NetApp Hops On BYOD Bandwagon With ionGrid Acquisition


NetApp on Wednesday jumped on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) bandwagon with the acquisition of ionGrid, developer of technology that allows iPhone and iPad users to access corporate marketing materials as well as internal business applications through a secure container.

ionGrid's flagship application, called Stratos, also allows users to revise proposals, annotate mockups or comment on changes to presentations using annotation tools directly from their iPhone or iPad devices. This is done without the need for moving data to a storage cloud.

An Android-based version of ionGrid's Stratos application is under development.

[Related: NetApp Buys CacheIQ, Gets DRAM, SSD NAS Acceleration Technology]

NetApp unveiled the acquisition during its third fiscal quarter 2013 financial analyst call.

Nick Triantos, co-founder and CEO of a Mountain View, Calif.-based ionGrid, wrote in a blog post that, after weighing potential growth options for the company, including raising more venture capital, ionGrid chose to become a part of NetApp because it would help achieve future key milestones faster.

ionGrid's mission, Triantos wrote, is to "make tablet computing awesome for the enterprise."

"As ionGrid developed, we learned more about our customers' challenges, and set out to solve them in the most innovative ways possible. There is no doubt in my mind that as part of NetApp, we will be able to build a much better solution, be better equipped to support our customers, and combined, be able to grow far beyond what we hoped to achieve as a standalone company," he wrote.

Triantos also wrote that customers over the two years since ionGrid was founded helped identify significant shortcomings that needed to be solved in order to maintain consistent security and compliance standards, including user authentication without replicating user logins to the cloud, secure data transport provisioning access to enterprise content and applications behind the corporate firewall, and flexible policy controls.

"As we move forward, I'm confident that being part of the NetApp team will help us build a world-class solution that delights our customers," he wrote.

NetApp President and CEO Tom Georgens said during NetApp's third fiscal quarter 2013 financial analyst call that the ionGrid acquisition, as well as NetApp's November acquisition of CacheIQ, is part of a "tuck-in" acquisition strategy under which NetApp focuses on small acquisitions that provide additional technologies while leaving larger acquisitions to be pursued on a more opportunistic basis.

"But as you see us grow, you may see the tuck-in acquisitions get bigger," Georgens said.

Terms of NetApp's acquisition of ionGrid were not unveiled.

PUBLISHED FEB. 13, 2013