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04.23.2013

NetApp Acquires ionGrid

GrowthPoint Technology Partners, LLC acted as the financial advisor to ionGrid, Inc. in its sale to NetApp, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), a $6 billion global leader in networked storage solutions.

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, ionGrid developed a unique solution that enables users to easily and securely access business files and applications from mobile devices.

When co-founders Nick Triantos and Ben de Waal witnessed the launch of the iPad in early 2010, and its subsequent demand, they believed that this product would become pervasive within the enterprise. Employees began using cloud storage services as a simple way to access their information on their mobile devices – without having to establish a slow VPN connection that often did not even work. In this process, however, IT administrators lose insight into what documents are being stored across these different cloud storage providers as well as any form of control over their distribution.

Within a few months after the iPad’s release, Nick, Ben and team created Stratos, a secure mobile computing platform that provides a seamless user experience while giving control back to IT. Stratos, built by ionGrid, integrates with a company’s existing infrastructure, providing mobile users with an easy, secure method for accessing file servers, content repositories and internal web applications without establishing a VPN connection or copying content to the device. Companies can leverage their existing authentication workflow and extend Active Directory to their mobile users, so file and folder permissions do not need to be re-applied. Therefore, they retain the ability to administer key practices such as backup, document, and disaster recovery.

Moreover, the Stratos platform is highly secure, providing complete data containment that is optimized for mobile, even if documents are downloaded for offline use. In addition to leveraging the company’s existing authentication workflow, Stratos provides complete end-to-end security. Data resides on company servers and communication is always transmitted using SSL encryption and end-to-end AES encryption. If a document is downloaded for offline use, the AES-256 encryption keys are never stored on the device. Additionally, advanced policy controls can be implemented to give “grant rights” to the IT department including offline copies, viewing, editing, annotation, and more.

Another unique feature is Stratos’ high fidelity, pixel-perfect file “streaming” to the iPhone and iPad. This empowers users to have the same quality experience on their mobile device as they would on their desktop. Companies can now maintain brand consistency so that all sales materials, product collateral and custom documents are presented in the way they were intended to be. Because layout, fonts, logos, and colors are all preserved as if you were running PowerPoint on your mobile device, the common frustration of files not appearing pixel perfect across viewing platforms is avoided.

Nick DeRose, Associate at GrowthPoint, commented “having worked as both a Systems Administrator and as an end user at very large public companies, I witnessed firsthand the proliferation of mobile devices within the enterprise, accompanied by internal files moving to cloud storage providers. It was refreshing to see a company like ionGrid provide a solution that is addressing those problems, offering a better end user experience while also giving control back to IT. It was an enriching experience to help the client with the process of negotiating the deal to completion, especially since this was the first successful transaction for this executive management team.” GrowthPoint provides M&A and financial advisory services to technology companies around the world.

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