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Kaseya cloud backup expands with Spanning acquisition

Kaseya's cloud backup capabilities now extend to Office 365, Salesforce and G Suite, thanks to the acquisition of cloud-to-cloud backup specialist Spanning Cloud Apps.

IT management software vendor Kaseya continued its expansion into data protection by acquiring Spanning Cloud Apps for cloud-to-cloud backup.

Kaseya revealed the acquisition this week, although CEO Fred Voccola said the deal actually closed in January. Voccola said Kaseya held off on revealing the deal until it was ready to begin selling Spanning backup as part of a Kaseya cloud backup package. Along with the acquisition news, Kaseya also this week said Kaseya Office 365 Backup powered by Spanning is available and part of the Kaseya Unified Backup suite.

Spanning is a pioneer of cloud-to-cloud backup. It copies data stored in SaaS applications such as Office 365, Salesforce and G Suite into Amazon Web Services. If customers lose data from their SaaS app, they can restore it from AWS.

Kaseya did not disclose the acquisition price. Insight Venture Partners owned Spanning and owns Kaseya. Insight Venture has been consolidating its data protection properties. In May 2018, Kaseya acquired data protection hardware and software vendor Unitrends, which was also controlled by Insight Venture Partners.

Insight Venture Partners also has a stake in other data protection software vendors, including Veeam, Acronis and Quest Software.

Kaseya and Spanning stay busy

Kaseya CEO Fred VoccolaFred Voccola

Voccola said the deal came in response to demand from Kaseya cloud backup customers for a backup product for SaaS applications. He said the Spanning acquisition was the best way for Kaseya to meet that demand.

He said he waited to disclose the deal until Kaseya fully integrated Spanning technology.

"Instead of being kind of misleading, we announce after the products are integrated and available to be bought," Voccola said. "That's part of our strategy. That's why we announced Unitrends nine months after we bought them."

This is the fourth ownership change for Spanning in the last four years. Storage giant EMC acquired Spanning in 2014. Dell bought EMC two years later and spun Spanning out to Insight Venture in April 2017. Former Spanning CEO Jeff Erramouspe left the company earlier this year.

Whenever a company is acquired, it has negative connotations to it, and that couldn't be further from the truth here. It's really a win-win.
Chad Savoygeneral manager, Spanning

As with Unitrends, Spanning will continue to operate as a stand-alone independent business unit within Dublin-based Kaseya. Spanning will maintain its Austin, Texas, office. Spanning general manager Chad Savoy will run the unit.

"For Spanning's customers, this deal is fantastic. We have thrown a ton of resources to bolster the [research and development], to accelerate the roadmap," Voccola said.

Savoy said Spanning will retain its independence inside of Kaseya.

"Whenever a company is acquired, it has negative connotations to it, and that couldn't be further from the truth here. It's really a win-win," he said. "We get to operate as a stand-alone independent business unit, maintain the brand, but we're able to now partner with a much larger company and reach a much broader customer segmentation. It's a very symbiotic relationship."

Data protection and management converge

Voccola said the Kaseya cloud backup capability will extend to Salesforce and G Suite within weeks, as integration of the rest of Spanning's products to Kaseya's IT Complete platform nears completion.

Edwin Yuen, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said the Kaseya cloud backup acquisition is part of a trend of the convergence of data protection and data management.

"Data protection is moving from a stand-alone role to one that has a greater role in systems management and monitoring," Yuen wrote in an email. "I think one of the unique aspects of this acquisition is that it is a SaaS management and monitoring solution acquiring a data protection vendor focused on protecting SaaS workloads."

Yuen pointed out that vendors often find it less expensive and easier to acquire new technologies than build their own new products.

"It is becoming more of a strategy of late, especially if there is a base user set and name recognition for the brand," he wrote. "It allows the newly acquired groups to operate as usual while still getting marketing and sales integration going."

Voccola said Kaseya's strategy is to take a hands-off approach to its acquisitions.

"They are worldwide experts in knowing how to make SaaS backup the best in the world," he said. "Why would we mess with that?"

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