Acronis Acquires BackupAgent, Gets Huge Boost To Cloud Backup Biz

Acronis this week moved rapidly to expand its nascent cloud backup offering with the acquisition of BackupAgent, a Dutch company focused exclusively on the indirect channel.

Acronis, which has some 30,000 channel partners worldwide, started selling its first cloud products about four years ago, said Rene Oldenbeuving, general manager of the Woburn, Mass.-based company's cloud business unit, which he said was formed about 18 months ago.

Acronis currently has roughly 150 partners globally for its cloud data protection business, mostly in the U.S., Oldenbeuving told CRN.

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BackupAgent brings Acronis both technology and a customer base to help it rapidly build up this business, Oldenbeuving said.

"Acronis has been building a cloud backup business," he said. "BackupAgent brings us file backup to the cloud in an advanced way for most Microsoft applications, and integration tools with Azure, Autotask and Parallels. Most importantly, BackupAgent has an active partner base of about 900 partners, the majority of who are service providers and some telcos."

One of those partners is Seattle-based managed services provider and cloud services provider FiberCloud, which has partnered with BackupAgent for more than three years.

Mike Leo, director of product development for FiberCloud, told CRN that when his company signed with BackupAgent, it still had a very unique offering in that it was focused on helping services providers build a cloud data protection business, and on providing white-label marketing, things which are much more common today.

"We sell it as FiberCloud Desktop Backup and FiberCloud Server Backup," Leo said. "The software is easy to use. It even allows backing up of live applications."

With the closure of the acquisition, Leo said he hopes Acronis maintains BackupAgent's focus on managed services providers and cloud services providers.

"BackupAgent has a unique solution," he said. "Our only concern would be if it lost its partner focus. I'm also excited to see what else Acronis has that might augment my backup business."

Roland Sars, co-founder and chief commercial officer at BackupAgent, told CRN that his company was founded in 2005, and develops its own technology. About 10 percent to 15 percent of its business currently comes from the U.S. All the company's revenue comes from indirect channels, he said.

NEXT: What BackupAgent Brings To Acronis

BackupAgent has grown because its partners can take advantage of remote management and monitoring capabilities, advance white-label opportunities, multitenant functionality, multiple third-party tools, and plug-ins for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and Azure cloud, Sars said. The company is currently developing a VMware plug-in in conjunction with Acronis, he said.

BackupAgent has one data center each in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Sars said he expects it will take six to nine months to merge the two companies' technology as they work to "cherry-pick" the best parts of both sides.

The co-founders, including Sars, were also a part of the acquisition. "We're excited to join the Acronis team," he said.

Oldenbeuving declined to discuss terms of the acquisition, but did admit that Acronis is busy with another buy he hopes will be complete by year-end.

Prior to BackupAgent, Acronis' last acquisition was two years ago when it purchased GroupLogic, a developer of software that enables secure file sharing, synchronization and collaboration both at the enterprise and mobile device levels.