, I can clearly see the ambition and interest of Box to support companies providing solution to manufacturing companies. With growing interest in 3D printing and related manufacturing technologies, Box can be a platform to manage 3D content for 3D printing shops. Other use cases can come too. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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