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Zimbra buys its way into cloud storage market

The company has acquired Mezeo to complement its email and enterprise social collaboration products

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Cloud storage and file-sharing fever has hit Zimbra.

The company has acquired Mezeo to expand its product lineup, which includes the Zimbra Collaboration email and calendaring system and the Zimbra Community enterprise social networking (ESN) suite.

MezeoFile, a file-sync and -share application, and MezeoCloud, a storage platform, include enterprise-grade IT controls, compliance and security, according to Zimbra.

Zimbra's products already have light file sharing and storage, but the capabilities aren't as robust as those in the Mezeo wares, said Patrick Brandt, CEO of Zimbra.

In addition, the file-sharing and storage components of Zimbra's existing products are hardwired and can't act as stand-alone storage repositories for other products. Moreover, the Mezeo products are architected to scale up for massive workloads.

Zimbra's goal isn't to compete against providers of cloud storage and file-sharing services like Box, Dropbox, Microsoft and Google, but rather strengthen its own collaboration suite.

"This Mezeo acquisition accelerates our road map," Brandt said.

Other areas he wants to solidify include security and mobility, whether via acquisitions or in-house development.

Zimbra sells few of its products directly to the customers that end up using them. Instead, it relies on managed service providers that white-label the products and in turn offer them on a hosted basis to their business and consumer customers. A smaller portion of its customer base buys its products from resellers and installs them on their own premises.

About 200,000 organizations use Zimbra products in 150 countries.

With the Mezeo deal, "we're arming our service providers and partners with the capability to offer this [storage and file-sharing] service to their customers, whether they're consumers or businesses," Brandt said.

His company was originally called Telligent, and its core product was the ESN suite. But a year ago, Telligent bought the Zimbra open-source email and calendaring system from VMware and changed its name to Zimbra.

The email server and the ESN suite have been integrated to an extent, and Brandt expects fusion of the products to be complete next year.

He declined to provide financial details of the Mezeo deal, which closed in early July.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.



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