Acronis Acquires File-Sharing Company GroupLogic

Data protection tools from Acronis will integrate with GroupLogic solutions for file sharing in enterprise mobile and collaboration environments.

Acronis, which sells disaster recovery and data protection technology for physical, virtual and cloud environments, has acquired GroupLogic, whose software ensures secure enterprise file access, sharing and syncing, in what an analyst says is a consolidation move already affecting some companies in both areas.

The synergy between the two companies is that Acronis offers disaster recovery and data protection, while GroupLogic specializes in file sharing in expanding mobile environments, and on collaboration platforms users are widely distributed but create and share content over the network.

The staffs of both companies will merge, with Acronis President and CEO Alex Pinchev serving as CEO of the combined companies and GroupLogic CEO Chris Broderick becoming senior vice president of mobility solutions for Acronis. Terms of the deal between the two privately held companies were not disclosed.

GroupLogic, the smaller of the two firms, benefits from the acquisition by gaining access to Acronis' 175,000 global customers and 25,000 channel partners, said Dave Simpson, senior storage analyst with 451 Research, who added that GroupLogic's customer base is primarily in the United States.

Conversely, Acronis gains from the acquisition with the ability to offer the GroupLogic file-sharing and sync solution that many of its competitors in the backup and recovery space don't have, Simpson said.

"That is a market that it has been very hard for everybody, including Acronis, to differentiate in," he said. "This gives them something that most of their traditional competitors do not have."

Another differentiator for Acronis is GroupLogic's support for the integration of Apple devices into enterprise server environments.

But Acronis' advantage could be short-lived, Simpson said, if its competitors pursue the same strategy.

Acronis faces some major competition in the backup and recovery space, including from Symantec, CA Technologies and Commvault, Simpson said. There is also a subset of vendors who also do backup and recovery but only of virtual machine data, including Veeam and, most recently, Dell. Dell is about to close on its $2.4 billion acquisition of Quest Software following its February acquisition of AppAssure.

On the file sharing and sync part of the business, the most well-known provider is Dropbox, but other players include Egnyte, FileTrek and ownCloud, the latter an open-source software solution for file sharing primarily within a company.

"This is the beginning of what I think will be a lot of consolidation in the file sync and sharing space," said Simpson.

As in many technology areas, when a new hot trend emerges-in this case, use of the cloud for collaboration and file sharing-a number of new players emerge. However, over time a few become dominant and begin swallowing up their smaller competitors.