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Dell sales heavyweight Bell defects to Code 42

Cloud backup player lures bigwig to spend VC cash on expansion

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Code 42 is a Windows error code saying a device driver couldn't load. It's also a cloud backup firm founded in 2001, which landed $52.5 million funding in January and has just poached ex-Compellent sales boss Brian Bell from Dell.

It must be like coming home in a sense for Bell as Code 42 is headquartered in Minneapolis, near where Compellent was based at Eden Prairie.

When Dell bought Compellent in late 2010 Bell became the Executive director for Americas sales for Dell storage products.

Now, almost two years later, Bell has flown the Dell coop and landed at Code 42. This was founded in 2001 by two guys who thought free basic backup for consumers, twinned with a paid-for premium service was a business model with a future, like Mozy. They were right.

The founders were Matthew Dornquast, CEO, and Brian Bispala, the CTO. The CrashPlan product was launched in 2007 and they now have a 3-model service line-up; CrashPlan and CrashPlan+ for consumers with PCs and Macs, CrashPlanPRO for SMEs, and CrashPlanPROe for enterprises. It opened up the enterprise product line in 2008 and now has some 4,000-plus enterprise customers.

The consumer product lets you backup multiple systems to multiple systems; that's neat. All three products offer multi-destination, cross-platform, and continuous protection onsite, offsite and online.

Things chugged along nicely. The firm has been profitable for the past ten years, has more than 150PB under management, and operates in eight locations globally, including Ireland, Singapore, Australia and Japan.

This is steady expansion without the hiccups seen by Carbonite or the glam acquisition seen by Mozy when EMC/VMware came knocking on its door.

Steady as she goes was the watchword, until this year, because a whopping $52.5 million funding was obtained from two VC firms in January. Obviously an acceleration in its expansion is being undertaken.

Now, seven months later, in comes Brian Bell as president and chief operating officer. The Code 42 releases says he "will be responsible for expanding sales globally as well as scaling operations and services."

Bell's canned quote enlarged on this a little; "There are great things on the horizon for Code 42. The company’s $52.5 million round of funding, the Consumerization of IT and the emergence of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) have the company poised for even more aggressive growth.”

Bell's hire, coming all those months after the funding round, indicates a long search was undertaken. Maybe Minneapolis isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Now he's on board we'll see international office expansion, the support of more devices and, possibly, file sync 'n share services taking the firm towards the DropBox and Box market areas.

If Compellent-style growth is coming Code 42 better start looking for bigger offices. ®

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