Google and Box partner on document storage in the cloud

A Google search page is seen through a magnifying glass in this photo illustration taken in Berlin, August 11, 2015. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski/File Photo

(Reuters) - Alphabet’s Google and online storage company Box Inc on Wednesday announced a partnership that will enable Box’s corporate customers to integrate Google’s suite of word processing, spreadsheets and other productivity tools, known as Google Docs.

The move is among a series of steps taken recently by Dianne Greene, the highly regarded enterprise computing executive who now runs Google’s cloud computing division, to make Google a central player in corporate computing.

For Box, the deal represents an opportunity to broaden its suite of applications and potentially reach new customers who now use Google Docs. Box will serve as a “third-party content repository” for Google Docs, according to the announcement.

Box shares jumped 2 percent on the news to $14.52 on the New York Stock Exchange, its highest price in a year. Alphabet shares were down a fraction at $807.99 on the Nasdaq.

Box Chief Executive Officer Aaron Levie said in an interview that the goal was to bring “modern productivity tools” to a neutral platform where customers could integrate software and services from a variety of companies. He pointed to similar deals to integrate Microsoft’s 360 software application - which compete with Google Docs - with Box.

The trend, he said, was toward “more interoperability between companies.” He praised Greene and Google for pursuing collaboration. “In the past nine months, we’ve seen huge investment in the ecosystem,” Levie said.

Companies including Google, Inc, International Business Machines Corp and others are all racing for a piece of the next-generation corporate computing business as big companies increasingly move their computing operations to big shared data centers known as the cloud.

Box, which went public early last year, offers secure products to help companies manage information in the cloud.

Reporting by Jonathan Weber; Editing by Jonathan Oatis