MessageOne acquires Evergreen Assurance

The move is designed to bolster MessageOne's e-mail disaster recovery line

E-mail disaster recovery vendor MessageOne Inc. today announced the acquisition of competitor Evergreen Assurance Inc., a deal that brings together two different approaches to restoring e-mail service after a disaster.

Austin-based MessageOne offers e-mail recovery services allowing users instant access to contact address lists and e-mail capabilities through any Web browser from any location. Under the deal, MessageOne will incorporate products from Baltimore-based Evergreen, which extends the recovery services by also backing up all old mail for users, giving them a complete record of old and new e-mail (see story).

"It's a very complementary technology," said Mike Rosenfelt, an executive vice president at MessageOne. "Customers can have e-mail continuity or full-blown replication."

About 16 employees of Evergreen will transfer to Austin and become employees of MessageOne, he said. Evergreen's products will eventually be renamed and brought under the MessageOne banner.

The value of the cash and stock deal is not being disclosed.

Evergreen's products work with Microsoft Exchange and other Microsoft applications, while MessageOne's Emergency Messaging System is Linux-based at the back end and supports many different e-mail systems. EMS is positioned as a low-cost "stand-by" system, while Evergreen's products are a more costly complete backup and storage offering for e-mail.

MessageOne said it will expand Evergreen's technology to additional Microsoft Windows applications, including SQL Server and Active Directory, as well as to other applications such as Research In Motion's BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Good Technologies' GoodLink Server.

Al Passori, an analyst at Meta Group Inc. in Stamford, Conn., said the acquisition will give MessageOne broader market appeal and coverage, while offering users more options. "MessageOne has significant capital to take good advantage of the synergies and the assets they've acquired from Evergreen," he said.

One strength of Evergreen's products is that they can sense degradation of an existing e-mail system, giving administrators some warning that a problem is imminent, Passori said. That allows them to take preemptive action, he said. "The product clearly has the capability to foresee a potential conflict" and take actions to avoid e-mail failure, Passori said.

Kelly Jones, Evergreen's co-founder and senior vice president of engineering and development, said in a statement that the deal will give the company access to new markets and customers. "MessageOne is a great fit for our team, and we are looking forward to jointly developing best-of-class business continuity solutions for the marketplace."

MessageOne also announced an undisclosed investment by Evergreen Assurance's largest investor, Venrock Associates.

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