EMC buys Syncplicity to serve as Dropbox for business

cloud storage

Storage giant EMC has acquired cloud-storage startup Syncplicity in an attempt to compete with consumer-focused offerings such as Dropbox and for storing business users’ files.

Cloud-based storage — Dropbox, especially — has become the primary villain in the move toward BYOD (bring your own device) workplaces, but is also an area of strong growth for providers such as Box.net that can support business needs. With those concerns in mind, this acquisition makes a lot of sense for EMC, which is hosting its annual EMC World conference in Las Vegas this week..

Already, BYOD is wreaking havoc on unprepared companies, including companies like IBM that should know better. Employees want to use their personal iPhones, iPads and Android phones that  to work from anywhere, but employers worry that sensitive corporate documents stored in the cloud on services like Dropbox and SugarSync might find their way into the wrong hands.

Syncplicity seeks to resolve this issue with a service that gives security due consideration. Its business-class administration and  controls, and even its personal edition offers features such as SAS 70 Type II compliance and remote wiping of corporate data if a device is lost.

As for where Syncplicity fits into the EMC lineup, well, that’s a little more complicated. Its focus on syncing and sharing files certainly distinguishes it from EMC’s existing Mozy online backup service, but not from VMware’s Project Octopus, the corporate file-sharing service announced at last year’s VMworld conference and which is currently in beta. EMC is the majority shareholder in VMware.

Perhaps the difference has to do with customer segmentation. Project Octopus seems likely to target larger companies that want a full-on enterprise service, while Syncplicity — with its complementary personal edition and one-size-fits-all corporate features — could work well for smaller businesses.

Syncplicity launched in 2008 and had raised $2.35 million leading up to today’s acquisition, the details of which were not disclosed.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock user Mastertasso.

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