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Code 42: Who Are You?

Although Code 42 Software provides consumer-based backup software for desktops and laptops, its focus from a money-making perspective is providing that same capability to organizations with a software/hardware appliance or services. What is intriguing is that Code 42 is a self-proclaimed "most expensive" solution, yet continues to grow rapidly. How can that be?

Before we examine that question, what is Code 42 Software? As an industry analyst, I cover organizations from the very largest IT vendors to the smallest startups, as well as a lot of companies in between. Now, of course, the largest companies get the most attention over the course of the year as they tend to develop numerous products and make a lot of announcements that affect customers' lives. However, even though the smallest companies focus on single products, they may meet an immediate or unique need that can eventually reshape the industry.

Prior to talking with Code 42 Software, I had never heard of the company. (And, sorry, I couldn't resist the play on words in the title reminiscent of "Car 54: Where Are You?") The company provides free backup software (CrashPlan) for local use on a desktop or laptop, but I already use a similar product so I haven't focused great attention on that space. Even though Code 42 sells advanced capabilities to the enterprise for backing up and restoring employee laptops and desktops (CrashPlan Pro), it has not really marketed itself extensively.

Mobile workers as well as traditional office knowledge workers tend to access IT services and processes through their desktops or laptops. Now smartphones and tablet computers are growing in prominence, but they tend to work best for consuming information, whereas desktops and laptops support the creation of information--such as word processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets--as well as the consumption of information. That information is typically shared with other employees, partners and customers (Who prepares a presentation for one's own exclusive use?) in some kind of collaborative or distributed manner.

Now, while this information may not be "mission-critical" in the traditional sense of key online transaction processing (OLTP) data, it may still be important. Theoretically, much of this information might be reproduced from scratch, but the time required might be prohibitive, especially if there is a freshness deadline that has to be met. For that and a number of other reasons (including legal compliance), enterprises of every size and kind realize that they need to protect knowledge workers' information against loss. Traditionally, however, a primary mission of IT has been to protect the information that its servers have access to with traditional business-class backup and recovery software protects. The data residing on desktops and laptops is typically harder for IT to access and control.

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