With Accounting Troubles in the Past, BakBone Gets Back to Business

Jim Johnson was named CEO of San Diego’s BakBone Software in late 2004, but he has only recently been focusing his full attention on what he was hired to do: expanding the company’s business and product lines. Embarking on something of a shopping spree in May, Johnson oversaw BakBone’s purchase of the assets of Santa Clara, CA-based Asempra Technologies for more than $2 million, then followed that up with the $15.9 million buyout of Broomfield, CO-based ColdSpark.

BakBone’s expanded business strategy has been a long time coming because the company got mired in accounting issues that were finally resolved in February.

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson

Johnson told me in a recent interview that when he was hired, BakBone was basically a single-product company that specialized in data storage management software it had acquired from AT&T’s Bell Labs. “I was brought in to try to orchestrate a broader vision, and move the company’s strategy beyond a single product,” Johnson recalled. BakBone’s longtime core product, NetVault, provides data backup and recovery within organizations that use a variety of data storage machines running Unix, Linux, Windows, and even Apple’s operating system, OS X.

Asempra’s technology expands BakBone’s product line by providing real-time data protection for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, and Windows file system data. “We feel that technology was a great acquisition,” Johnson says. “It’s a product that we can immediately feed back into our existing clients.” (Those clients include Volvo, AT&T, and Yahoo.) ColdSpark, meanwhile, adds what Johnson calls e-mail management and network traffic management. The ColdSpark system replaces BakBone’s previous technology with a more sophisticated system, “So we’re able to capture an e-mail message, identify and classify it based on categories that the IT administrator can set,” Johnson says. Such capabilities, which makes it easier to search for messages on a particular subject or from … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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