Founded in 2002, Acronis International grew rapidly to become a strong player in the market for data storage and backup software. The company's suite of data protection products have primarily served the home and SME markets, with Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 its core product line. As the data storage software market has evolved and matured, Acronis has invested to grow its presence in the cloud storage market. The evolution of cloud storage and virtualization technologies enabled a clear opportunity for Acronis to expand its focus and grow the size of its customer market.
On September 13, Acronis announced its acquisition of GroupLogic - a much smaller firm, but a company that has recently made waves in the market with its release of activEcho - a file-sharing/syncing solution for the enterprise. While this acquisition of GroupLogic - a relatively tiny company compared to Acronis - is not likely to have a huge impact on the market, it indicates an important strategic shift for Acronis. Having developed a reputation for their technologies targeting stagnant data (e.g. data backup on servers), the acquisition of this small, agile company, Acronis will gain increased access to these new and emerging markets.
While dozens of companies have made a splash in the consumer markets, the market for solutions that offer secure access, backup and synchronization tools aimed at the enterprise has become a fierce battleground, with corporate giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft aiming to integrate additional services (e.g. Google Apps for Business and Office365) beyond basic online storage with their “walled garden” mobile ecosystems. Moving forward, these larger vendors will continue to have the advantage of integrating their solutions with their respective mobile platforms – however, while competing against giants such seems daunting, there remains an opening for smaller players that can offer differentiation around areas such as privacy-protecting, encryption and enhanced authentication. The need to be able to support multiple mobile platforms with these types of service will continue to present both and opportunity and challenge for these vendors in our view particularly when focusing on the enterprise.