AstraZeneca strikes deal with Box as IT revamp continues

Box ($BOX) has added a big-name client just days after pulling off a $175 million IPO. The deal sees AstraZeneca ($AZN) join Allergan ($AGN) and Eli Lilly ($LLY) on the list of major biopharma companies that use Box's cloud content sharing and collaboration tools.

AstraZeneca is making Box available to its 51,000 employees across 100 countries for internal work and plans to use the platform to collaborate with third parties, too. As part of the deal, AstraZeneca has agreed to join a Box customer advisory board, giving the Big Pharma a say on the development of new technologies at the newly public business. Services that cater for the specific needs of life science companies are expected to feature in Box's plans.

AstraZeneca's David Smoley

Faced with competition from deep-pocketed rivals such as Google ($GOOG) and Microsoft ($MSFT), Box has doubled down on the corporate market. Healthcare and life sciences are central to this plan, with Box listing the sectors among the main industries it is targeting in its IPO paperwork. As AstraZeneca sees it, Box has already made major inroads into the industry. "Box has become the industry standard in this space," AstraZeneca CIO David Smoley said in a statement.

For AstraZeneca, the deal continues the tweaking of its IT operations. In the past 6 months, the Big Pharma has inked an IT service management deal with ServiceNow ($NOW) and struck a three-year outsourcing deal with Computacenter. The Computacenter deal sees AstraZeneca cut its pool of IT service suppliers from four to one as it continues to rethink its approach to outsourcing. AstraZeneca is currently in the middle of adding in-house IT capacity to lessen its reliance on third parties.

- read the release
- here's ComputerWeekly's article