Austin Software Firm Spanning Works to Back Up the Cloud

3/25/14Follow @angelashah

More and more companies are doing business on the cloud, but is that information safe?

One Austin, TX, company is offering an insurance policy of sorts for data in the cloud. “People are starting to realize the risk that their data is facing,” says Jeff Erramouspe, Spanning’s CEO. “There are all kinds of ways that data can get lost.”

While companies such as Google provide a minimum level of protection by backing up data on their servers, that data is not protected in cases where, say, a user accidentally deletes their own data or when a third party, such as a hacker, destroys the stored information.

The risk for lost data is also compounded at a time when we access corporate data from multiple sources: company computers, home laptops through a VPN, smartphones, and tablets. “Sync errors can cause data to get lost,” Erramouspe says. “To Google, it looks like it just got deleted. Google is not going to save those for you.”

Spanning announced today that it would has added full backup support for Salesforce.com, used by as many as 120,000 companies to not just manage the sales process, but as a customer relationship management system. The company had provided the service in beta mode since last November.

Spanning was founded in 2010 and currently has 3,500 customers, including Netflix and Nest. About 40 percent of the company’s business comes from international markets. Spanning raised a $3 million Series A round in 2011 and a $6 million Series B round last year. Erramouspe says he expects the employee count to double by the end of the year to about 80 people.

The company got started after founder Charlie Wood ran into trouble synching his Microsoft calendar with one he had on a Mac device. He discovered that other people had their own horror stories about calendar data getting wiped out in the process of importing it into a new device. Spanning started out offering software to back up all the data stored in customers’ Google accounts, like e-mail in Gmail, documents on Google Drive, appointments in Google Calendar, and others. (Wood turned over the CEO chair to Erramouspe last November.)

Back in the olden days of, say, 2008, before cloud services became ubiquitous, companies would employ full-time staff that would, once a week, do a full backup of the system, typically on tapes that would serve as a repository of data.

Erramouspe says that Spanning’s main competitor in today’s market is Boston-based Backupify, but that he believes his company has a more user-friendly interface.

“But our biggest competition is ‘doing nothing,’” he added. “Companies are moving from on premise equipment to the cloud. They always had backup when on premise and now they need it in the cloud.”

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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