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Cloud-based content management company Box Inc. is updating its flagship Content Cloud with the launch of a new version of Box Notes, the beta availability of Box Canvas and a new release of Content Insights.

The revamped platform was set to be announced at the virtual BoxWorks 2022, the company’s annual customer conference, where Box stressed that all of the new features will be made available at no additional cost to users.

Box Notes is one of the oldest tools in Box’s box, having first debuted in 2014. It has been subject to multiple updates over its evolution into a comprehensive, real-time document creation and sharing tool. Today’s refresh is one of the biggest yet, with Box introducing a more advanced underlying technology engine to provide what the company says are dramatic improvements in performance, reliability and features.

“Our vision is a single content cloud that powers the complete lifecycle of content,” Box Chief Executive Aaron Levie told SiliconANGLE in an interview.

Generally available starting today, the revamped Box Notes adds new capabilities including a table of contents and divider lines to simplify content organization and navigation, as well as new “call out boxes” and enhanced typographical formatting to better highlight content. Other new features include code blocks that simplify technical collaboration, in-line cursors to keep better track of collaborator’s edits, better table and image capabilities for structuring and formatting content, and security enhancements such as granular permissions and access statistics.

Because Box Notes is a part of Box’s Content Cloud, it also benefits from robust collaboration features such as task management, workflow automation, comments and real-time alerts.

Box Chief Product Officer Diego Dugatkin said the current economic climate is pushing many businesses to try and do more with the tools they already have. “That’s why we are adding more capabilities to the Box platform that meet today’s hybrid work demands,” he explained.

Customers will be able to do much more with Box Notes now. For instance, marketing teams will be able to create project plans to track progress and create launch announcements, while go-to-market teams can collaborate on sales plays, call scripts and email templates. Meanwhile, recruiters can use Box Notes to gather and share interview feedback across the entire panel of interviewers, then automate job offers with Box Relay. The updates make life easier for software engineers too, as they can now use Box Notes to develop and review code and technical documentation, Box said.

By the time users manage to get to grips with all of the new capabilities of Box Notes, they’ll have another new toy to play with when Box Canvas finally launches in beta in November. Canvas was announced last April, so its availability has been awhile coming. It’s billed as a virtual whiteboard and collaboration tool that can connect hybrid teams securely within the Content Cloud, so they can brainstorm and create collaboratively from any location.

Box said Canvas provides all of the tools teams will need to take their ideas from the whiteboarding phase to actionable outcomes. As an example, it said marketing teams could use Canvas to host interactive workshops and shape their next campaigns, with all team members being able to contribute equally and then share the end result.

Product teams might want to use Canvas to map out and visualize each of the steps involved in logging into a new application or product. Once complete, these diagrams can then be shared with other teams for approval or input. Alternatively, sales teams might find Canvas useful for creating sales dashboards, presentations and interactive account plans, the company said. They can even invite their clients to participate, ensuring they’re aligned on common goals.

Finally, Box announced that its collaboration suite Content Insights is getting a refresh too. When the update arrives later this month, users will be able to see easy-to-understand visualizations, with the ability to drill down and view performance over time. The basic idea with Content Insights is that users can get a clear picture of their content performance, see how each piece of content is being used, by whom, and when.

“Most of the innovation we’re rolling out at BoxWorks are things customers have been clamoring for,” Levie said. “Our whole strategy is helping customers get the most value of their content.”

International Data Corp. analyst Wayne Kurtzman said Box’s updates should be welcomed as teams need the right technologies to scale their collaborative work. “Box is bringing people together across multiple sources and content types to help foster meetings and collaboration in a way that helps give action to ideas,” he said. “Ultimately this type of collaboration will help companies move closer to becoming a digital enterprise with a more engaged workforce.”

With reporting from Robert Hof

Images: Box

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