Proofpoint buys email archiving SaaS provider Fortiva

Proofpoint is the latest security and storage vendor to fish from a teeming pond of smaller email archiving companies.

Email security service provider Proofpoint Inc. added storage management and data compliance capabilities today by acquiring email archiving SaaS provider Fortiva Inc.

Proofpoint did not disclose the price of the acquisition. Both companies are privately held.

Andres Kohn, vice president of technology for Proofpoint, said that more and more large companies are looking to outsource their entire messaging infrastructure, usually beginning with security and then adding archiving.

"Users at the largest companies already have trusted relationships with us," Kohn said, listing Bank of America, AIG and Exxon-Mobil among Proofpoint's 1,800 customers. By acquiring Fortiva rather than partnering for archiving features as its message security competitor Trend Micro does, Proofpoint avoids "being just a point player," he said.

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Proofpoint routes all messages to and from its customers through its data center near San Francisco, blocking spam and viruses on inbound messages, and performs data compliance enforcement on outgoing mail. Fortiva's hosted archiving services include search, litigation hold and email encryption.

Proofpoint plans to retain most of the employees at Toronto-based Fortiva, Kohn said. There "may be some overlap" among sales and marketing groups, but Proofpoint isn't anticipating major layoffs.

As for product integration, Proofpoint isn't looking to "get into a major two-year integration project," Kohn said. "We're going to do specific integrations at points where there's value to do so." Both companies offer the ability to quarantine messages based on keywords, a capability that will be consolidated by combining the intellectual property from both companies.

The acquisition is the latest example of email archiving and data compliance vendors banding together. As the market matures and larger players get into the game, industry watchers expect more companies will team up through acquisitions to broaden their feature sets. "Proofpoint needs to expand into more message management," said analyst Brian Babineau, Enterprise Strategy Group. "And they already have a managed service business model. Fortiva had nowhere else to go. They were just one of many."

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