I have been asked this question several times in the past few days and our rationale is simple. When it comes to Business, and more so Enterprise scale business, Egnyte provides a better solution than Box, and we go beyond simple file sharing.

Our hybrid cloud approach is key to providing company-wide file storage and sharing infrastructure for businesses. We combine unlimited storage in the cloud, mobile access, easy file sharing with business partners – and fast local LAN speed access with group off-line capability, an absolute must for any enterprise.

I realize that we have raised only $17M vs ~$190M Box has raised, which makes this seem a lot like picking a fight with someone who has a machine gun, while we have a wooden knife. Not so, when it comes to the needs of Enterprises, an area where we are hard to beat.

In an interview for the VP Marketing hire, I had this point of view from one of the candidates: “Reminiscent of tactics I would see in the CRM space. SugarCRM or RightNow would try these highly aggressive tactics to make a splash against Salesforce.com. In the end, they just looked small and validated Salesforce as the clear winner. I get the sense the Egnyte team likes the scrappy ‘competitive’ marketing programs, which is totally fine. Acknowledge the alternatives for the customer, but dismiss them through inability to meet customer needs. Clarity of message, delivered thorough the right channels designed to reach the target audience, I believe is a stronger, more sustainable marketing strategy.”

Interesting point of view and I am sure Box would like to believe that they are the sf.com for cloud storage.

When our sales team runs into Box in a particular deal, and if the customer wants a pure cloud based solution with workflow collaboration features, we actually recommend they use Box or a similar point solution.

Reality on the ground for Egnyte is, we can not match the marketing spend of Box, more so since the unit economics in terms of customer acquisition cost is not attractive with this kind of spend. What we can do, however, is to counter leverage their awareness to build ours.

Next few weeks will tell if this program becomes a good lead engine or just a news item.

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