BlueTie Targets Microsoft SharePoint With Wonderfile Acquisition


BlueTie, which is battling Microsoft in the cloud with hosted e-mail and collaboration offerings, is now taking aim at the software giant's SharePoint product.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based BlueTie said Tuesday it has acquired Wonderfile, a cloud-based collaboration and online storage product from ArcStone, a Minneapolis Web development firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BlueTie CEO David Koretz said the deal provides solution providers with a simpler and easier-to-use alternative that VARs can, unlike SharePoint, put their own brand name on and own the customer billing relationship. What's more, Koretz said, that BlueTie is providing a software developer's kit (SDK) that VARs can use to customize Wonderfile driving significant software customization services revenue not available if they are selling Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).

"We don’t want to own the customer relationship," said Koretz. "We let VARs own the entire relationship end to end, from billing to branding with a white label product. We are happy to sit in the background as an enabler of VARs not a competitor. Our view is that ultimately the channel has to stop handing off their customers relationships to Microsoft."

Koretz boasted that the Wonderfile product represents a breakthrough offering in that it has "10 percent the complexity" of SharePoint and "80 percent of the functionality."

"SharePoint is too complex, challenging and cumbersome," said Koretz. "The market wants simplicity, ease-of-use and a low-cost option. That is what we are focused on delivering with Wonderfile."

Koretz characterized Wonderfile as an inflection point product that is poised to take share in the collaboration cloud market much like Salesforce.com set itself apart years ago in the CRM cloud market. He said a number of Fortune 50 companies are using Wonderfile in the wake of increasing pressure to cut software deployment costs. "CIOs don't have the luxury they used to deploy cumbersome and complicated software," he said.

Gino Petitti, president of iHostXtremes.com, a Columbus, Ohio Web hosting and cloud application provider that partners with BlueTie, said he sees Wonderfile being priced 30-50 percent less with most of the functionality of SharePoint. "A lot of companies run into the trap of spending 90 percent of their IT budget trying to solve 10 percent of the problem," he said. "Wonderfile's a less costly alternative not only for SharePoint but for clients looking for an easy extranet. It's a real team-work, project-management solution."