Earlier this year, DCIG interviewed the executive team at GroupLogic. GroupLogic shared with us how they approach the market for “enterprise file sharing” or what DCIG has been calling File-Sync-and-Share. In addition, we had the privilege of talking to Chris Broderick, CEO of GroupLogic who covered some of the company’s history.
Joshua: Thank for joining us today, who from GroupLogic is with us today?
GroupLogic: Anders Lofgren, he is the vice president of product management and marketing for GroupLogic.
Joshua: Is the activEcho, is that part of the release that’s going to address the market that has no name, that people call dropbox-like for the enterprise, re-envisioned managed file transfer?
Anders: That’s exactly what that product is. We refer it more as enterprise file sharing, but I think there’s a lot of discussion to be had. We probably won’t have it with you today what we call this thing. But I think some of it’s already kind of been baked into the marketplace. So we’re not gonna try to swim upstream and try to create a fancy new market that everybody else is trying to name as well.
Joshua: When you say the market has given it a name, what’s the name that you’re going to market with?
Anders: I just called it enterprise file sharing, which I think is the most descriptive and the most simple term to use. And what I said was, there’s a number of terms floating out there that people are trying to use for this. But we’re going with and we’re not pushing it all that heavily I don’t think, but just for the sake of having a bucket to put stuff in, we’re calling it enterprise file sharing. ‘Cause again, it is dead on descriptive about what we’re trying to do here.
Joshua: It seems the buyer’s don’t know what they want. When you said “Enterprise file sharing”, the first thing I thought of was “that is inside the company.” Does it have anything to do with file sharing outside of the company, e.g. out into the public cloud or anything like that.
Anders: When I say enterprise file sharing, I define the enterprise as not just being a company and their employees, but a company and their partners, a company and their service providers, and a company and their customers. And intrinsic in the solution activEcho is the ability to share not just with internal constituents, but also the ability to share with external constituents, while maintaining the security and control and management that the IT and frankly the enterprise itself in the form of legal departments, the compliance, the security departments, need to have in order to do this effectively, especially in large companies and regulated industries. You mentioned legal. Where we see a lot of interest is in the financial services industry, for example.
Joshua: Can Chris Broderick, CEO, talk a little bit about GroupLogic as a company?
Anders: I’ll turn it over to Chris, our CEO. And he’s gonna talk a little bit about GroupLogic first of all. I think it’s an important background. And explain to you where we’re coming from. And we’ll make some more sense about where we’re going in the future also.
Chris: I’ll just take a few minutes and give you an introduction to the company so that there’s context around the product discussions that will ensue. And then as Anders pointed out, we’d like to show you the technology because we think that’s the best way to illustrate exactly what we’re doing. So just a little bit of a thumbnail of GroupLogic. If you were to sum up what it is that we do, GroupLogic provides technology that helps our customers integrate, provide access, and provide file sharing services across the new computing platforms that are in their environment. And up until very recently, those new computing platforms were largely associated with Macs in the enterprise. But what we see as of late with the proliferation of mobile devices, is that these same type of integration tasks and these same type of disparities between platforms, have motivated our customers to invest in technologies to provide the same services for these devices.
So the company’s been in business for over 20 years. We’re headquartered right outside of Washington, DC, in Arlington, Virginia. And we go to market with a handful of products under the banner of ExtremeZ-IP for Mac integration into business IT infrastructure. As Anders mentioned, a product called mobilEcho that provides analogous services for mobile devices, handhelds and tablets. As well as technology to help with the automated workflow and movement of large files in a product that we call mass transit. The company’s got over 7,000 customers. We added over 800 distinct organizations as customers in 2011. And in terms of the way that the company’s put together and financed, we’re well capitalized. The company is profitable.
2011 was a transitional year for GroupLogic. And the reason is because as we have been plodding along in this space providing integration technologies for largely desktop computers, what was happening in parallel with this unbelievable adoption of mobile devices and organizations really trying to get their head around how they were gonna provide seamless access to IT services in a secure management way to all these devices that were getting either brought into their organization as a result of a BYO device type of trend, or because they were buying them on behalf of their mobile sales force or their internal constituents.
So in 2011 we launched mobilEcho mid-May. We did several partnerships along the way with organizations much larger than us like Quantum. Also partnerships with Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology providers such as Good Technology and Mobile Iron. And we’ll do another release of the mobilEcho technology here in the next week which Anders will touch on before we get into activEcho.
And when you look at our customer base, what had historically been a customer base that was almost directly synonymous with a very narrow set of verticals because it was dependent on Mac users, you can envision historic roots in terms of organizations that we did business with that were heavily into print and publishing, education, digital media, advertising. Well today, those types of customers have expanded to really every type of vertical that you can imagine. We’re a much more of a horizontal than we are a vertical in any sense, given that we sell to government agencies, financial services organizations, insurance companies, you name it, we’ve got customers in that vertical.
And as well as partnerships. I touched on a couple of the partnerships that were done last year. But there are other partnerships that we’ve also been able to ink as of late as well. So we of course have technology related partnerships with big IT infrastructure vendors such as IBM, Microsoft. We’ve got marketing partnerships represented in the MDM space, distribution partnerships with the likes of Salesforce.com and other mobile providers. We’re also very interested in doing partnerships with telecom providers. And we have some nascent discussions in place then alongside with the new partnership that we’ve done with Telstra.
If you were to sum up what it is that we asp
ire to be or we are today, we believe that the future is very much a three device world. And what I mean by that is that while we’ve read a lot over the last year that the tablet will ultimately replace the laptop computer, we don’t believe that it will ultimately replace the personal computer. Nor will it replace the smart phone. So the reality is, is that every individual will have three devices. They’ll have their phone, they’ll have a tablet, and they’ll also have either their personal computer or their laptop. And when you think about the complexity that goes along with this multiple peripheral, trying to interact with multiple people, to get access to multiple pieces of content, it’s a complicated problem.
So what we do is provide technology to help manage that many to many to many relationship between organizations, their constituents, the peripherals that they carry, and the content that they need access to, in a simple, secure, manageable way. This is the technology that we introduced into the marketplace. So I’ll turn back to Anders and he’ll get into the specifics of what the announcements are and the individual product details.
In part 1 of the interview with GroupLogic we covered their history as a company as well as one of the biggest challenges facing the file-sync-and-share marketplace – what to call it? GroupLogic has a flagship product called ActiveEcho that they released in March 2012 and sell as Enterprise File Sharing. In Part 2 we will cover GroupLogic licensing, target market and more product details for ActivEcho.