Box to enlist CIOs as it targets vertical industries

The first one to come on board is Manjit Singh, former CIO at Chiquita Brands and the Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Box will beef up its consulting team this year with several CIOs as it seeks to grow sales and adoption of its enterprise cloud storage and file sharing service in specific industries.

Manjit Singh, former CIO at Chiquita Brands and the Las Vegas Sands Corp., is the first such hire, and he'll be in charge of the retail, consumer packaged goods and hospitality segments.

"We built a horizontal platform and now we want to extend that technology to different verticals in different ways," said Aaron Levie, Box's co-founder and CEO.

The expertise that CIOs like Singh will bring will allow Box to better serve enterprises by catering to the specific needs and dynamics of their industry segments, like health care, law, entertainment, education, government and finance, he said.

Singh joined Box last week, but he and Levie have known each other for about three years. As CIO, Singh promoted the use of cloud computing with products from companies like Box, Workday, Salesforce.com and ServiceNow.

At Box, Singh will be working from the vendor side, but he said he's looking forward to advising fellow CIOs who adopt the Box service on how to use it and other cloud products most effectively.

He's also convinced that cloud specialists like Box have an advantage over bigger, older vendors that have had to adapt their products to the cloud model. He also believes it's better for enterprises to cobble together a cloud infrastructure from best-of-breed vendors like Box than to commit to one vendor's cloud platform.

"The single-vendor platform is starting to lose its relevance within an enterprise," Singh said. "The beauty of the shift to the cloud is that enterprises have the opportunity to leverage vendors that are much more innovative on a much faster cycle than larger vendors."

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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