EMC buys Syncplicity to serve as Dropbox for business

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 for companies such as Box.net that can support business needs. With those concerns in mind, the acquisition makes a lot of sense for EMC.

Already, BYOD is wreaking havoc on unprepared companies, including companies like IBM that should know better. Employees wants to use their personal iPhones, iPads and Android phones that allow them to work from anywhere, but employers are afraid 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 its due consideration. Its business-class administration and  controls, and even its personal edition offers features such as SAS70 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. It’s 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 it 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 the size of customer for each offering. 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, but details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock user Mastertasso.

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