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MSI Rolls Into Europe

Backup storage service provider (SSP) ManagedStorage International Inc. (MSI) is racking up customers at such a clip in North America that it's pushing ahead with plans to deploy the same services in major cities in Europe and the greater London area, the company says.

With almost 700 customers under its belt in the U.S., of which 200 come from its recent acquisition of Sanrise, MSI appears to be defying the languid economy by buying other companies, expanding into new regions, and building its channel (see MSI Springs on $22M).

And it expects another 100 customers on its books soon, by way of a deal with StorageNetworks Inc. (Nasdaq: STOR). The former SSP, now a storage management software company, has named MSI its "preferred supplier" to take over its storage services contracts as it winds up its operations. Troubled StorageNetworks has engaged the services of several investment banking firms to find a buyer (see StorageNetworks Seeks Buyer and StorageNetworks Hacks Self in Half).

Ironically, StorageNetworks abandoned the services model in the belief that storage software would be the more lucrative business, while MSI stuck to its niche in the backup services space, which looked shaky for a while as many SSPs were going bankrupt (see SSPs: RIP).

The bet appears to be paying off for MSI, as it announced this week an agent sales program and MicroCorp as its first master reseller. MicroCorp has underneath it 1,300 sub-agent organizations that sell bundled telecom services, including Internet access, local dial tone, and long distance services. These agents can now add MSI's data protection services to their bag of goodies, if they wish (see MSI Debuts Reseller Program).

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