AmeriVault Corp., a data storage and protection provider, has agreed to acquire Certified Backup, an online data backup vendor focused on the small and home business market.

AmeriVault, of Waltham, Mass., uses the outsourcing model to provide offsite disk-to-disk data protection and recovery services including online data backup, e-mail archiving and data replication, mostly to SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) ranging from 50 to 1,000 employees.

The acquisition of Certified Backup, also based in Waltham, is expected to extend AmeriVault’s reach into the small and home-based business market. The first step, said AmeriVault CEO Bud Stoddard, will be to incorporate the Certified Backup platform into a new AmeriVault XpressVault product—a move that will allow the company to offer three levels of service offerings at different price points.

“The Certified Backup product is similar but is positioned in a lower end than what we’re known for, and it’s lower priced and caters to smaller companies,” Stoddard said. That’s good, he said, because it expands AmeriVault’s reach into the small and home-based business market.

And unlike other products in AmeriVault’s portfolio, the new AmeriVault XpressVault will not be developed on the eVault platform, which has been a hallmark of all other offerings developed by AmeriVault until now.

“Most of what we do is on the eVault platform, and we wanted to expand out and build a product that didn’t rely on that platform,” Stoddard said. “It was all about getting the technology to do that.”

Although Stoddard intends to use Certified Backup as a way to further permeate the small-business market, he insists he’ll do it using AmeriVault’s traditional high-touch, high-service methods.

“We play at the high-quality, premium-priced part of the market, and that won’t change,” he said.

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Making a play for the very small end of the market makes good business sense for AmeriVault, said Arun Taneja, president of Taneja Group, of Hopkinton, Mass.

“A few years ago, practically every storage vendor was presenting its product to the enterprise, so the enterprise-level companies were getting every vendor knocking on their doors while the SMB companies were hoping just one vendor would call them,” he said. “But in the last 12 to 18 months, storage vendors have begun to realize that the SMB space is exploding. Announcements like these just show that vendors are recognizing that the SMB space is where the biggest growth rate will be over the next few years.”

After absorbing Certified Backup, Stoddard said the company will focus on introducing related services in the areas of replication, compliance and high availability.

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