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Box $Rev scheme helps enterprise app developers earn cash

Cloud services firm Box has launched a new programme, dubbed Box $rev, that's intended to help enterprise-focused app developers make money from their apps.

"Box $rev is a program for developers to monetize their applications on the Box platform and bring new innovation to the emerging enterprise app economy," Box's vice president of platform, Chris Yeh, wrote in a blog post.

In an interview, Yeh said that business-focused apps often have a tough time making money. Strategies that work for consumer-focused apps - like in-app payments and ads - often don't work on the enterprise side. Why? The adoption model has changed, but the procurement model has not.

"You can't be in this game unless you have a sales force closing contracts and closing deals," he said. "That's the challenge for small apps."

As a result, Box $rev will allow app developers to tap into Box's sales team and access in order to expand and make some cash.

"Why can't we help developers monetize against our business customers?" Yeh asked. "The observation: users of third-party apps get more value out of Box, resulting in greater user satisfaction. The idea behind Box $rev? Pay developers for creating this kind of engagement on Box."

With Box $rev, Box has even more apps to offer its customers and developers get a new revenue stream. Developers get paid whenever a Box Business or Enterprise customer uses a third-party app that's integrated with Box.

To start, Box $rev will launch with 10 partners: CloudOn, Notability, Documents by Readdle, PDFExpert, iAnnotate, Genius Scan, CamScanner, Outline+, GoodNotes, and SmartOffice. Those who want to get in on the next round can sign up on the Box website.

In the meantime, Box also has new iOS and Android SDKs, the first SDKs that Box built in-house. "If you happen to program in both Objective C and Java, you'd find the SDK structures/approaches to be very similar," Yeh said. "In addition, with these SDKs we are able to deliver Box's expertise with enterprise single sign-on (SSO) to third parties. Finally, these SDKs allow developers to integrate Box quickly using pre-built file pickers and buttons."

Last year, the company unveiled Box OneCloud, which brings together all mobile business content into one cloud service. It started with 30 partners in March 2012, and the company announced that that number has now jumped to more than 500.