The Box.net service lets IT set up policies around access, both which people have access and to which documents and folders they have access. Thus, IT can control who has access to which corporate documents, as well as delegate permission to specific employees so they can invite participants to a project, such as for bringing in contractors or business partners. In their own accounts, such invited users see their own documents plus corprorate ones they've been invited to. However, the corporate documents are stored separately from their own documents, despite the unified view of all the available documents, Levie says. (The corporate documents they've been invited to work on aren't actually stored in their Box.net storage space, but instead are stored in the account of the company that invited them. Thus, IT can remove access to those corporate documents at any time.)
Levie says that this open, non-heavy-handed approach to permissions makes it less likely that employees will set up surreptitious cloud storage accounts and instead use the sanctioned Box.net environment. Thus, IT has more visibility and control into corporate information than it would if employees used shadow services, he says -- a claim that he says is based on the experience of existing customers.
Beyond the impending changes, Levie says that Box.net is working on giving the service some management options that would reach into mobile devices to delete documents transferred to their local storage so that documents can be automatically pulled from user's smartphones and tablets when a project is done or they are no longer associated to the project. Such a feature would work similarly to how mobile management tools can remotely wipe accounts and documents, but in this case would be limited to Box.net-provisioned documents.
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