EMC takes on Box, SugarSync and other sync 'n' sharers

Buys Syncplicity

EMC is buying Syncplicity for its file-sharing and synchronisation technology and thus taking on Box, SugarSync, and other enterprise Dropbox look-alikes.

Business and public sector organisations need their users to be able to share files securely in a world of proliferating user devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) for the workplace. Users need to be able to share files and have changes synchronised between their own devices – such as desktops, notebooks and smart hand-held devices – and between themselves and their team colleagues. If the files are basically stored in the cloud rather than on some user's effective "master device" then those files need to be held securely and protected: backed up. This is is what Syncplicity's products and technology provides.

Syncplicity says it provides a virtual private cloud and has some 25,000 customers. You can see a great fit with EMC's cloud ideas in Syncplicity's pitch: it "makes it easy for you to store all your files in the cloud, sync them with all your computers, share them with co-workers, access them on mobile devices and ensure they are always backed up. All with the security, IT administration, policy-management and control features businesses of all sizes demand".

Privately-held Syncplicity was founded in 2008 by Leonard Chung, the chief product strategist, and Ondrej Hrebicek, the chief technology officer. Its CEO is Karen White, who became CEO last year after previously being executive chairman.

These three blogged: "Syncplicity will be a wholly owned subsidiary of EMC. Our team will be integrating with EMC’s Information Intelligence Group. The Syncplicity team remains intact so we can continue to retain our unique culture of innovation and agility while also joining our colleagues in IIG to develop amazing new solutions that combine the best we each have to offer. Together we will deliver enterprise-grade sync, sharing, mobility and collaboration solutions that a CIO trusts and users love."

Rick Devenuti, the president of EMC's Information Intelligence Group, said: "It’s our core belief that productivity and security are not mutually exclusive. In acquiring Syncplicity, we validate this concept by uniting enterprise ‘sync and share’ capabilities for the cloud with governance and rigor that is synonymous with Documentum ... our customers require more than simple containers for managing and sharing content."

There is no comment from VMware whose Project Octopus appears to overlap Syncplicity's technology. VMware describes the project thus:

  • Enable secure, anywhere access to files from any device. Users can share and collaborate on their files with anyone inside or outside the company.
  • Operate on your cloud, either on your private cloud or a public cloud and have unprecedented ability to govern usage.
  • Easily integrate with your existing infrastructure and applications.

Well, yes, Syncplicity to a T, so to speak. We would expect there to be some coming together of Syncplicity and Octopus.

Syncplicity raised $2.35m in A-round funding in 2008. It has raised additional undisclosed funding although it has received revenue from customers since 2008.

EMC's acquisition price and method – cash and/or stock – is not being disclosed. We would guess something between $50m and $100m. ®

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