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Box Wins General Electric as Customer for Cloud Sharing

Box Inc., the cloud-storage company that delayed an initial public offering earlier this month, said General Electric Co. chose its software to be the standard program for employees to share files and work together.

Box has been working with GE, the biggest maker of locomotives and jet engines, for almost two years to get the company to use the software, Box Chief Executive Officer Aaron Levie said today in a blog post.

The startup, which in March filed to raise $250 million in a share sale, opted to wait until the market improves before kicking off a promotional tour, people familiar with the matter said last week. Box faces increased competition from companies like Dropbox Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. -- which slashed cloud-storage prices last week -- and needs to line up more large customers to demonstrate the value of its business.

GE has about 307,000 employees and will use Box’s software to let them store files in the cloud -- on remote servers that can be accessed anywhere via the Web -- and easily share them, Levie said. Previously, GE used technology built in-house for file sharing, said Deia Campanelli, a spokeswoman at Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE.

Many companies have been replacing older equipment and software with Internet-based systems, looking to save money by using third-party cloud companies to house data and serve up computing power. Corporate spending on cloud services, software and resources will reach $191 billion in 2020, up from $58 billion last year, Forrester Research said in a report last month.

Box, based in Los Altos, California, has 25 million registered users at 225,000 companies. Of those, 34,000 are paying customers. Besides GE, other large clients include EBay Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., said Ashley Mayer, a Box spokeswoman.

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