In a competitive market, two is better than one: Microsoft and Box have struck a deal to partner on cloud-computing technology, despite the fact that they are competitors, the companies announced on Tuesday.

Both Box and Microsoft, through its platform Azure, offer online storage services for customers. Box allows users to share and stash files such as documents, videos, or other types of data. Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing applications offer similar services and the company also provides a technical foundation companies like Box can use.

The two companies will work to integrate their products and sell combined services. What's more, Box will offer its products on Microsoft's cloud-computer service and will use Microsoft's artificial intelligence technology, Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie told The Wall Street Journal.

Under CEO Satya Nadella's leadership, Microsoft is working more with rivals instead of ignoring them. "This is an example of where Microsoft has really changed over the past three or four years," Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the company's cloud and enterprise group, told The Wall Street Journal.

Box has been working with Microsoft in other capacities -- a little more than a year ago, the two struck an agreement to make Box's tools run more smoothly with Microsoft Office. "We have to build the best brand," said Levie, who was Inc.'s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013. "And we have to develop our site around the enterprise. If you don't become the company that rallies developers in the ecosystem, you don't get to have the network effects."

Published on: Jun 28, 2017