eFolder Acquires Anchor, Brings Channel-Focused File Sync And Share To Cloud Storage

Cloud backup and disaster recovery provider eFolder has acquired Anchor Box, a startup developer of file sync and share technology with a focus on indirect channel partners.

With the acquisition, channel-focused eFolder is throwing down the gauntlet at more established file share and sync providers like Dropbox and Box, which traditionally have worked more directly with end users and which, with some exceptions, have not developed as mature a multi-tenant offering.

eFolder has already closed the acquisition, giving the company an additional 350 MSP and solution providers to go with the 1,200-plus partners of its cloud backup and recovery services, said Ted Hulsy, vice president of marketing for the Atlanta-based company.

[Related: Dropbox Unveils Dropbox Platform For Developers To Add File Share, Sync To Mobile Apps ]

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Anchor, which was founded in 2011 and only came to market about nine months ago, is a fast-growing startup specializing in file share and sync technology for MSPs and solution providers, Hulsy said.

Integrating the Anchor file sync and share software onto eFolder's petabyte-scale storage cloud will take only a couple of weeks, he said.

"eFolder with Anchor will be able to supply the only file share and sync platform exclusively for MSPs and VARs," he said.

The acquisition is great news for the channel, said Phillip Long, CEO of Business Information Solutions, a Mobile, Ala.-based MSP that has worked with eFolder for about three years and with Anchor since it first came to market.

"It's a natural fit, too," Long said. "As the world becomes more BYOD, or bring your own device, this becomes a great tool not only to serve data but to make it available."

Long said the Anchor software is a good fit for his company's managed services because it easily integrates with the Autotask PSA, or professional services application, his company uses. Anchor also integrates with ConnectWise, which many other MSPs use, he said.

Anchor since it first came to market has been a strong channel partner, Long said.

"They've been really good," he said. "Good follow-ups. Very professional. And, they keep coming out with cooler and cooler features."

Among those "cooler" features is the ability to share folders with colleagues or with third parties, and the option to offer the service based on a local server rather than the cloud, Long said.

"In our industry, some people still prefer to keep their own file servers," Long said. "Anchor integrates with their own file servers to keep the environment architecture the same as it was."

NEXT: eFolder, Anchor Designed For The Channel

eFolder's Hulsey said Anchor, which like eFolder has no direct sales, is set apart from companies like Dropbox and Box by its business-class features, particularly multi-tenancy.

"Multi-tenant solutions are alien to most vendors," he said. "They may allow a company to server multiple users, but not an MSP to server 30 or 40 different customers. Such solutions are a challenge to MSPs who see their margins disappear trying to manage multiple customers."

eFolder and Anchor were designed specifically for the channel, Hulsy said.

"Their interfaces and management infrastructures are business class," he said. "There are SMBs everywhere where employees are using Dropbox to sync corporate data to their home PCs or their tablet PCs. But, this creates big problems for businesses. They can't control security or other business needs."

The other traditional suppliers also cannot offer gross margins of 50 percent to 70 percent to their solution providers and MSP partners, Hulsy said.

eFolder's acquisition of Anchor is only the latest in a series of moves aimed at bringing file synch and share to business customers.

In July, Mountain View, Calif.-based enterprise file sync and share service provider Egnyte started providing enterprise document collaboration and sharing for Google Drive via a solution that provides a single view of applications residing on-premises, in the cloud or on Google Drive.

Dropbox in July unveiled a new platform for software developers that it said will help them add Dropbox capabilities to their applications.

Box in April said its cloud-based content sharing platform is now one of a handful of cloud applications that is HIPAA and HITECH compliant.