Iron Mountain Acquires Mimosa

Iron Mountain, best known for providing off-premises backup of enterprise data, on Monday said it has acquired e-mail and SharePoint archiving solutions provider Mimosa Systems for $112 million.

The deal gives Iron Mountain an alternative offering for enterprise customers not comfortable with (or, due to various compliance issues, unable to) storing data in public cloud-based services.

Mimosa is the rapidly growing provider of premises-based e-mail and file-based content archival solutions called NearPoint. The Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, popular among Exchange and SharePoint shops, last month announced its 1,000th customer. Though it was founded in 2003, more than 300 of its NearPoint systems were sold last year.

By acquiring Mimosa, Iron Mountain can offer premises-based archival and e-discovery it has not been able to offer before.

"It's an acknowledgement that enterprises and larger midmarket companies are reluctant to do a lot of information management in the cloud," said Ramana Venkata, president of Iron Mountain Digital, the technology division of Iron Mountain.

Despite its rapid growth, Mimosa has faced stiff competition from much larger players with deep pockets, such as Symantec, which acquired Autonomy in 2008, and EMC, with its broad portfolio of enterprise content management and data archival solutions.

"This combination lets us leapfrog these other vendors," said T.M. Ravi, Mimosa's president and CEO, who is joining Iron Mountain as chief marketing officer. "Now we have some very strong information management assets that are on premises. If you look at the future of information management, archiving, e-discovery, data protection, compliance supervision, as well as other value-added services, Iron Mountain has a distinct advantage over Autonomy, EMC and other vendors out there."

Venkata added that there is no overlap in the technology between the two companies' offerings. Iron Mountain has no plans to drop any of Mimosa's products, which include NearPoint for Exchange, NearPoint for SharePoint and NearPoint for Files, as well as specific modules to address e-discovery, retention, tiered storage and disaster recovery.

"What we do need to do is adjust some of the roadmaps in terms of things the two companies might be independently planning to implement separately and figure out how we can tie them together," Ravi said.

"Our goal is to not think of Mimosa and Iron Mountain as separate businesses," Venkata said, "but really go to market as fast as we can with the joint product strategy and the joint business strategy, and to ensure that our partners have what we believe is the industry's best suite of solutions."

The company will bring together its disparate partner and channel programs, as well. "We are going to enhance and increase the training that we do, both sales and product training and co-marketing efforts in terms of driving leads," he added.

Indeed, enterprises have struggled to integrate applications that bring together different elements of e-discovery, said Forrester Research analyst Brian Hill in a blog post. "If Iron Mountain successfully incorporates the Mimosa product set into its portfolio, the vendor has good potential to address enterprise legal risk mitigation headaches," Hill noted. "This is a considerable effort, however, and success is certainly not assured."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.