Today Box quietly announced that it had acquired Boston-based, file migration vendor Cloud FastPath (CFP). It’s a firm that Box has been working closely with for a long while, and CFP technology is at the heart Box Shuttle, its migration service. As CFP has been the technology under the covers of Box Shuttle for some years now, this deal was, therefore, far from unexpected.
EFSS firms like Box, Dropbox, Google, Microsoft, and Egnyte, are dependent on firms moving to their cloud infrastructures. Ideally, firms with huge volumes of files and data. Moving such content can be as simple as lifting and shifting when the volumes are low; there is, in fact, a plethora of point and click solutions to enable you to do just that. But, when you get into the larger volumes of files to move, it can get complicated, messy, risky, and expensive quickly. Moving at scale is no simple undertaking; you need specialized tools and experience even to attempt that. CFP (formerly Tervela) was one of the few systems, others being Xillio and SkySync, that could manage many such migrations. Though it should be noted, that really large, as in, many tens of millions or even billions of files, this is always going to be a professional services-led engagement In some cases, Box Shuttle will partner directly with specialist technology such as those from Simflofy and SkySync, making Box Shuttle essentially a one-stop shop for any enterprise migration.
A year ago, Microsoft acquired a similar company to optimize its migration work in the form of Mover, and its likely more such File Migration deals may be on the cards this year. At the end of the day, only a handful of firms do this work well, and the value of migrating and onboarding large customers ultimately is the core mission of the cloud file management business models. But just lifting and shifting large volumes is fine if you are in the storage business, more storage, more money. If you are in the Content Management business, it is not fine at all, and this is where Box has a chance to build on this technology and reach out to its customers. Box Shuttle/CFP has built-in functionality to look at what you have, enrich it, and ideally, only migrate the good stuff. It’s a migration tool, but in many respects, it’s also a clean-up tool that can play an outsized role in eliminating the irrelevant, corrupted, and duplicated files. It plays a role in bringing order to the file old chaos and ensuring that your files are not just in a new location; they are in much better shape to access and bring business value.
In short, this a good deal; like last week’s SignRequest acquisition, it makes perfect sense and is arguably overdue. The open question that remains now is, will CFP still be sold for use in non-Box-related work, and what will happen to those other relationships? In our opinion, Box should keep those doors open for a while as it is potentially a new OEM revenue stream for them; it’s a model that has worked elsewhere in the past, and as there is demand and few options available should work well here also.
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