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AppDirect Buys Enterprise Search Startup Xendo, Plans Deep Integration

Recent acquisitions are positioning the cloud commerce vendor closer to offering partners a comprehensive Software-as-a-Service management platform.

AppDirect was first a customer of Xendo, a hosted unified search service, and then a partner.

On Thursday, AppDirect revealed that it had purchased the startup with plans to integrate Xendo's enterprise search engine into its online cloud-commerce platform. Both companies are based in San Francisco.

"The vision is to make it easy for businesses to find and manage the cloud solutions they need," AppDirect Co-CEO Daniel Saks told CRN. "Throughout our history and evolution, we've evaluated new technologies to add to the platform to create a more seamless experience for businesses using the platform."

[Related: AppDirect Beefs Up Its Platform For Selling Office 365]

Once companies go beyond deploying a couple of Software-as-a-Service applications, the challenges around managing data become significant, Saks told CRN. Advanced search capabilities go a long way toward easing management of complex cloud environments, he said.

Xendo is AppDirect's sixth acquisition since the company was founded in 2009. Other recent buys include AppCarousel, a cloud marketplace focused on distributing Internet of Things software, and Radialpoint, an IT services provider.

AppDirect's internal growth and acquisitions are being fueled by a $140 million funding round completed in October that set the privately held company's value at more than $1 billion.

The Xendo technology will continue AppDirect's transition beyond serving as a forum to distribute software, bringing the company closer to offering a comprehensive cloud management platform. The search capabilities will complement single sign-on, consolidated dashboards and unified billing features already integrated into the platform.

By plugging in Xendo, customers will have an easier time finding information in the files associated with the solutions they've purchased through AppDirect, Saks said. The engine can search inboxes, backup drives, Salesforce records and many other repositories of corporate data.

Julian Gay, Xendo's CEO, told CRN the search engine can execute deep-text search for more than 30 cloud apps, from Salesforce to Google Apps to Trello to Dropbox, as well as across on-premises systems.

Xendo finds both structured and unstructured content buried in emails, documents archives and presentations, and can perform OCR to search scanned documents.

It essentially adds an abstraction layer on top of complex environments, enabling companies to maintain productivity when adopting new applications, Gay told CRN.

"It becomes part of that layer that helps people work more effectively across different application silos," he said.

Xendo was founded in 2013 through the Alchemist Accelerator, and launched in 2014.

The company offers its unified search technology as a Web-based interface, a Google Chrome extension, a widget that can be dropped into any Web page, and through a REST API for developers to integrate with mobile apps or existing enterprise workflows.

Xendo, which has won customers like Netflix and Looker in addition to AppDirect, will continue to service and grow its existing customer base as it integrates deeper into AppDirect's core platform. The advancements made for the AppDirect platform will benefit other customers, Gay said.

The unified search capability will offer another opportunity to add value to AppDirect's growing ecosystem of channel partners using the platform to resell software to their customers, Saks told CRN.

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