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Merger of Cloud Backup Providers Combines Channels

KineticD acquired ROBOBAK this week in a merger of cloud backup providers with different channel models.

KineticD is a Toronto-based SaaS backup company specializing in backing up micro SMBs of up to about 20 employees. ROBOBAK -- the letters stand for "remote office/branch office backup" -- does agentless disk-to-disk-to-cloud backup that the company positions as a hybrid approach appropriate for SMBs into midsize companies and enterprise branch offices.

KineticD boasts about 40,000  customers that it reaches through a combination of direct sales, about 500 independent resellers and very large franchise-style or retail partners such as Nerds on Site and the Best Buy GeekSquad.

ROBOBAK's customers are primarily managed services providers, and the company has roughly 100 MSPs backing up about 20,000 customer sites. ROBOBAK customers are generally in the 20-100 employee range, with some enterprise branch offices, as well, company officials said.

The company's immediate focus will be technology integration rather than channel integration, said Jamie Brenzel, CEO of KineticD.

"We're really focused on integrating the products," Brenzel said. By the end of April, KineticD plans to bring ROBOBAK capabilities of agentlessly backing up servers, networks and server applications to KineticD customers and partners.

Further out, the company will roll both companies' technologies into a single release. ROBOBAK Version 11 shipped in early March, and integration efforts will focus on a Version 12 to ship sometime in the third quarter, Brenzel said.

"It's really about bringing the best of both into what we're calling Version 12. [We'll focus on the] patented continuous data protection [and] a Mac client, for example. We're integrating the best of both and keeping in mind that really what we're looking to do is maintain the ease-of-use of our product and complement what ROBOBAK has done," Brenzel said. Other technology goals include developing for virtual machine environments, including VMware, Microsoft and Citrix, along with Microsoft servers, such as SharePoint.

Ben Puzzuoli, formerly of ROBOBAK, who will run technical sales and marketing at KineticD, said, "We were in the process of doing all the certifications for VMware, so now KineticD is an elite VMware partner."

Brenzel said once the technology is integrated, KineticD may have the opportunity to pursue additional channel partners. "There was very little overlap in terms of the channel. What ROBOBAK's solution allows us to do is open up that channel to bigger channel  partners -- MSPs and bigger OEM partners. The solution allows us, from a customer-basis, to go further up the small-business chain to small enterprises that have remote or branch offices in a different location."

The majority of the ROBOBAK employees will stay in place and the executives said ROBOBAK's operations won't be interrupted.

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 08, 2011