Box helps Anglo American mine enterprise content store

Profile picture for user pwainewright By Phil Wainewright February 26, 2014
Multinational mining group deploys Box as enterprise content store alongside Jive for 9,000 laptop users on-site at mines in Africa, Latin America

Anglo American logo
London-based mining giant Anglo American today revealed details of its global roll-out of cloud content collaboration platform Box.

Around 3000 staff are now using the system after implementation began six months ago. The multinational expects around one in ten of its 100,000 employees worldwide will use Box once the current roll-out is complete.

The deployment adds a secure, distributed content store that users will access alongside Anglo American's Jive social platform. This pattern of bringing in Box as the content store alongside other platforms is a common one, said David Quantrell, Box's general manager of EMEA, in a briefing yesterday:

"We're very much complementary to Jive. When you're communicating about content, you want a central place for that content to reside."

Content repository

David Quantrell_Headshot
David Quantrell, Box

Because Jive is more focused on the social aspect of collaboration, its built-in content repository lacks the feature set that Box can bring, Quantrell explained:

"From a Box perspective, you have an all-singing, all-dancing content platform ... that's what Box brings to the party."

Similarly, other customers have adopted Box as the document store for their Office 365 deployment, he added:

"If you look at the dynamics in the marketplace, some of our biggest wins have been co-existing with Office 365. We've gone through very specific evaluations [of functionality] — we have some of the biggest implementations of Microsoft Office 365 now with Box as the repository."

He said Box gets selected because of features such as its ability to view a diverse range of document formats, integration with other enterprise systems such as CRM and ERP, workflow functionality and a range of security features. Its use of 256-bit encryption and the ability to define highly granular access and download policies, including to mobile, is a big advantage over services such as Microsoft OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive), he added. Being cloud-based, speed and ease of deployment is another common factor.

Limited connectivity

For Anglo American, remote access and syncing from sites with very low bandwidth was an important consideration. From today's press statement:

The next phase of the roll-out includes getting the company's 9,000 laptop users in areas with limited Internet connectivity, like Africa and Latin America, using Box as a way to synchronize and back up their data for offline access and business continuity.

Anglo American will use Box to share a core repository of operational business information, said Quantrell.

David Heppenstall, chief information officer at Anglo American, said in the press statement:

"When you create a more productive, connected workplace environment, communication thrives and everyone benefits. Moving to a cloud technology like Box that allows us to centralize all our content and provide a secure, simple and efficient tool for our employees was a natural fit for our company."

Security discussion

Quantrell said there always is a security hurdle to get over with enterprise customers but that lately it has become a more sophisticated discussion:

"I think that whole security discussion has matured. Companies like Anglo are looking at that whole risk assessment."

The discussion typically has three main components, he said:

  • Physical security — Where and how Box secures data, and what disaster recovery measures are in place. Comparison to current on-premise arrangements forms part of the evaluation.
  • Data ownership — What are the organization's legal responsibilities for data protection? Is there a clear content policy in place and how is it governed? There's a risk assessment the organization has to do.
  • "This whole NSA thing" — "even that discussion is maturing." There's an acceptance that most governments have organizations looking at ways of gaining information, he said — even those in Europe that are complaining about the NSA. "You have to look at this and say what are the risks, what do you want to secure?"

Anglo American is the latest of a number of large enterprise wins paraded by Box. Quantrell said more are in the pipeline. Examples that are already public in EMEA include Schneider Electric, Gatwick Airport and Hounslow Council. Others globally include Procter & Gamble, McAfee and Pearson.

Disclosure: Box is a diginomica partner.

Image credits: Mining photo © noo_noo -; Logo courtesy of Anglo American; David Quantrell headshot from Box