Q&A with Sébastien Marotte, President of EMEA, Box


Why Have You Chosen to Join Box?

I’ve spent the last ten years at Google, and before that Oracle, so I was very particular about the type of business I wanted to join for my next challenge. Crucially for me, I wanted to work for a company where culture comes first. I was drawn to Box by its agile, family-driven approach and in my first month here, I’ve witnessed first-hand the wonderful, welcoming team we have here.

It’s important to me that the culture at Box is not just a set of values on a slide. Central to everything we do is through the lens of ‘Making Mum Proud’ and leading with our customers’ needs. We are in the business of delivering innovative solutions, not technology. Of course, we’re talking about technology-driven solutions, but at the heart is a focus on helping our customers solve their most critical business problems.

I believe Box has an incredible market opportunity ahead. Companies need a single, integrated content layer that keeps their content secure and compliant while allowing teams to collaborate, both internally and externally. The Box vision for the Content Cloud is perfectly positioned to help businesses manage that full content lifecycle and get the most out of their content.


What Are Box’s Plans For the EMEA Region in the Next Year?

Earlier in 2021, we opened an office in Poland and acquired SignRequest, a Dutch-based, e-signature company. In the next year and beyond, we plan to double down on our investment in the EMEA region. Box has great brand awareness in markets like the US and Japan, and we have serious ambition to scale our business in Europe. Our existing customer list is a strong indicator of a solid foundation – some of the biggest European companies like AstraZeneca, Eurostar, the Met Police, and BT are already using Box to power their most critical business processes. Our priority is to continue to deepen those relationships, while building out our sales strategy and partner ecosystem.

How Does Remote and Flexible Work Impact Business Functions and How Can SMEs Make the Best Of This Evolution of Work?

Hybrid work is here to stay. According to a Gartner survey, 82% of company leaders now plan to allow employees to work remotely some of the time even when it is safe to return to the office. This requires that all employees must be equipped with the right tools to securely access the content they need to run their business. From fast-growing startups hiring and onboarding new employees, banks acquiring virtual customers, or for global pharmaceutical companies establishing networks of healthcare providers for global vaccination programmes, business functions of all types are having to rethink their business processes, technology partners, and workflows.

What we’re seeing from our customers is that compared to their Enterprise counterparts, SMEs have a lot more agility in choosing and deploying new technologies. Deal cycles and contracts also tend to be shorter, which means SMEs have more opportunity to pivot their technology strategies and quickly address changing business needs. In that way, they can truly succeed in this next evolution of work.


How Can Businesses Mitigate the Increased Security Threats From Remote Work?

While many businesses are welcoming the increased flexibility and productivity that hybrid work brings, we have also seen the security landscape evolve dramatically as a result. Secure remote access needs to be nimble, but we’re of course also seeing major SaaS proliferation, with Okta reporting that the average company is using around 165 different technology applications. Collaboration is one thing, but the content within those applications needs to be connected and secured. This presents IT teams with a new, increasingly complex challenge – to focus on increased security as well as enabling business productivity.

Businesses can answer this challenge by consolidating applications into a single, secure platform. This integrated content layer can unlock the value of an enterprise’s content, and enable seamless and secure access to that content, from any device or location. This means businesses can be more complaint, innovative, competitive, and also means a greater return on their technology investments.