Carbonite Zmanda Acquisition Afirms SMB Focus

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Carbonite acquires backup and recovery company Zmanda, bringing a wealth of enterprise-level storage prowess to the Carbonite portfolio. Considering Carbonite's efforts to grow its new channel program, this acquisition should give a considerable boost to partner portfolios as they reach out into the SMB space.

Turn the way-back dial to this past June and Carbonite Inc. had rolled out its first reseller channel program, bringing its flavor of backup to the small businesses and SMB community. The idea was simple: Carbonite is a well known brand in the consumer space, it has a reputation for being easy to use, and with the channel behind it, the low-cost cloud backup solution would quickly pick up steam.

Indeed, Carbonite already had solution providers on board at the time of the announcement.

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Currently, Carbonite offers its partners a relatively simple way to sell the solution. Partners have access to a partner portal where  they can gain transparency on customers utilization of the service and tweak  customer storage needs and subscription levels on the fly. In exchange for the partner portal, Carbonite shaves off a percentage of the revenue which the partner makes, but all remaining revenue is for the partner. This eschews the traditional referral model that often accompanies more small-scale consumer based technologies and our own Larry Walsh had some praise for the partner program, calling it "far more open and rewarding."

Today, Carbonite is looking to reaffirm that commitment to the SMB space with a new acquisition. Zmanda Inc, which has specialized in backup solutions that are enterprise-ready, is now part of the Carbonite family, bringing its considerable wealth of backup and cloud resources to the already  fast-growing Carbonite family.

No surprises here, David Friend, CEO of Carbonite calls it a "great strategic fit," and attests that the acquisition will directly help Carbonite's reseller efforts. "IT resellers and MSPs want to be able to offer their clients a complete cloud backup solution from one vendor that protects both computers and servers. We believe that adding in the Zmanda capabilities to Carbonite Business...expands our opportunity and will [help capture more of the] growing SMB cloud backup market."

Zmanda, which was founded in 2005, has a long history of enterprise know-how, including advanced backup of databases and file systems for virtual machines, Exchange and SQL servers and even Oracle's own databases. And like Carbonite, it runs on Mac or PC, but Zmanda also brings support for Linux and Solaris.

When Carbonite and Zmanda's forces combine, the database backup ability and file system capabilities of Zmanda should bring more technology to cloud backup and help SMBs leverage a more holistic approach to backup and recovery for their corporate infrastructure or data center. Not to mention -- this gives the channel a considerable bump in offering a solution that can encompass both basic and complex SMB backup requirements.

But walk -- don't run. There's still some work to be done. Carbonite expects the acquisition to close Q4 2012, at which point there will be considerable integration across the two companies' technology. The plan is to assimilate Zmanda's capabilities into Carbonite's existing business line.

In the meantime, it's worth considering that Carbonite's timing is well played. One only need look at the slew of backup solutions hitting both the enterprise and the SMB space to realize that this space is growing exponentially. Backup solutions can also go hand-in-hand with cloud migrations, so attach capabilities around a streamlined solution like Carbonite's should prove fruitful for its partner community. 

 

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