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Box and Dropbox seek expansion via IBM, AWS – and Facebook

Integration and geo-specific file location at your fingertips

Rival file sharing services Box and Dropbox are gunning for massive expansion by exploiting the huge scale of IBM, Amazon’s AWS – and of Facebook.

Box has announced Box Zone, storage by geographical location, using the data centres of AWS and IBM.

The company has pressed the button on instant international rollouts through deals with IBM and Amazon that tap into potential customers' data privacy concerns.

Initial Box Zones were announced on Tuesday. They will be deployed in Ireland, Germany, Japan and Singapore, with plans for others in the EU and Asia, the firm said. Box will continue operating its own US data centres.

The firm already boasts customers outside the US and in countries such as the UK, but reckoned using the IBM and AWS facilities would help placate privacy-conscious customers and overcome regulatory hurdles. It also means knocking down a hurdle to Box’s hoped-for expansion (and – some day – profitability) by bringing in more customers without breaking ground on data centres.

“Box Zones will allow our existing customers to implement Box across more parts of their organisations,” chief executive Aaron Levie said in a blog post.

“It will allow many non-US business to adopt Box for the first time and transform the way they work while alleviating some common data residency concerns.”

Dropbox, meanwhile, hopes to exploit the Facebook billions. Fans of the social network can now access Dropbox via Messenger on iOS and Android. Integration means you can now upload and share files in Dropbox without needing to leave Facebook’s Messenger app.

Dropbox’s integration with the social networking site's messenger app came on the opening day of Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco, California. ®

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